Chris Pontius has been apart of Jackass and Wildboyz, where he performs awesome and outrageous stunts. On top of that, he is also a guitarist who has a great love for music. And he also is one of the coolest guys in the world! I caught up with Chris for a special two part interview to talk music, Jackass, and much more!
Alex Obert: You started out by working for Big Brother Magazine and interviewed people, what did that mean to you?
Chris Pontius: It was awesome. We’d all hang out together and write the questions related to the person we were interviewing. It was just super fun. Sometimes it would be scary to ask the questions, you’d be afraid that the person would get mad. We interviewed Kim Gordon one time and I just asked the most fucked up questions. I asked it in a cute way so she wouldn’t get mad, there’s an art to that. And then some girl that worked with us took the tape out of the office to play for her friends and she lost it, the interview never got to be published. That sucked. That was the best interview that I ever did probably.
Alex Obert: How did you handle trying to get more out of interviewees when they wouldn’t elaborate on their answer?
Chris Pontius: I look at doing an interview as almost like a performance. You try to entertain them. That’s what I would generally do. You need to act interested even if you’re not, like when you’re trying to get a girl. But some people just can’t be interviewed. On Big Brother, a lot of times it would become more about the interviewer instead of the interviewee. With that magazine, the questions could stand for themselves. So in case that kind of an interview did happen, we had good shit we were saying that could help make it entertaining. Basically, I would try to just entertain the person one way or another that I was interviewing. I’d have fun with it. It all depended on the person for what tone to take. Sometimes it would go well and sometimes it wouldn’t. If it didn’t, that could be even better. We would hopefully have really fucked up questions to put in that would just be funny to read on their own. But it wouldn’t work for every magazine. But for Big Brother, it would! (laughs)
Alex Obert: Aside from Big Brother and Jackass, you also play music. How did that develop?
Chris Pontius: Probably listening to Black Flag. Right around when I got into punk rock music, I got a bass and I started playing probably when I was fourteen or fifteen. But I’ll never be very good at it, no matter how long I play. But I like writing songs and all that and having fun. And then I think when I was about twenty two probably, I lived with this guy that was a really good guitar player and I started watching him play. It made me want to play guitar more and guitar is better to sing songs to. I started to write songs all the time. I started searching for guitars that I liked a lot, and then I started modding guitars to make them better. Every guitar I had, I wanted to add something to it. And then I started thinking of guitars I wished existed. I fuck around with making guitar stuff everyday pretty much.
Alex Obert: How did it come about that you worked on a few songs for Jackass Number Two?
Chris Pontius: I had this idea for this skit once. We were gonna make a fake band and trick this guy into thinking he was going to try out for it. We were going to have him sing a song and make a music video to it. We knew he wanted to be a rockstar, so we were gonna give him a motorcycle to pose on. Maybe even have a funky bass player with a stuffed animal sewn to his pants like Flea. And the song ended up being Karazy. We recorded it and another time, they needed a skate rock song. This other guy supposedly had some songs set up for it and they would have Jeff sing it. Jeff Tremaine, the director. I got jealous. I thought I could write a better song. I heard about it in the morning and wrote one while I ate my my breakfast. They called me from where they were recording and it turned out their song wasn’t working out and I said, “Good, I just wrote one.” So I went down there and recorded it with them. It’s called, “Smash Grind City” and it’s ridiculous. Stupid songs, but good for our shit.
Alex Obert: Your song Karazy has one of the most genius lines I’ve ever heard in a song, “I ain’t no fuddy duddy!”
Chris Pontius: (laughs) So stupid! That song, I woke up and I was still drunk the night before. And my dog started attacking me and I pretty much just sang it to him. And that’s how the song got written pretty much. And I just matched the guitar to whatever I was singing. That was the first one where I learned the secret to songwriting, you don’t need an instrument to write songs.
All you really need is a melody and then you can just match the music to it. In the simplest form, it seems like the best songs come out that way. I think a lot of people do that, actually, those that are good at songwriting. I was singing about how I party all night and every night in that. I thought about it for a second and I was like, “Wait a minute, I don’t party every night…But, almost every night! So that’s how “not every night” came out. (laughs) I was just being honest.
Alex Obert: Present day, what’s on your iPod?
Chris Pontius: Actually, my iPod’s broken. I’ve been using my phone as my iPod. I got into Spooky Tooth recently. They’re guys that later on became a bunch of other bands. They were in Mott The Hoople, Stealers Wheel, Humble Pie, and Foreigner. That, I got stoked on recently. Also, Exuma, he’s like this Voodoo dude from the Bahamas. I think in the sixties he was around. I got into them a while back.
I listen to Off!, Keith Morris’s new band. They’re like if Black Flag kept making records. It’s Keith Morris, the first singer of Black Flag, Mario Rubalcaba, the drummer from Earthless, and Dimitri Coats from Burning Brides. And it’s like early Black Flag, it’s pretty sick. And I like Rose Tattoo from Australia. I think Slash was really into them. Guns N’ Roses covered one of their songs on that record that had Patience and all that on one side and then it had early songs on the other. The Rose Tattoo song they covered was Nice Boys (Don’t Play Rock N’ Roll). They’re kind of like from the same rock scene as AC/DC was. They were managed by Malcolm and Angus Young’s brother, George. And that’s sick. I like AC/DC, pretty much the best also. I went and saw Saxon. It was rad!
One of my all-time favorite bands is MC5. They pretty much embody everything that Rock n’ Roll is all about. I’m good friends with one of the founders of the band, Wayne Kramer, and he just rules. One of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Wayne is really involved with a non-profit group called Jail Guitar Doors. They bring music programs into prisons and work with the inmates in different ways. Music is rad though, I like pretty much everything as long as it is a good song. What do you like?
Alex Obert: I listen to Steel Panther a lot.
Chris Pontius: The band that does all the eighties rock songs? You’ve seen them play?
Alex Obert: Yup!
Chris Pontius: I was pretty stoked. They were pretty rad. I hadn’t seen them play since they were Metal Skool. They got different rockstars to come up, ones that came to the show and checked them out. I think Lita Ford was there when I went. One time Steve-O was at their show and Gene Simmons was there. They were like, “Gene, let’s play a KISS song or whatever!” And he just rubbed his fingers together like only if he was getting paid. He wasn’t down for it unless there was money involved. I thought that was lame. That didn’t stoke me out at all about Gene Simmons. Steel Panther is good at what they do for sure.
Alex Obert: I’d like to get into some music that’s been apart of Jackass over the years. First of all, how did Corona by Minutemen become the official theme song?
Chris Pontius: Well Jeff Tremaine lived in San Pedro when he first moved to California. I think he knows Mike Watt a little bit. A bunch of us, we all like Minutemen a lot. The idea to use Corona was Knoxville’s. I think Mike Watt was stoked that people got to hear it. I don’t think it made him a shitload of money or anything like that, but I think a lot of
people got to hear Minutemen from it. For Wildboyz, we were originally talking about names for the show and the stupid names. And Dimitri Elyashkevich was like, “I got one!” He put on that Duran Duran song, The Wild Boys. And we were in South Africa filming the pilot and we just burned down three cottages the first night, accidentally. We thought the show was gonna get shut down before we even named it and then we got stoked on Wild Boys. I thought we should use a Z instead of an S to make it even kookier and everyone agreed. I think that helped the title clear, anyway. I can’t remember what happened, we couldn’t clear the song with Duran Duran maybe. Maybe they couldn’t find the bass player, I don’t know. So we ended up using Turbonegro, a band from Norway that we all like a lot and that was even better. Those guys are rad. Turbonegro’s always been in Jackass stuff a lot too. Pretty much when you watch a skit, we write down a few different songs we could see go into it. Sometimes, the song is obvious. If there’s alligators, you think of Moonage Daydream, that has a line that goes, “I’m an alligator”. And then we’ll try to get that. We all have a huge amount of music we like. Any time we hear a good song, we write it down because it may be good to use. Sometimes we can clear it, sometimes we can’t.
Alex Obert: When you filmed the first Jackass movie, the cast was apart of Andrew W.K.’s music video, We Want Fun, which looked like a blast.
Chris Pontius: That was so fun. When we did Jackass, we had a skateboard magazine, and we interviewed Andrew for that. Somehow, we got a demo CD of his when he was just solo, I think he had keyboards, drum machines, and stuff. And we just got stoked on it. Later, we went to Japan and we saw his record everywhere. Whatever label he was on was pushing sales. We got stoked for him because he just seemed like a rad guy. That video was just rad, it was like a big skate party.
It pretty much was just exactly like the video, that’s what it looked like for four hours pretty much. It was pretty much the raddest party ever. Butterbean was there and just all of our friends. That ramp was super sketchy, so hard to skate. Tons of girls, and just fun. It was super fun. One of Andrew’s guitar players, his brother is Tim Payne, builds ramps for skate contests. He built the loop for us. He’s worked with us a bunch of times. They had a metal band in Florida and Andrew was friends with them. From what I understand, they just ended up playing for him when he needed a full band.
Alex Obert: In Jackass 3D, you and the cast were apart of the song Memories by Weezer.
Chris Pontius: That was rad. Some of the guys knew the guys from Weezer from way, way back. Way before Jackass, way before even Weezer got big. Loomis Fall, a frequent guy on the shows, he had a band called Wax. They were all friends with Weezer. They both got signed around the same time and they played a celebration party at the Del Taco in West Hollywood. The manager knew them and just let them set up and play in there. We’ve tried to do something with Weezer for the movies a few times and I guess for one reason or another, it didn’t work out. The song Memories, kind of suited it. So they had everybody sing the chorus. Before I really heard the full song, I was supposed to play ukulele during a soft part of the song. When we went to go record and sing the chorus, they were like, “Let’s record the guitar now.” After we left, it was the last day that they had of recording, so I played guitar on it. I guess I played the solo, which is kind of a one not slide solo. Not really one note, kind of all the notes, but never staying on any for long. Like a horn or something. It was the producer’s idea, pretty much, for the solo. It’s a cool song.
And then we made the video at the Pink Motel, which is a legendary skate spot. It was in this one skate video that I saw when I was thirteen probably. It’s this motel they’d always rent out. I saw it in Dexter recently. His sister, Debra, was sexing up this drug dealer she was supposed to be bounty hunting. She was on this downward spiral. I noticed it was the Pink Motel where they were filming. It’s in Sun Valley, this gnarly end of the road part of LA. It’s not so much ghetto, it’s just like the end of the line, where all the trash gets swept. We used one of the rooms before and it’s like all set up for S&M stuff, basically. This dominatrix worked out of there and they still have all the things you attach your chains to. They filmed something for Wildboyz there as well. It’s a pretty gnarly place, it’s right by the dump. But this pool is rad. That was another fucking fun video to film. And then some pro skaters, Steve Alba, Christian Hosoi, and Brian Patch came and skated while the band played. That was super, super fun. It was kind of confusing though because the band kept changing the tunings on the guitar. The way Weezer records is really weird, as the manager, Dan Field, explained it to me. On that album, Rivers would be writing the songs and then Pat, the drummer, would be recording the instruments while Rivers writes some more. And so Pat actually plays guitar on a lot of songs and sometimes even Rivers plays drums on songs. I thought that was kind of cool. I think since they’ve been making so many records, they don’t get too precious about it. I didn’t want them to feel like I was barging my way into the band, but I think I definitely added something, especially in the fashion department. I had my wrestling singlet on, they needed something like that, more of a wrestling element. But they kept changing, “Are we going to play in drop D? Or are we gonna play it a half step down?” I don’t know, Rivers kept changing what pitch he felt comfortable singing in. He probably hadn’t sang it that many times aside from recording it, at that point. It was really confusing. So I didn’t get to skate that much because I had to tune my guitar differently. But that was super rad. That stoked me out a lot. Those guys were so cool for letting me play on their record.
Alex Obert: Roger Alan Wade has been heavily involved with music for Jackass and in my opinion, is one of the most underrated musicians of all time.
Chris Pontius: He’s rad. He’s Knoxville’s cousin and he has crazy songs. He just has this crazy songwriting gift. He wrote some songs for Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. He actually lived with Johnny Cash at one point. He recorded around the time of the first movie. He did that song, If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough, which was the perfect song for it. And then he recorded an album. Then he got bummed because he felt like all the songs on it were just his silly songs. Knoxville told me that, so I introduced him to a friend of mine had this really mobile recording setup, Revolving Blackbird Studios. A friend of mine, he’s a sound engineer, his name is Dan Creech, and he was equipped to record wherever and so he flew Roger out. It was right after the second movie.
Roger played live in Knoxville’s living room, which had a really cool arched ceiling, so it sounded really good. He pretty much sat there for three nights in a row and all the Jackass guys were pretty much just hanging out, being the audience. And he just played forty five songs or something like that on my National Reso-Phonic. He recorded them all, one after another. It was crazy. And he just knew them all. Every song was rad. Since then, I think they recorded two more albums. He’s fucking incredible. He is just one of those people that has that poetic gift.
Alex Obert: Jackass Number Two ended with the cast performing The Best Of Times from La Cage aux Folles.
Chris Pontius: I know Jeff Tremaine and myself and Knoxville, also, had this fantasy of doing a fuckin’ musical number and so at the end of the second movie, that ended up being able to happen. Pretty much half the budget went to making that ending, which most Jackass fans didn’t care about, but we wanted to do it. And it was super fun. I think there were a few different choices for songs. I’m not
sure if Knoxville was the one that said The Best Of Times, but he was a big musical fan. He’s got like a bunch of older sisters. So he knows all kinds of neat, little songs. In his own words, he could have easily turned out gay. But he didn’t at all. (laughs) He definitely likes a lot of gay shit. And I like a lot of gay shit. I mean we all do, pretty much. Mickey Rooney’s son was the dance choreographer on that. And it was funny that we had normal parts where they’re dancing with one other guy or the professional dancers. I had one part where it was a stripper thing. I looked over and the dancers were drawing abs on their tummies for the songs. I never knew that was done. I wouldn’t do that. That blew me away! I had to jump off the building onto a trampoline. The way it should have been was on a sheet, caught me in it, and then threw me in the air. But it definitely was kind of fucked up to jump into. And then it was all wet on the ground cause Knoxville accidentally sprayed the fire hose, so landing on it was a nightmare. Fire hoses actually suck. There are worse things to experience, they’re not something that’s gonna kill you or whatever, but after doing that, I can understand why they use fire hoses when they wanna fuck people up in real life. They suck. Some things just suck way bad!
Alex Obert: You mentioned Johnny Knoxville a little earlier, and I remember watching the We Want Fun music video, and one of the best parts was him rocking that mustache.
Chris Pontius: Oh yeah! That was when he was filming some movie about Gram Parsons. When Gram Parsons died, his wish was to be cremated at Joshua Tree National Park and have his ashes spread over Cap Rock. So his road manager, who’s this gnarly dude, had to steal his body before Gram’s family took it to bury in Louisiana. The road manager wanted to fulfill Gram’s wish and burn it out in the desert. He wrote a book about it, which was adapted into the movie. I can’t comment on the movie much, but it was a great story, definitely. I don’t know why I didn’t care for the movie. Some stories lend themselves to movies, but some others are different. Maybe they didn’t have enough money to make it right or something. It was pretty rad that that dude did that. And so that’s why Knoxville had that mustache. (laughs)
Alex Obert: Something else you did on TV, what was it like being in a WWE ring?
Chris Pontius: It was gnarly. I got invited to go to this wrestling match at the Staples Center and whoever was the relations person from WWE was like, “The guys can get in the ring and we’ll have them say something in the microphone.” It wasn’t to wrestle or anything. And so we get there and talked to Vince McMahon, it’s an hour before the show’s gonna go on, and he’s like, “What? You’re not gonna have these guys wrestle? These guys are so entertaining and we’re idiots if we don’t have them wrestle!” We were down for it, so he got Umaga, the Samoan Bulldozer and us together, went over it, and gave us some pointers. And it just happened. It was gnarly. From my experience with it, wrestling is not fake. Umaga did his signature move on me, the Samoan Drop. At the time, it didn’t hurt that bad because the arena was just packed, more packed than I’d ever seen it. And so adrenaline was just crazy. And then at two in the morning, I woke up and I felt like every rib was broken. It hurt to breathe. The wrestlers are so big and a normal man compared to them is just ridiculous. Umaga weighed more than Steve-O and me combined. Wrestling is not fake at all.
Alex Obert: Are you bummed that the Summerslam match didn’t work out?
Chris Pontius: There was a misunderstanding. I don’t think it was properly discussed what we were gonna do and so I think that’s why it didn’t happen. Basically, I think they wanted us to do a lot of stuff for free. I think it was too much stuff. I like everyone from WWE I’ve dealt with, but I think it was just a miscommunication. I wasn’t really in the middle of that, but that’s what happened. I actually played at a WWE party in New York. That was the first time we played and Loomis wanted to play a bunch of songs and we should have just played one because they wanted to get to the wrestling. No matter what band it is, people get pissed if they play for too long. They just wanted us to do one song and then have Stone Cold Steve Austin come out. I agreed to a point, but Loomis thought we should play all our songs. Back then, I had an amp that was way too powerful. It was so fucking loud. It was pretty gnarly. It’s always rad doing something with the wrestling people. Then we did another thing, me and Knoxville, on RAW. It was a little overdone, it was too high concept. He first was gonna wrestle this chick (Beth Phoenix), and then this little guy (Hornswoggle) came in and then this really tall Indian guy (The Great Khali). Vince again was like, “Oh, let’s have you do something.” And he set me up with The Boogeyman. Boogeyman had been out with an injury for a while, and so we went over when I was gonna come out and stuff. When Boogeyman came out and he did his crazy shit, when he comes to the ring, it’s freaky. But he totally fucked up, he was super cool, but he was supposed to wait for the smoke to clear before he started fighting with me. I think he got too overexcited and he jumped the gun. When I watched it on TV, it just went by in a flash. I think he got in trouble for it. I don’t even think he wrestles with them anymore. It wasn’t my fault. It would’ve been perfect. It was gnarly, he really put worms (you said snakes, but it’s worms he uses) in my mouth. He’s freaky, but he was super nice. I still can’t figure out exactly where the worms come from. His mouth, maybe. But I think he just didn’t have the timing right. He came from a bodybuilding background. But he was super nice. I wish he would have stalled a little bit and let the smoke clear so the audience could have properly seen everything.
Alex Obert: What was it like when you found out Umaga passed away?
Chris Pontius: I was bummed because he was rad. Outside of the ring, he was so cool. I was afraid of him in the ring. He was terrifying. All those Samoans, I’ve been a fan of since I was a little kid. So I was really bummed. He was a really nice guy. I was super bummed about that. He lived in the same neighborhood that I lived in in San Francisco a long time ago. Right when I met him, that subject got brought up and it was this full on Samoan neighborhood. He got stoked that I lived there. I liked him, so yeah, that was really sad.
Alex Obert: Is there a misconception of Umaga being legitimately pissed off when Steve-O was laughing in the ring while getting beat up?
Chris Pontius: Steve-O was supposed to stay down. He didn’t realize if he keeps doing that, it’s going to make Umaga madder. And he was hurt at that point, but he wouldn’t stay down. If someone was beating you up on the street, they’re gonna keep beating you up until you stay down. So it just kept going. I think Umaga was probably thinking Steve-O was gonna make it look like a joke if he’s laughing like that. Really, I think Steve-O just has a different sense of humor about getting hurt than most men. So he had to keep beating him up and that wasn’t a planned thing. But when we got up and left the ring afterwards, we walked into the control room and Vince was there, super stoked. It’s crazy because that wrestling thing, so many people have seen it, it blew me away. That match was definitely a bigger deal than the other one that we did. It was just fuckin’ awesome. Billy Gibbons was there. Kevin Federline was backstage and that was funny. We met him backstage, he was really nice and I think Steve-O told me, it was kind of around the time Steve-O wanted to be a rapper, when Steve-O was starting to lose his mind, and Federline mentioned they should collaborate sometime. And I was like, “Collaborate on what? What do you do?” I think Federline always wanted to be a rapper too. (laughs) He was nice, really nice.
Alex Obert: While you were in the ring, you had this awesome line when you were getting interviewed, “Someone’s going to Hell a little bit early tonight!”
Chris Pontius: (laughs) Oh God! I don’t know where that came from. (laughs) It had been a long day, I didn’t know I was even gonna go to the wrestling match. The night before, I was in Santa Cruz for my friend’s wedding. I got told about the wrestling thing that night. The next morning, I got on a plane and went down there. It was really overwhelmingly strange. It was awesome because it was just new and different. But it was rad.
Alex Obert: I remembered when you two were asked who your favorite wrestler was and of course you said yourself. And Steve-O said, “I like Shane from the Cruiserweight Division.” However, he was going by Gregory Helms on television and is referred to as Shane (his middle name) outside the ring. So he kind of broke the fourth wall on that.
Chris Pontius: Oh yeah, Steve-O tends to break the fourth wall. He’s come a long way with it, but he always does that. (laughs) I remember his friend Shane, but I didn’t even realize he was Gregory Helms. I only met that guy once.
Alex Obert: There’s always been debate for years online about what would have happened if all the Jackass guys stepped into the ring. And I remember saying that Bam Margera faces The Undertaker and does the Flying 69, which would lead to The Undertaker giving him a Tombstone Piledriver.
Chris Pontius: That would be unbelievable. I invented the Flying 69. The Flying 69 is so hard to do. I thought it would be a cool band name, but I never used it for a band name, so using it as a wrestling move was an obvious choice and we all knew it would be incredible. Bam actually should wrestle (in WWE). He’d be a horrible wrestler though. When you first said we’d go into the ring, I thought you meant we’d wrestle each other.
Alex Obert: Do you know Chris Jericho very well?
Chris Pontius: I don’t know him well, I’ve met him though.
Alex Obert: He has a band called Fozzy.
Chris Pontius: I saw them play! That’s crazy! I didn’t realize that he was in that band though. They actually opened for Saxon, as I mentioned earlier.
Alex Obert: I’ve been telling people for years that you look like his guitarist, Rich Ward.
Chris Pontius: The two guitarists looked totally different. Was he the more hessian looking one?
Alex Obert: Yeah, there’s the one with the mohawk, Billy Grey, and then one with long hair, Rich Ward.
Chris Pontius: Yeah, the long haired one, I was farther away from him, but I gotta find a picture of that guy. I thought you were gonna say the guy with the Mohawk! (laughs) They seem really nice. But I did not realize Chris Jericho is the singer. He definitely looked in shape for a rocker.
(CHRIS PONTIUS PROCEEDS TO SEARCH FOR PHOTOS OF RICH WARD ONLINE TO SEE THIS COMPARISON)
Chris Pontius: Oh wow, he does look like me! That’s fuckin’ funny! (laughs) Oh my God! That’s rad! Even though I saw him from far away, he seemed cool though. I thought he was cooler than the guy with the mohawk. They seem like they would be in different bands from looking at them. He was definitely more of the hessian, the other guy was more funky metal. He had the funky metal dance going more. They sounded really good actually. Saxon was rad too. That was a good show.
Alex Obert: Which one did you see?
Chris Pontius: It was at House of Blues in LA. It wasn’t long ago. Rad.
Alex Obert: Getting back to Jackass, with the recent success of the Bad Grandpa film, would you ever look into a Party Boy movie, possibly to discover his origins?
Chris Pontius: Yeah, I was actually gonna do one at one point. These people approached me with this script about a male stripper that they eventually wanted to make into a Party Boy movie. I went as far as getting a director for it and I got the movie funded. I got Penelope Spheeris to direct it, she made The Decline of Western Civilization and she made Wayne’s World. She made a classic punk rock movie, Suburbia. So anyway, I met up with her and hit it off with her and she was gonna direct it. We got it funded, went to some billionaire’s house and told him what we were doing. The billionaire was cool and he knew I wasn’t some jerk trying to shake him down. They ended up making a movie, but I dropped out of it. I was gonna rewrite the script and make it rad. Some got people involved with the movie that weren’t cool and I didn’t wanna work with them because they were gonna ruin it. They started trying to play hardball and control things. They were ugly people, inside and out, with absolutely no sex appeal. You can’t have assholes like that around, even on the sidelines, if you’re going to make a Party Boy movie and so Party Boy left. If I’m gonna make that movie, I wanna do it right. I was kind of relieved that I wanted to drop out of it because I was never really comfortable with the idea of it being, ‘The Party Boy Movie’.
Right now, there’s this show our group produces called Loiter Squad. I filmed with them a few times, but I’m gonna be filming with them more. It’s on Adult Swim with Odd Future, which is a rap group. They’re super fun to film and I think the season’s gonna be awesome. Bad Grandpa took longer than expected. It definitely set other projects back in a time sense. I hope we do another Jackass movie. I think we’re going to go back into nature soon too, go back into the wild. Not necessarily, Wildboyz, but something where we get to travel and do rad shit. I have another show idea that just came to me the other day and I haven’t even told anybody about it yet, but I think it’s gonna be really funny. I like writing music for whatever we do. I have some hits that I really need to record. We might make a shark special for Discovery. I wrote a song for it called, “Sharks Kill” and another song about Wee-Man, Jason Acuńa, the other day called, “Fire From Below” and I just realized that the message of both of those songs, are warnings. A warning of danger! Whether you are swimming in the ocean or tangling with Wee-Man, they both add up to the same thing. Pain, dismemberment, death, and fates even worse.
Alex Obert: Can you describe to readers the Party Boy Japanese Rockabilly stunt from the deleted scenes of Jackass: The Movie?
Chris Pontius: (laughs) There’s this park in an area of Tokyo where all the counter-culture people hang out. There’ll be the Goths and the punkers and folk musicians. And then there’ll be girls dressed up like they’re in Victorian times with parasols and this crazy make up. We were going to the park looking for different people. They just kind of choose an era and just go for it. We were walking through the park and there’s this group of guys dressed in tight jeans and with really tall pompadours and they’re just dancing Blue Suede Shoes style around a radio like it’s 1958. And so it was the perfect thing to go Party Boy to. They just got pissed. But it wasn’t scary, they were Japanese rockabillies! (laughs) Rockabillies have always taken themselves a little too seriously from time to time. They might not like my style, but I didn’t like theirs! (laughs) I wish they would have had a rumble with me or something at least. It would have made it into the movie. A push is not gonna cut it. But no, it wasn’t scary. In general, Japanese people, they’ve gotta get pretty mad to really lose it entirely, I think. I think they’re brought up to be very polite, even if they hate you. There were some folk musicians that I made angry the same day and they pushed me, but they were even less scary than the rockabillies. (laughs) I don’t think they could be scary with a machine gun in their hands! I’m smiling and stuff, there’s only so much you can do with someone like me if you wanna fight. (laughs)
Alex Obert: Another memorable stunt you did on Jackass, can you take readers through the werewolf skit on the television show?
Chris Pontius: I don’t know where the idea came from, but I know I really wanted the song, Hybrid Moments by The Misfits to be on the show. So I’m walking down the street in London, they’re filming me on a bridge and something comes over me. I cough and go out of frame and you can see it’s a full moon. I come back up and I’m a werewolf with a werewolf mask on. (laughs) I start howling wildly, at the moon, then I just go running around the streets of London, terrorizing everybody. At that point, the censors started getting really rough on us and got really paranoid. The littlest thing that would be a risk, they’d make us pull from a skit. There’s a part that we filmed where I’m in the shadows as a werewolf and I’m on all fours, I lift my leg and I’m peeing. You can’t see anything, but you can see the pee spraying. (laughs) It looked so funny! And they wouldn’t let us use that because of environmental concerns. We didn’t have video evidence that we cleaned it up. And that was actually a pick-up shot that we filmed after we came home from London. It was in the filthiest neighborhood in Hollywood. There’s no sense in cleaning it up. I probably made it cleaner by pissing on it. But that’s how crazy the censors got. Stupid.
Alex Obert: What would you say is your all time favorite Jackass stunt?
Chris Pontius: That’s a question I should have an answer ready for always. (laughs) There’s this one we were gonna do in one of the movies and it never properly got filmed. We filmed a version, but we’ve gotta redo it to make it as good as it can be. It’s called Gay Dads. It’s me and Dave England and a baby and that stunt has to be done. It’s along the lines of some other skits we’ve done, but we’ve gotta make another movie just so we can do Gay Dads properly. I like it all pretty much. The answer changes every day. I think my favorite thing I ever did period was on Wildboyz, the biggest ‘overcoming your own fears’ thing that I ever did was kissing a King Cobra on the head. I wasn’t planning on doing it, the night before, Jeff’s like, “These guys have got this King Cobra that we can film with if you think you can do anything with it” We were in Indonesia. They’re not de-venomized or anything like that, no fake shit. If we were doing anything fake, we’d tell that it’s fake. Like when we put the cobra in with Bam for that prank, we said that it was de-venomized. But this one wasn’t de-venomized. They basically woke me up really early to go film and me and Jeff got in a fight on the way. I was still sleepy, we’d been filming for a month straight on the road. And I was real hungover. So I started playing with this cobra, remembering what I’d seen my friend, Dave Weathers, who’s really amazing with snakes, do. I call it, ‘The Kiss Of Death’. The snake was looking at the cameraman. It turned back to me and it was ten or twelve feet long. And then it turned around real fast and went towards Mark Rackley, who was laying on the ground filming it and tried to kill him. I was pretty impressed at how fast it could move.
Then, it came back up and it was just looking at Mark again. I touched him a few times and I started wanting to give it a kiss so I just went for it. I didn’t tell anybody that I was gonna do it and they were really excited, too. Doing The Kiss Of Death was probably something I was really proud of. I felt like a million bucks. I felt just happy to be alive, really. A lot of this stuff that you do that scares you a lot and you do it anyway, it really makes you feel good that you’re alive. I think I was even in a grumpy mood earlier that morning because I am not a morning person, and that just made my day. But afterwards, a few times, after you do something with a snake, you get excited and then you wanna jump around, you forget the snake’s still there. You can almost get bit. I think right after I did that, someone reminded me that the snake’s still there. That’s happened a few times. You totally forget that the fucking cobra is still right by you. But yeah, I like The Kiss Of Death. I don’t think I’ll do it again, maybe I will. I didn’t know I was gonna do it the first time.
Alex Obert: Regarding the future of Jackass, if there’s another movie in the future, do you feel there would be a stunt tribute to Ryan Dunn? Perhaps someone else doing the toy car stunt from the first movie?
Chris Pontius: Doing a stunt dedicated to him, I could definitely see that. If there’s another Jackass movie, there’ll definitely be a big tribute to him so his presence is well-felt. It would be really rad. I think Ryan would actually feel that would be really funny. That’s a good idea. Maybe you just wrote an idea! It would justify doing some pretty fucked up shit with toy cars! (laughs)
Alex Obert: Well thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Chris Pontius: Awesome! Thank you!
Photos taken by Michael Schulz