I’m supposed to be blogging about my book, as well as being in the middle of a blog with the International Mix Train Collective, but the death of Ryan Dunn has thrown me out of sorts.
Ok, so I didn’t know him personally, and plenty of my favourite actors/singers/heroes die… a little too regularly it seems these days… but Ryan Dunn and the Jackass crew are infused in my DNA, along with many of my friends.
Jackass started in 2000 when I was living with one of my best friends Levi Leppard. Our place was the party place, and among our idiots/friends we could count Mat Carrington, Andrew Durrell, and Ian Reed among others. One day Levi and I were watching TV when we stumbled across a bunch of idiots purposely hurting themselves in the name of… ‘entertainment’. We even recognised some of the cast from an old battered VHS copy of Camp Kill Yourself that we had almost watched to oblivion.
We were hooked, and their influence started to rub off on us. We were nowhere near as wild, but we had a lot of laughs inspired by Jackass; car aerial whips, eating strange shit, pushing Levi off of stairs which fucked his back up and put him in hospital… *ahem*…
We may have all gone our seperate ways over the years, but we all stay in touch, and when news of Ryan Dunn’s death broke suddenly there was a flurry of messages and phonecalls between our old gang. There was a lot of disbelief.
Dunn was a year younger than me when his Porsche 911 GT3 left the road in West Goshen, Pennsylvania, and hit a tree before bursting into flames, killing him and his friend Zach Hartwell.
Ryan Dunn was 34 years old.
I first saw the news when I flicked through my facebook wall and saw my friend Jaymee Blundell had simply posted ‘RIP Ryan Dunn xxxx’.
‘Oh, no,’ I thought before googling him and finding it was true. A quick call to Levi (who was at work and couldn’t answer) and I was sat there with my head in my hands.
Sure, it sounds a little melodramatic, but Dunn, Margera, Knoxville, England, DiCamillo, et al, were mainstays in my life for years. Jesus, I named my youngest son Bam after finding out his mum was pregnant just after we started watching the Viva La Bam dvds.
The years passed and the series became more infrequent and more offshoots, yet still we watched – even/especially the films like Haggard in which Dunn took the lead role in a spin on his own heart-broken love life.
Throw in Bam’s Unholy Unionand the last 11 years of my life have consisted of watching
these young idiots grow, get hurt, get married, and get their hearts broken. Jackass/Viva are also the only programmes/films I’ve ever watched that have made me genuinely cry laughing, so I have a lot of emotional attachment with all those involved.
Jackass 3 was also released recently and I made my daughter watch it with me as she had never seen any of the films or series before. After a few minutes she turned to me and said;
“Dad, I have never heard you laugh so much in all my life.”
I got a bad feeling nothing is ever gonna be as funny again.
Rest in peace, Ryan Dunn.
You are sorely missed.
5 thoughts on “Ryan Dunn: June 11, 1977 – June 20, 2011”
Touchingly written mate, it truly does blow goats when we lose those who have inspired us for whatever reason. I normally avoid commenting on the words of ‘trolls’ on the internet, but exchanged some pretty full-on harsh words yesterday with several who were slating him on Facebook pages set up to mourn his passing – it truly is disgusting just how poor some people’s taste is. Regardless of people’s views on circumstances surrounding his death (which, frankly, no-one really knows enough to comment fairly about yet), this guy and his friends brought tears of laughter to millions world-wide, and it’s only fitting such a big fan should commemorate him. RIP Ryan, thanks for the belly laughs. I’ll never look at an x-ray picture the same again.
I hear you, mate. Unbelievably there were people all over twitter and facebook (as you say yourself) that couldn’t help but troll like the twats they are. I even pulled up one of my own friends about it and said that I hoped his family never had to suffer the same terrible drama and tragedy of a death like Ryan Dunn’s.
Poor old Bam Margera has lost his childhood friend, and yesterday he was having to vent his feelings at Roger Ebert (a no-mark film critic) who twittered that ‘Jackasses don’t let their friends drink and drive’ instead of peacefully mourning with his and Ryan’s family.
Still, let’s forget that and enjoy the films and series that bought us so much fun and laughter… RIP Mr Dunn.
Circumstances only deepen a tragedy. They’re saying Mr. Dunn was driving under the influence, twice the legal limit. Any death is a shame, a preventable one is doubly so. RIP Ryan Dunn and Zach Hartwell (his passenger)
Perhaps those hurt by Roger Ebert’s untimely remarks should poke fun at his ghastly face and diminished physical circumstance since he’s so willing to utter remarks without regard for the feelings of others.
Agreed. I had no idea who Ebert was until I saw a news brief… and then I tried to figure out what the fuck he was.
Also agree with the drink driving preventability, as I have lost friends and loved ones due to such a thing… alas, it is something that will forever be a blight to our societies… and our lives…
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