The original prankster, Beadle’s shows delighted and terrified Britain for decades – years before Youtube was a thing. Nowadays, pranks are everywhere, and You’ve Been Framed and the shows like it have massive worldwide audiences. Jeremy could have been a massive force online, but died before such dreams could ever come to fruition. I used to spend many a Saturday and Sunday night laughing my not-yet-dropped balls off at Beadle’s About and YBF – in many ways they were the highlight of my weekend evening viewing – coming from a family that wasn’t big into sport – it was something we could all enjoy together, all getting the joke, all cringing together.
Feel free to share your memories and thoughts of Jeremy in the comments section – what sketches do you remember most fondly?
Ah yes, this takes me back. Many years ago, back in 2001, me and my mates used to watch Jackass sacrilegiously. We would bring in our snacks and drinks, snuggle down on our beanbags and corners, turn the lights down and watch each episode with satanic reverence. Such a show had never been seen, such power and wisdom never portrayed on screen. For a time these men became our idols: Johnny Knockville, Steve-Uh, Panty Boy, Bam Margaret, Presto, Little Man, Danger Eric, Ryan Dumb, Dave Englund etc et all. Every single stunt and sketch they performed for us filled our bellies with merriment and our hearts with warmth. We laughed, we screamed, we soiled each others’ pants. It soon became apparent that it was our lot in life to copy and then improve on these acts ourselves, and eventually create our own earth shattering tricks and treats to perform for the masses and in turn earn ourselves millions! Yes, this is the story of my own misspent youth: Jerkass: The Movie
We split ourselves up into roughly two categories: Those who wanted to attempt the stunts, the things which may involve being hurt physically or being sick mentally, and those who could do the funny stuff, like pretending your baby has just been crushed by a 10 tonne truck, you know, the stuff that involved acting. We started off small, jumping across fences and posts on skateboards whilst naked, moving up to diving over cars on a skateboard with one wheel whilst dressed as Freddie Mercury. Eventually we were doing amazing things that Evil Ken Evil would have been proud of: balancing on a unicycle on one finger while hopping between the roofs of moving race cars which were driven by grizzly bears. Of course we employed rat traps, snooker cues, hatchets, tramps, and of course staples. One highlight was a game of tag we played in a rented function room in our local leisure centre. Instead of tagging with our hands, we used cattle prods. Within 12 minutes we were rolling on the floor, covered in mess, crying for our mothers; they never came. When we recovered 2 hours later, we all picked on our own version of Little Man- Bernard. We each stuck him with our prods from behind, from on top, in his leg, in his stomach, in his special area, over and over and over. The results are stunning. I particularly liked the way he ran down the corridor, stripping off his clothes to reveal his burning skin – spillings and devastation dripping everywhere. He bursts through to the children’s’ paddling pool, slips on his back and proceeds to slide into the water which eventually turns a wrong colour. Genius.
Another trick was dressing up as policemen and driving to various houses. When someone came to the door we would inform them that their husband/wife/children had been murdered and record the hilarious results. Sometimes we would hide in post boxes and when someone put a letter in we would jab them with a rusty needle. Once, on a golf course, we hired a truck and trailer, and drove up the 18th fairway with a bouncy castle on the trailer filled with local miscreants let out of the asylum for a day. Even better was when the wind suddenly changed and the loonies decided to go on a rampage through the grounds of the golf club, chasing grannies with a 9 iron, and pretending the real swans in the lake were plastic paddle boats. Unfortunately the public did not find many of these japes particularly amusing and as a result we were reported to the local constable. Soon we were remanded in custody and our tapes and equipment seized. Most of us were given community service and had to work on a farm, clean up dirty swimming pools, or help feed the crazies at the asylum before midnight. I got off light because I pretended to be from Lithuania. Jackass: The Movie went further than the series. We went further still.
Best Scene: When Dave makes a toilet (loady) in the local hardware store even though it doesn’t flush. He stole that idea from me. Speaking of which, I’m busting right now…
As a fan of the more extreme side of cinema, I ask you to join me, as I explore the history of Cinema's most extreme movies with all the sex, violence and symbolism intact. I'm here to reflect on the extreme movies that have come and gone to see what they mean, see what makes them so extreme, and of course, see if they're any good.