When Jackass Forever came out a few weeks ago, it proved to be perfect comic timing. It was the asinine punchline to a mad old time for the world and it offered up escapist fun for everyone who laughed, gasped and gagged through it. In a weird way, it might not claim any awards, but it certainly brought back the beauty of cinema for many as the sheer indulgence of a phone-off two hours in a darkened atmospheric room proved a balm to brighten our dismal daily lives.
Complete in the cacophony of mayhem was a string of surprise faces that only added to the riotous buzz of the production. Johnny Knoxville and co, however, are no strangers to pulling in the stars. As a huge fan of the show, Brad Pitt was probably the biggest star they drew and as Knoxville once revealed, the infamous sketch had an equally riotous backstory.
“[Pitt] showed up ready,” Knoxville told Hot Ones. “We had him in two bits; One, we kidnapped him in front of Pink’s Hot Dogs, which went really well, and the first time—we had him for one night. We were doing these go-karts, bombing the hill on Vine. And we were all like, oh, we really don’t want him to get hurt, because he’s Brad Pitt and he’s… But he did not care, he was ready to do it. He was the first one in the middle of the street, we’re like, ‘No, no, no, no! Don’t do that!’ But he didn’t care.”
As it happens, Pitt is actually no stranger to pulling the strings on a prank himself. One New Year’s Eve, he was hosting a party at a private Mexican resort when he went played into the Y2K panic by staging a power cut at the party, staging troops and authorities descending on the party and having his friend carted away in handcuffs on drug charges. Pitt describes the pranks as “one of his best performances” as he screamed, ‘No, you can’t take him!’ Before the truth was revealed.
Although you might question whether that sounds light-hearted enough to be considered a prank, Pitt is not a man who does things by half. In fact, even the staged kidnapping on Jackass caused a fair bit of controversy after a bystander called 911 regarding the matter. He later told Reddit: “It was a heart-in-throat situation, for sure, once the initial is this really happening feeling had passed.”
Fortunately, the police must’ve have been informed of the prank because they never arrived to investigate and the footage itself remains iconic 2000s TV. You can check out both of Pitt’s Jackass skits below.