New reporter in the Gorilla Flicks thicket Rick Kosick managed to pin down Chris Pontius to elucidate on the recent rash of stand-up comedy shows in and around the LA area put on by him and his fellow jackass mates, Steve-O, Dave England, Preston Lacy, and Danger Ehren. This is what he had to say—or at least a portion of it, because Pontius is no stranger to beating around a bush and makes an editor work hard—so hard—for the money.
RK: So when did you find out you were funny?
CP: I never really tried to be funny. It’s more just like people would laugh at the stuff that I did, and then maybe I wasn’t trying to be funny, but I guess it was funny, so … I don’t know? I have no idea. I’ve always been kind of a late bloomer in life to tell you the truth.
Yeah, we pretty much sell out every show. No, just kidding, but I think people are really happy that we’re doing stuff. Everyone is hungry for more jackass and seeing the guys do stuff, and I think we’re really hungry to do stuff, so everyone is having fun. And that’s why the shows are good, because it’s just like having fun with a bunch of friends. It’s real natural and honest. I don’t think I’m a stand-up comedian by any means. My set is very dirty and there are some pretty funny stories, but it’s not like that hokey comedian crap where it’s like, “Waka waka waka!” You know, big punch line shit. I’ve only done it four times, but it’s super fun. I love it. And it’s fun to be with all the guys, because when we go too long a period without doing a project you get bored and idle and we really just want to be doing what we do and being able to do that whether it’s a TV show or a movie or on a stage. What I’m also excited about is it’s something I haven’t really done before. It’s challenging, it’s hard, and you kinda have to think on your toes. But I love seeing the people having fun. That’s the best part.
Are most of the stories in your stand-up routine X-rated?
Yeah, well, most of my life is X-rated, so the routine is gonna follow. It’s dirty, but it’s dirty in that “little boy dirty.” Well, not totally little boy dirty, but, you know, they’re just naughty stories. There are a lot of different types of stories though; I mean, I don’t tell the really bad ones at all.
No. Absolutely not. I’m strictly forbidden from it in my contract. No, just kidding. Right now I have a set of stories that I always do a little bit differently. It’s important for me to not overly script what I do. Like the second time I did this, I did it fine, but I tried to remember too many funny things that I’d said at one time or another and it threw me off naturally speaking a bit. I don’t know if the audience really noticed, but I did.
After the success of jackass did you think you would see yourself doing stand-up comedy 15 years later?
No, I didn’t even see myself doing stand-up like two months ago. Stand-up stuff is scary. All you have is a microphone. The first time we did it onstage, we did a theme, like where we were supposed to tell a jackass story for 5-10 minutes each. And talking for 5 minutes onstage… if you’re trying to make people laugh, that’s a long time. It’s a very hard thing to do and do it well, but just having fun and connecting with the audience is important. It’s so fun. I feel so good after I do it. It’s kinda like when I’ve been in a band. It’s a very similar feeling, but you don’t have to play a guitar or anything.
So do you feel you belong on a stage?
Oh yeah, the stage is my first love. I think I’ve always known it, but I was always a little afraid to make love, I guess.
Besides you, who is the funniest out of the bunch?
It’s not easy to make me laugh. I laugh during Ehren’s set a lot, actually, but not the way he’s meaning for me to laugh. It’s more funny in a different way for me, but I enjoy myself all the same. Ha ha ha… But everyone is doing really good. And I think they’re going to get funnier. There are some stories that I know of Preston’s that he hasn’t done onstage yet, but they’re so funny. Steve-O’s been doing it for a while, so he’s got it down. Steve-O and I learned a lot from each other in general. I learned about showmanship from him and I think he learned something from me. But you know, we’ve always shared everything. Never been stingy with anything. Some people don’t want to share, and there’s a rule we have that if you don’t share, you get nothing. People like Jeff Tremaine have found that out the hard way. Ha ha ha…
And Dave’s getting better and better every show. I think he really likes it. I’ve never seen him so motivated. Ever. It suits him, maybe, because when jackass first started it was hard to know where you fit into it—I didn’t even know where I fit in. There were a lot of people we thought were going to film with us, but then some never really came out. Then the people that stuck around, they became the cast, and whatever they added to it became an element of the show. And they’re all really important. So I like doing this with all of them. I don’t think it would be the same without them. But I’m still going to be mean to Ehren, because I don’t want him to get an attitude. I’m protecting him from himself. And I’m protecting the world from him. I don’t want to claim to be doing God’s work, but I think Ehren is the way he is for a reason and I don’t want anything to corrupt that.
Is Danger Ehren still the butt of everyone’s jokes on-stage?
Well, he’s not the butt of his jokes. He just kinda brags the whole time. No, no, he doesn’t… well, he kinda does, but there’s some people you don’t want to tell “good job” to too many times, you know? I just don’t want it to go to his head, no matter how talented he is. But Ehren is so important to jackass. I mean if I was the producer and there were big budget cuts or something and they had to let somebody go, I’d let myself go before I’d let him go. I can actually swallow my pride and say that. For example, that “Terror Taxi” never would’ve happened with me. I don’t know why, it just wouldn’t have, but I probably would have gotten suspicious with all that pubic hair all over my face and the dude from Super Troopers driving me around.
I’m not a germaphobe at all. It's just common sense. When I was doing band stuff, I realized that it’s always the same mic that’s in every venue and that so many people’s lips are on it, especially when you’re playing the guitar and your lips bump against it—dirty, filthy musicians—and it’s a very dirty thing. Also, I like my mic better. I don’t want to get too into the musician technical talk, but it just works better for my voice and I can hold it a little farther away. I also have a good joke that relates to it. I didn’t mean for that to happen, it just did.
You guys have done five shows so far and they've all been really successful. What’s next, are you planning to take this on the road?
Yeah, the next shows are going to be in Arizona. I think we’re doing like six shows there. Then we’re going to Ohio and do some shows there. I think we’re going to try to do it all summer. I love it. I want to keep doing it. It’s fun.
How can people find out more info about upcoming shows, do you have a website?
No, we need to make one of those, but we promote them through social media, through our Instagrams and Facebooks and Gorilla Flicks. This has all just happened so fast that we’re kinda catching up to it … and then there are our communication problems to deal with that have always haunted us through the jackass years—and our whole lives.
Any last words?
No. I think I’ve said too much already.
(Photos by Rick Kosick; 2015)