Random Hero: Ryan Dunn 1977-2011
Ryan Dunn, one of the crazy sumbitches from Jackass and "Viva La Bam!", died in the early hours of June 20th in a car accident in West Chester, PA. I naturally assumed that in between grocery cart spills, drywall explosions, and anal violations, one of the Jackass kids was bound to die sooner or later. It just seems particularly tragic that it was in something as mundane and preventable as a drunk driving accident.
Dunn always struck me as the relatively sane one of the group -- cocking his head and voicing the sheer stupidity of the antics. His hobo bearded visage would constantly be in a state of disbelief, as if to speak the audience's unspoken "This is fucking retarded. You people are out of your fucking minds." Bam Margera is the spoiled brat who recklessly spent millions earned from skateboarding stunts, but Dunn seemed grounded. For a guy who regularly got catapulted out of shopping carts and shoved a toy car up his anus for a film skit.
The terrible feature film the CKY kids attempted to make -- Haggard -- was based on Ryan Dunn's experiences with his ex-girlfriend. After "Viva La Bam!" fell to the wayside because of the extracurricular fondling of that wall-eyed mutant Don Vito, he and Bam started a new show on Spike TV.
While Dunn's death might not a particularly gaping hole in cinema or even an unfortunate tragedy -- reports state Dunn and the other occupant were cruising home on the twisty rural highway at speeds in excess of 110 MPH after a night of drinking -- it's still affecting. He was only a year older than me, and he grew up just an hour away. I sincerely doubt it will be "a wakeup call" to anyone -- the Jackass crew is the very embodiment of burn out not fade away -- but it's still sad when someone dies. Dunn was a favorite of mine and other folks.