Whether you view him as one of the most fearless filmmakers in modern cinema and television or simply one of the most sophomoric, there's no denying that Jackass director Jeff Tremaine has forever changed the way viewers respond to pain. Not the kind of pain involved with seeing a stuntman fly through a glass window either; we're talking genuine, throbbing, potentially paralyzing, compound fracture-induced blunt physical trauma. Of course, what are life's little setbacks if you're not able to laugh at them? As a one-time residing editor and art director for Big Brother magazine, Tremaine was well-versed in the art of pain thanks to a constant exposure to skateboarding mishaps. Approached by Big Brother writer Johnny Knoxville to publish an article in which the fearless journalist doused himself with pepper spray, zapped himself with a Taser, and took a .38 slug though a bulletproof vest, Tremaine had the foresight to ask his eager young contributor to videotape the proceedings for posterity. When the Big Brother video series hit the shelves and Knoxville's painful antics proved particularly appealing to skateboard fans who had grown numb to the familiar pavement-kissing wipeouts, the pair soon joined forces with filmmaker Spike Jonze and the East Coast CKY (Camp Kill Yourself) crew that included Ryan Dunn, Bam Margera, and Brandon DiCamillo to expand Knoxville's original concept into a television pilot. The resulting show, appropriately titled Jackass, was an immediate hit upon premiering in 2000, though after three seasons and numerous attempts by teenagers to replicate the dangerous (and sometimes nauseating) stunts, founding father Knoxville opted to cancel the series while it was still fairly fresh.
Of course, Tremaine and company weren't anywhere near finished inflicting pain on themselves and their fellow cast members, and after upping the ante with the 2002 theatrical release Jackass: The Movie, the director would join Jackass regulars Steve-O and Chris Pontius for the outrageous nature show Wildboyz. Essentially Jackass-meets-National Geographic, Wildboyz took to the wilderness to see just how far Steve-O and Pontius could push mother nature before being either eaten by lions, trampled alive by elephants, or stung by some hideously venomous insect. Fortunately for fans, the show went on to become a moderate success, and in 2005 Tremaine and company were back at their old tricks to bring Jackass: Number Two to the big screen.