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Ryan Dunn: Daredevil Star of Jackass

Ryan Dunn Photo Jackass Logo
Full Name: Ryan Matthew Dunn Social Media:
Born: June 11, 1977 in Medina, Ohio, United States Twitter
Died: June 20, 2011 (aged 34) in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania Instagram
Partner: Angie Cuturic Facebook
Occupation: Stunt performer, daredevil, actor, comedian YouTube
Years active: 2000–2011 TikTok

Who Was Ryan Dunn?

Ryan Dunn was an American stunt performer, daredevil, comedian, actor, writer, musician, and television personality. He rocketed to fame as a cast member on the hit MTV show Jackass, becoming known for his wild fearless stunts and audacious behavior.

With his lovable can-do attitude and willingness to take pain for the amusement of viewers, Dunn quickly became a fan favorite on Jackass. His charismatic personality also made him one of the most memorable cast members.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Ryan Matthew Dunn was born on June 11, 1977 in Medina, Ohio. After Dunn‘s parents divorced when he was young, he split time living between Ohio and Pennsylvania.

As a rebellious teen, Dunn found passions in skateboarding, filming stunts, punk rock music, and generally goofing off with friends. These interests laid the foundation for the type of comedy and chaos that would become Dunn‘s trademark.

In the late 1990s, Dunn befriended fellow prankster Bam Margera in Pennsylvania and became part of his CKY Crew. Dunn co-starred in the CKY videos along with other future Jackass cast members like Brandon DiCamillo.

The outrageous DIY stunt footage gained a cult following after the tapes were released as the CKY video series. This viral popularity led MTV to reach out to the crew to develop a TV show, soon named Jackass.

Rise to Fame on Jackass

When Jackass premiered in 2000, Ryan Dunn was right there as an original cast member. He brought his wild energy and "up for anything" attitude to the groundbreaking stunt comedy show.

Over three memorable seasons, Dunn cemented his status as one of the craziest members of the crew. He never shied away from any ridiculous stunt, no matter the risk of bodily harm.

Some of Dunn‘s most insane and hilarious Jackass moments included:

  • Getting punched in the face wearing a crash helmet by UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo
  • Riding an office chair down a steep city street while almost getting hit by a bus
  • Crashing full speed inside a filing cabinet down a hill
  • Piercing his own cheek with a fishing hook and trying to rip it out
  • Dressing up in a pink bunny costume and jumping onto a massive wedding cake
  • And many more nutty moments that pushed boundaries

Dunn‘s willingness to endure pain and humiliation for audience amusement made him a standout personality on Jackass. His vibrant charisma and goofy laugh endeared him to many fans.

After the final season of Jackass ended in 2002, Dunn continued teaming up with Bam Margera and the rest of his crew on various projects like Viva La Bam, Blastazoid, The Dunn Show, and Minghags. But Jackass remained his main claim to fame.

Movie and TV Projects Beyond Jackass

In addition to his stunt comedy work, Dunn pursued other movie and TV roles over the years:

  • In 2003, Dunn appeared on an episode of the NBC game show Dog Eat Dog, where he crushed the competition thanks to his fearlessness.
  • Dunn had a funny cameo in the 2010 indie comedy film Big Money Rustlas starring Insane Clown Posse.
  • His largest non-Jackass starring role was in the 2005 independent slacker comedy Haggard, which he co-wrote, directed, and acted in alongside Bam Margera. The low budget movie about relationships and partying gained a big cult following.
  • Dunn‘s final film role was a supporting part in the 2011 mixed martial arts drama film Living Will. The film was dedicated to Dunn‘s memory after his shocking death.

Dunn‘s Other Creative Pursuits

When he wasn‘t filming ridiculous pratfalls or stunts, Dunn pursued other creative passions:

  • Music: Dunn was the bassist in Bam Margera‘s satirical metal band CKY and later played in a band called Fuckface Unstoppable. He also collaborated with the groups Völume and Viva La Bands.
  • Radio: He co-hosted a show on Faction XM Radio called Radio Bam with his friend Bam Margera. Their banter and bits were an extension of Dunn‘s provocative sense of humor.
  • Writing: Dunn contributed articles to the irreverent skateboarding magazine Big Brother. He was also reportedly working on an autobiographical book about his career at the time of his death.
  • Gaming: He voiced his own character in the 2008 Jackass video game based on the CKY and TV show stunts called Proving Ground. The game allowed fans to try crazy moves themselves.

Death and Legacy

On June 20, 2011, Ryan Dunn tragically died in a fiery high-speed car crash in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania alongside passenger Zachary Hartwell. He was just 34 years old.

Dunn‘s Porsche 911 flew over a guardrail, crashed into the woods, and burst into flames. Autopsy results later confirmed Dunn‘s blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit at the time of the accident.

The horrific crash that killed Dunn and Hartwell shocked fans across the world. His Jackass family, especially Bam Margera, were utterly devastated by the loss of their beloved friend and co-star.

In the decade since his passing, Dunn is still remembered fondly for his fearless stunt work and bold sense of humor that brought laughter to millions. His untimely death serves as a cautionary warning about the dangers of excessive speed and alcohol.

But the spirit of Dunn‘s wild and fun loving attitude lives on through Jackass and viral stunt videos today. He will always be remembered as a key member of the original Jackass crew who redefined TV comedy and pushed boundaries.

5 Endearing Things About Ryan Dunn

As a longtime Ryan Dunn fan, here are 5 of the most endearing qualities that made me love him:

  1. He was willing to do any stunt, no matter how painful or gross. Dunn‘s lack of shame and willingness to sacrifice his body was incredible.
  2. He had the most contagious and goofy laugh. That mischievous cackle he‘d let out after pranks got me every time.
  3. Dunn made being a weirdo and outsider seem cool. He paved the way for weird kids and creative daredevils like me.
  4. He had a childlike enthusiasm and energy. Dunn maintained a sense of wonder and eagerness to have fun that was really admirable.
  5. Underneath the humor, he seemed like a genuinely kind guy. The way Dunn‘s friends described him showed what a loyal and warm person he was behind the scenes.

The Impact and Legacy Ryan Dunn Left on Comedy

Though his life ended too soon, Ryan Dunn made an enormous impact on pop culture and comedy during his time in the spotlight:

  • He helped pioneer the trend of outrageous physical stunts and willingness to harm oneself for humor‘s sake. Jackass kicked off a movement that inspired shows like Wildboyz and Nitro Circus.
  • Dunn normalized edgy humor, rule breaking behavior, tattoos, wild styles, and not caring what others think – especially on a mainstream channel like MTV.
  • He propelled the careers of Steve-O, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Johnny Knoxville and other daredevils to fame.
  • Dunn co-created the first ultra low budget feature film in the Jackass mold, inspiring amateur digital filmmakers to create their own stuff.
  • His eccentric personality brought a sense of authenticity and levity to television. He demonstrated having fun shouldn‘t be safe and sanitized.
  • Dunn‘s bold spirit for adventure showed viewers the contagious joy of stepping outside one‘s comfort zone.
  • He proved that even pain and looking foolish can be funny with the right charismatic attitude.
  • Above all, Dunn lived his life to the fullest with little regard for naysayers or critiques. He followed his passions on his own terms.

The outrageous stunt comedian may be gone, but his larger-than-life influence can still be seen today. Ryan Dunn made televised anarchy more mainstream and proved humor shouldn‘t just be clean and gentle. He‘ll always be an icon of fun loving nonconformity and creative passion.

FAQs About Ryan Dunn

Q: How and when did Ryan Dunn die at such a young age?

A: Ryan Dunn tragically died in a car crash on June 20, 2011 at the age of 34. He was a passenger in his Porsche 911 which flew over a guardrail and burst into flames in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. Dunn and friend Zachary Hartwell both died at the scene.

Q: What was Ryan Dunn‘s estimated net worth at his peak?

A: At the height of his fame, Ryan Dunn had an estimated net worth around $6 million. The bulk of his wealth came from his work on Jackass as well as related movies, TV shows, and business ventures.

Q: Did Ryan Dunn appear in every single Jackass episode and movie during his career?

A: Yes! Ryan Dunn was involved with every episode across all three seasons of the Jackass TV series. He could also be seen in both Jackass: The Movie films, Jackass Number Two, Jackass 3D, and the later Jackass Presents projects.

Q: What unique contributions did Ryan Dunn make to the success of Jackass?

A: As an original cast member, Dunn helped pioneer the outrageous stunts and wild behavior that became the show‘s trademark. His willingness to take hits and look ridiculous made him the perfect fit for Jackass.

Q: What are some of the most insane and memorable stunts Ryan Dunn performed on Jackass?

A: Some of his wildest moments included the time he got punched in a crash helmet by a UFC fighter, sped down a street in a filing cabinet, pierced his own cheek with a fish hook, dressed as a pink bunny to destroy a wedding cake, and so many more!

Ryan Dunn lived his life to the fullest and brought immense laughter and joy to millions of fans. His spirited legacy lives on in the best Jackass moments and viral stunt videos he inspired. Dunn is gone but not forgotten.