Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

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Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
A white-haired old man holds a six-pack of beer in one hand and in the other he carries a boy by the waistband of his pants
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeff Tremaine
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Fax Bahr
  • Spike Jonze
  • Johnny Knoxville
  • Adam Small
  • Jeff Tremaine
Produced by
  • Johnny Knoxville
  • Jeff Tremaine
  • Derek Freda
  • Spike Jonze
StarringJohnny Knoxville
Edited by
  • Seth Casriel
  • Matt Kosinski
  • Matthew Probst
Music by
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
  • October 25, 2013 (2013-10-25)
Running time
92 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[3]
Box office$151.8 million[3]

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (also known as Bad Grandpa) is a 2013 American hidden camera comedy film directed by Jeff Tremaine and written by Tremaine, Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville. It is the second film to use the title "Jackass Presents" of the Jackass franchise.[4] The film stars Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll[5] and it was produced by MTV Films and Dickhouse Productions and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was released on October 25, 2013.[6] Bad Grandpa has a loose narrative that connects the stunts and pranks together (in a manner reminiscent of Borat),[7][8][9] as opposed to the three original Jackass films which did not have a story.

The film became the first installment in the Jackass film series to be nominated for an Oscar, with head makeup artist Stephen Prouty being nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 86th Academy Awards.[10] A sequel, Jackass Forever, is set to be released in 2022, with Knoxville reprising his role and appearing as himself.


Billy is sitting in the waiting room of a lawyer's office. His mother Kimmie comes out to grab him and tells him they are going to see his grandfather. Irving Zisman is sitting in the waiting room of a hospital, reading a magazine and looking at racy photos. A nurse comes in to inform Irving that his wife has died. After a brief moment of silence, Irving starts laughing, overjoyed that his wife is dead. Irving leaves the hospital to get himself a “happy-ending” massage or strip tease, but unfortunately for him, the massage parlor and strip club are closed. Desperate, he sticks his penis into the slot of a vending machine. That is when he gets himself stuck and starts asking onlookers for help.

Irving attends his wife Ellie's funeral with a group of strangers as they outlived all their close friends. As he starts giving a speech, Billy and his mother Kimmie barge in and Kimmie pulls Irving outside to speak with him. She says she is going back to jail for violating her parole, and she asks Irving to make sure Billy stays with his father. Irving reluctantly agrees and they go back inside. Kimmie starts to steal a pearl necklace from Ellie's casket, but Irving tries to stop her. Their struggle ends up pushing Irving into the casket, spilling Ellie's corpse onto the floor.

Irving takes Billy to meet with a counselor while they contact Billy's father. Chuck turns out to be a deadbeat who refuses to take Billy in as he is unable to afford to do so. When his girlfriend comes in to remind him that he can get child support for Billy, he instructs Irving to take Billy down to Raleigh, North Carolina to drop him off by Sunday. Irving starts selling his late wife's belongings, and attempts to sell her bed to a potential customer. Later, Irving calls a couple of unwitting guys to come help remove the bed, though he really asks them to help him and Billy carry Ellie's body to the trunk of his car, since he felt that she needs to be taken south to be buried properly.

Irving and Billy hit the road, and Billy says he is hungry, so Irving pulls over to a nearby market where a woman is selling food. He tries to hit on her while Billy goes on a ride outside the shop. He tells Irving that it is not working, forcing Irving to test it out, only to end up getting blasted through the window when the ride springs off its base. Frustrated, Irving attempts to send Billy off to North Carolina in a box. He takes him to the post office, but since Billy keeps moving and speaking, both women in the post office open it and are shocked to find him inside. Before he can get into anymore trouble, he says he will just take Billy back on the road. Irving leaves Billy in the car as he goes away to play Bingo. Meanwhile, Billy leaves the car to explore and stops an older gentlemen to get him to tie his shoelaces.

The duo head to a supermarket when Billy gets hungry again, Irving steals food from the premises and makes himself and Billy sandwiches, which is seen by the staff. A woman comes out to chastise Irving for eating without paying. The two pull into a motel for the day. They pull Ellie's corpse out of the trunk since Irving thinks it would be disrespectful to leave it in the car. Irving then asks a man if he knows where a strip club is. The man points one out to him and he leaves Billy in the room. Irving goes to a club featuring male performers, and tells one of the dancers that he plans on waiting until the women are so aroused by the dancers for him to swoop in and make his move. When the men start to dance, Irving jumps on the dance floor and pulls down his pants. At the same time, Billy leaves the motel room to find him. He goes to another strip club and then to an adult book store. Irving eventually returns home before they have to hit the road again.

As they approach North Carolina, Irving tries to use Billy to find a woman to hook up with, but they all turn him down. They drive to a diner where Irving crashes into a large penguin statue, arguing with one of the customers about fixing it. At the diner, Billy asks why he has to stay with his dad when he does not like him very much. Irving insists that Billy must do so anyway, then defecates onto the wall behind him. Embarrassed, they leave and later play some basketball while Billy asks Irving if he can take him fishing. Billy gets hungry yet again and Irving takes him to a church where a wedding reception is taking place. During a group photo, Irving swipes a glass of champagne, causing the whole tower of glasses to collapse, and he ends up falling on top of the table and into the wedding cake, crashing onto the floor.

Irving drives Billy to a bar where they are meeting Chuck. Chuck is speaking with a member of a biker organization called Guardians of the Children, which assists abused children. Chuck explains that Billy will allow for him to get child support just as Irving and Billy walk in the door. Irving asks him to make sure that Billy is taken care of, though he rudely responds to Irving that he will get the job done. Irving bids Billy farewell. As Irving leaves tearfully, one GOC member comes out to assure him that they will keep their eyes on Billy. Irving drives away, but immediately starts to miss Billy. He turns the car around and drives back to the bar to get Billy back, just as Chuck is showing off his bad parenting by refusing Billy any food. Irving calls Billy to him, but Chuck prepares to fight him. The GOC members pull them away from each other and allow Irving to leave with Billy while they hold Chuck off and warn him there will be trouble if he acts threateningly.

To celebrate, Irving and Billy crash a beauty pageant after spotting a flyer for it on their road trip. Billy gets dressed up as a girl and charms most of the judges, even though one reigning child champion and her mother note the unusual event of a girl being there with a grandpa. Billy dresses up as a sailor girl to put on a show. It appears cute until he rips off the outfit to reveal him wearing women's underwear and then put on a risque dance to "Cherry Pie", then for Irving to throw money at him. Everyone, including the judges, are completely speechless. His wig falls off and the duo runs out. Irving drives up to a bridge where he and Billy finally get rid of Ellie's body by throwing it into a river before proceeding to fish, fulfilling Billy's desires.


Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville, and Jackson Nicoll at a screening for the film


In March 2012, Knoxville discussed the possibility of a fourth Jackass movie, saying "we're keeping our mind open" and "I've got 50–60 ideas on top of all the stuff we didn't get to shoot."[12] Then in June 2012, it was reported Paramount "registered several domains for a film that would be called Jackass 4: Bad Grandpa."[13] During Margera's September 18, 2012 interview on The Howard Stern Show about Jackass he said: "There's going to be a whole movie about Knoxville's grandpa character."[14] The film was officially announced on July 17, 2013, and released on October 25, 2013.[15] Knoxville revealed that he and director Jeff Tremaine had been approached about making a film featuring the Irving Zisman character, but held off as they did not feel a plot consisting of pranking the public would be able to carry an entire film.[16] Eventually, Tremaine and Knoxville came up with a story to structure the pranks around.[16] The film was dedicated to Jackass cast member Ryan Dunn, who died in 2011.

Much of Bad Grandpa was filmed in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, as well as North Carolina.[17] The first scene shot featured Irving enraging golfers on a Columbus course, where he was working as a groundskeeper. "At that point all of my hesitancy just washed away," Knoxville said. "We got so much funny stuff that we knew we had something special."[16] Alterian, Inc.'s prosthetic Irving Zisman makeup took three and a half hours to apply to Knoxville every morning.[16] Five hours were needed for scenes requiring Knoxville to remove his shirt.[16] Jackson Nicoll was cast as Billy, Irving Zisman's grandson. Knoxville cast Nicoll after working with him on the 2012 film Fun Size.[16] "Jackson would just follow me on the set and verbally assault me while hitting me in the zipper," Knoxville said. "I was just shaking my head thinking that this kid is a piece of work. He's unbelievable. I think he was sent from heaven."[16]


Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 61% based on 112 reviews, with an average rating of 5.52/10. The site's critics consensus states: "Never quite as funny as it wants to be, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa still offers viewers the timeless pleasures of seeing an old man get his privates stuck in a vending machine."[18] Metacritic, gave it a weighted average score of 54 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[20] The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 86th Academy Awards, but lost to the biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club.[10]

Ashley Clark of Time Out gave the film two out of five stars, saying "In Bad Grandpa, there's no shock value: the physical comedy is down to a minimum, replaced by a creaking humour almost as dated as Zisman himself."[21] Scott Foundas of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa shows there's still comic life in this decade-old franchise - provided, of course, the sight of a senior citizen getting his penis caught in a vending machine is the kind of thing that brings a smile to your face."[22] Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly gave the film a C, saying "The joke is really on Knoxville, who, despite flinging himself through a glass wall and rigging up a fake poo-sprayer in his pants, gets fewer laughs than his boy sidekick."[23] Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News gave the film a negative review, saying "Knoxville and the perfectly cast Nicoll have great chemistry throughout. But longtime "Jackass" director Jeff Tremaine consistently cuts away too quickly, undermining each joke in order to rush on to the next."[24] Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film two out of four stars, saying "Although we're allowed the perverse pleasure of watching Irving commit one inappropriate act after another, our sense of horror/delight dissipates after each one."[25]

Peter Keough of The Boston Globe gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Though at times it grows predictable and more inane than outrageous, Bad Grandpa gets more than its share of cheap laughs."[26] Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave the film four out of four stars, saying "Bad Grandpa has the thrill of a dirty joke, brilliantly told. This film is emphatically not for everyone, but if it's not for you, too bad."[27] Scott Bowles of USA Today gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa not only stands as the best installment (by bounds) of Johnny Knoxville's hidden-camera franchise; it's one of the sharpest comedies of the year."[28] Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying "When the three-act structure gets shoved to the side for fun and games, Bad Grandpa delivers some of the heartiest laughs I've had all year."[29] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B–, saying "You'll occasionally laugh out loud, but the heart of the movie is safe enough to chuckle at."[30] R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine gave the film a half a star out of four, saying "A choppy, feature-length progression of crude, predictable gags, Bad Grandpa plays like a variety show, and yet its main attraction is barely funny enough to warrant his own brief sketch."[31]

Sam Adams of Time Out New York gave the film two out of five stars, saying "Apart from a handful of physical stunts and the penultimate biker-bar setup, Knoxville never puts himself at risk, and the imbalance of power curdles the imperative to laugh at the rubes."[32] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It's not really a movie. It's Johnny Knoxville and his Jackass crew faking out real people into believing he's 86-year-old Irving Zisman, an old fart bag traveling cross-country."[33] Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film two out of four stars, saying "Some of the pranks are masterfully executed; the beauty pageant and a disastrous funeral near the beginning stand out. But on the whole, Bad Grandpa can't locate a consistent groove."[34] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "The film has a story complete with a beginning, middle and end. It has some acting and emotion. And most shocking of all - it has empathy."[35] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "It's hard to score big laughs with hidden-camera material these days because there has been so much of it since the "Jackass" TV show, but Mr. Knoxville and his young sidekick still land a few jaw-droppers."[36]

Amy Nicholson of The Village Voice gave the film a negative review, saying "By Jackass standards, Bad Grandpa is benign—it's neither as fun nor as thrilling as watching Knoxville play tetherball with a beehive."[37] Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Fans of the MTV series and related flicks will be quite entertained by this latest extrusion from the Jackass factory. But like the lime-green bingo dabber contents Irving drinks down to the horror of his seatmates, it's an acquired taste."[38] Kyle Ryan of The A.V. Club gave the film a B–, saying "No one will ever mistake the Jackass franchise for good cinema, but it never aspired to that. It was always about allowing the gleeful anarchy of the TV series to escape the constraints of television — to be more outrageous, gross, and profane than the FCC would ever allow."[39] Steve Rose of The Guardian gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat set the bar very high for this type of narrative-driven prankery, and in comparison, Bad Grandpa comes across as disjointed and aimless."[40]

Box office[edit]

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa grossed $102,003,019 in North America, and $48,900,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $150,903,019.[3] In North America, the film opened to #1 in its first weekend, with $32,055,177.[41] In its second weekend, the film dropped to number two, grossing an additional $20,010,303.[42] In its third weekend, the film stayed at number two, grossing $11,326,977.[43] In its fourth weekend, the film dropped to number five, grossing $7,421,536.[44]

Home media[edit]

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 28, 2014, in its theatrical version and an unrated version.[45]

Bad Grandpa .5[edit]

A version of the film with unused footage, titled Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.5, includes over 40 minutes of additional outtakes and interviews, and premiered June 15, 2014 on MTV.[46] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 8, 2014.[47]


A sequel titled, Jackass Forever, is set to be released on February 4, 2022,[48] with Knoxville returning his character as Irving Zisman and appearing as himself from the previous films.


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