The ‘Jackass’-Style Stunt That Made Sarah Sherman Swear Off ‘Jackass’-Style Stunts

It starts with balloons filled with fake blood. Then it gets gross
The ‘Jackass’-Style Stunt That Made Sarah Sherman Swear Off ‘Jackass’-Style Stunts

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The weirdest entry on the potentially very weird IMDb resume of Saturday Night Live comic Sarah Sherman is a screenwriting credit for the latest Jackass movie, Jackass 4.5. “(The credit) is generous,” Sherman told Mike Birbiglia on his Working It Out podcast. “I got hired for like one day. I guess I can technically say that I wrote for the Jackass movie.”

While it seems like a bizarre team-up on the surface, Birbiglia saw the connection between Sherman’s shock comedy and the Jackass guys’ ability to get laughs from violence and pain. “There’s definitely shared DNA with you and the Jackass universe,” he observed. “Even if you’re doing a scripted bit on Weekend Update, there’s something that’s super real about it and super provoking about it.”

Sherman acknowledged that she and the Jackass guys both performed a version of body horror comedy, “although I do the fake version,” she explained. “I make my own practical effects, and they just literally hurt themselves.”

Birbiglia wondered if Sherman would ever attempt a Jackass-style stunt herself. Turns out, she had. “This is a humiliating story, actually,” she confessed about the time in her life when she tried to out-Jackass Steve-O et al at their own game. “I was making this whole project where I had made these big paper-mache boobs,” she said. “When you punched them, they exploded blood because they were these blood/water-balloon things.” 

Water balloon breasts filled with blood? “Hacky bit,” Birbiglia joked. “Everybody’s seen it.”

“It’s classic,” Sherman admitted. “Who hasn’t at this point?”

But back to the stunt. Sherman enlisted a pal for a trial run of the bit. “I had my friend punch me in the boob, and it hurt so bad,” she confessed. “It ruptured a blood vessel inside of one of my boobs, and my nipple was gushing blood for like days.” 

If the goal of a Jackass stunt is to stun the audience into uncomfortable laughter combined with an audible wince, Sherman’s description of that test run accomplished the mission. “This podcast is over,” Birbiglia declared. Where exactly can one take a conversation after such an excruciating punchline?

At least Sherman learned her lesson about what kind of comedy she’d be doing in the future. “I was so hurt,” she groaned, “and I just never did a Jackass bit ever again.” 


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