Ryan Dunn is probably best known for being Bam Margera's best friend and being a cast member of the MTV shows Jackass and MTV's most-watched show, Viva La Bam, and for being part of the original CKY skate videos. He also has out a movie based on the details of his love life, entitled Haggard and can be seen in Jackass: The Movie. This fall, he'll have his own show, Homewreckers with Ryan Dunn which will take over the timeslot left by the now-finished Viva La Bam. He can also be heard on the voicemail greetings of Meghan Kearney and Liz Kelly.
When not filming something crazy for lots of money, Ryan Dunn travels the country as host of his Rock Night tour, this year co-hosted by none other than Bam's uncle, the incomparable Don Vito.
The (un)controlled chaos hit the Sunshine State on the rainiest day ever, and so we sought refuge on Ryan's tour bus for a half-hour interview (also on hand was Corolla, Ryan's tour manager, Mike Liddle from the Steve-O videos, the studly Ryan Shull, and Stetson, the cowboy bus driver) which segued into the best night ever. Don Vito even called us "nice girls."
Interview By Liz Kelly
August 17, 2005
Liz: Can you go ahead and say your name and what you do.
Ryan: I’m Ryan Dunn and I'm not sure what I do. Uncontrolled chaos. And I do a lot of drinking in between.
Liz: Can you tell us about this tour, how and why you started it, how these bands were chosen and how its been going so far.
Ryan: I chose the bands because they’re easy, and they sleep with everybody. Im not gay or anything but its just fun to watch. I decided to go on tour because I hate to sit at home for an extended amount of time...cause my wife’s a bitch and my house sucks, so I’ve got that going for me.
Corolla: Oh that’s nice.
Ryan: (laughing) She takes all my money so I don’t care... No, I get bored a lot so when im not filming I like to be on tour and the pay is not too bad either. The people suck (looking around the bus) generally the people on the bus. And the driver, he’s a real piece of work. But I just like going around and hanging out with bands and having a good time, it’s pretty much a party all the time. You’d be surprised how quick you run out of steam when you’re partying every night. We’ve been doing this for five years now and we’re thinking about running out of steam pretty soon. And I chose the bands because they’re just ragers, they’re good music, and they can party. I hate to have people on the tour that are just like “Ohh I want tofu” and don’t hang out. I don’t want tofu. I don’t want anybody eating tofu. I mean its fine if you eat tofu but don’t ask me to get it for you, and climb to the top of the food chain to fucking suck on tofu. And ya know, mainly a lot of drugs and stuff. I prefer my bands to be really... just major drug problems. We really nailed that dude! Hit the nail on the head with that one. They’re all wacked out. No.. we picked them cause they’re ragers and really good music and they have a lot of fun. And I have no clue why I picked Vito to come out, that we’re all still trying to figure out.
Liz: Can you tell us about your record label?
Ryan: My record label is a big pile of garbage. It makes no money and its pretty much like a paper weight at this point.
Liz: Disengage is signed to it right?
Ryan: Yeah Disengage just broke up. So you see there’s a pattern happening here in my life. Everything’s just crumbling around me.
Corolla: And I quit. (Walks off the bus)
Ryan: I'm just sitting back and watching the parade of the delusional. No, we picked up a new band and the label is going pretty good. So yeah, check it out on the website. Its mostly metal but there’s a band I did some singing in, its called Alter Boys. It sounds kinda like Mr. Bungle meets metal.
Liz: Can you tell us about the stage set up and stage show and if its different from other tours?
Ryan: The set up on this stage is pretty good because we have a multimedia presentation. We get up there and do stuff with a laser pointer.
Liz: Is it like a power point?
Ryan: No, no.... We get up there and its just a dry erase board. Who wants to play hangman?? Yeah its rad! Where was I? Oh yeah, We air some footage and stuff and then, yea that’s the stage set up, we air some footage and then goof around. Most of the time Vito just gets on stage and says stuff you don’t understand. Im thinking I can get one of those women, like when you watch PBS, and every once and a while there’s a little circle on the bottom of the screen with somebody doing sign language. Im just gonna have a woman do that on the side of the stage and Corollas gonna hold like a hoola hoop in front of her so you get the whole circle effect.
Corolla: How have we not thought of that before??
Ryan: I said that ten weeks ago! ...Or maybe I just did come up with that.
Corolla: I'm gonna go find someone who knows sign language!
Stetson: Find a hoola hoop too!
Ryan: And a Hoola hoop! And a pac man video game! ... Kids these days!... So yeah you don’t understand what the hell he’s saying but you understand what he’s doing because he’s basically groping every crotch and boob there is, ya know.
Ryan Shull: That’s a little weird.
Ryan: Yeah, its very awkward! And then I'll be like “Vito get your hand out of her taco!” and he’s just like “Oh it’s stuck, its stuck!” and I'm like “Its not fucking stuck, she’s pulling you out! No, nobody’s stuck! She’s stuck on you! Its very disturbing, oh, just awful, and ya know, girls are way too young.
Liz: We saw a lot of kids coming in with there parents.
Ryan: In there already??!
Liz: No just walking from the parking lot.
Ryan: Are doors open??
Everyone: I don’t think so.
Meghan: I heard something about free beer on the radio.
Ryan: Yeah free beer! PBR. High class! Tomorrow night we’re doing Schlitz and then Chesterfield and then we’re gonna get that Jersey Shore beer that’s just this white can that says beer in black. No surgeon general warning, no nothing.
Liz: Okay so the Viva La Bam specials, what can you tell us about those?
Ryan: Specials? Right now there’s a Christmas special that we’re supposed to be filming next week, or like in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately I don’t know if I can make it. So I don’t know what we’re gonna do for the special. I know in the Christmas special we were going to find Santa Claus, because contrary to popular belief, he does exist. I started filming my new show at the same time so it kind of like mixes up.
Liz: Actually that’s my next question. What can you tell us about your new show, and will it be like Jackass or Viva La Bam or will it have something that resembles a plot? And when will it air?
Ryan: It airs this coming up season. Im taking over the slot that Viva La Bam was in, the 930 Sunday stew slot, or the 10 o clock Sunday stew slot.
Corolla: 9:30. Good thing you know when your own show comes on.
Ryan: I’ve never seen it! I hear it’s alright though.
Corolla: It’s on MTV.
Ryan: I know it’s on MTV, I just can't watch myself on TV. It's so goofy. So its called ‘Homewreckers with Ryan Dunn’ that’s me! And basically, I was watching TV and I found myself watching those home make over shows cause they’re everywhere and I was like “oh my god, I'm actually getting into this.” So I realized why not just go break into peoples houses and just fuck it up.
Meghan: So it’s the opposite of home make over?
Ryan: Yeah. And it’s a lot more fun.
Liz: So do you go in a tell people “Okay, I’m going to fix up your house?”
Ryan: Well not necessarily. A lot of times it’s a revenge thing. It’s soft scripted but the people don’t know about it. So ill work around, depending on what the situation is, ill find a way to get into their house. And then I do these things called DIYs, they turned out pretty good, they’re like these 1950's instructional video and teach people how to fuck with people at home. Like the one I just came up with was, I came up with it because I did it to my buddy and he’s mad, luckily I left town. I got drunk last night, and he was in the shitter and I wanted to leave and he wouldn’t leave so I took the fire extinguisher and sprayed it underneath the bathroom door, and it just covered the whole thing cause it fills the whole room. But you cant do that I find out because there’s a big warning on it, but I figured he could take like an aerosol can that you use to clean off keyboards and take baby powder and layer it on the bottom of the door, so that when someone comes in to unlock the door it just looks like it snowed everywhere. Yeah, it’s good stuff.
Liz: Will anybody from the Viva La Bam or Jackass cast be on it?
Ryan: Fuck no!... Nah, they’ll come by every once and a while. It’s like a one man show but I'd try to get everybody in there at one point or another.
Liz: What’s the worst you have been hurt on Jackass, Viva La Bam, or in CKY? Whether its on screen or off.
Ryan: Two times, because one is physical one is mental. The first one would be naked gay roller blading with Raab. And I realized after I was doing forty miles an hour naked on roller blades then I realized that I didn’t know how to roller blade. So that’s when I realized there was some way I was gonna stop, I just didn’t know what that way was, but apparently the dice rolled in favor of the pricker bush. And that’s where I landed and broke my wrist, so now I got the nice big stitches. I’ve got a big bone popping out. All because of that. And then my ego and my sexuality, basically myself as a whole got a real big hit when I put a car in my ass. That, overall did a number on me, it didn’t feel good either.
Meghan: How long did you actually have it in there?
Ryan: A couple hours, ever since then I’ve had a hemorrhoid and like rigatoni hanging out. Yeah, I’ve got a way with the ladies. I know exactly what to say to take their breath away. A rigatoni.
Mike Liddle: A rigatoni hanging. Aghh that’s awful.
Ryan: Oh shut your cock garage.
Liz: Is there any stunt or activity that when you were filming you thought “someone could really get hurt doing this” or "this is ridiculous, even for us"?
Ryan: The majority of them. A lot of times I'll just be like “Well what am I gonna do, I’ll either die or I’ll be in pain, but what else am I gonna do, go home and watch TV? That’s not an option, I’ll be bored.” So yeah its pretty much a crap shoot with all of em. The one stunt I remember turning down and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make my feet physically do it, and it was like the safest thing I could’ve done, was jump off a high dive. For some reason I couldn’t make my legs actually walk me to the end of the high dive. This is another two part one. Because one, I hate heights. I was not afraid of heights until I sky dived twice. But the second time I was like, I don’t like heights. After I jumped out of a perfectly good plane then I realized im petrified of heights. And then water, I hate water because im claustrophobic. And when I take a shower I cant even get the water on my face. I have to splash it on with my hands, cause the thought of being incased in something, like when I take off a sweater I hyperventilate. So being underneath water just freaks me out.
Meghan: So I guess that barrel Iceland thing really sucked?
Ryan: That was pretty much the worst, yeah that’s the worst possible state I could ever be in. Ever. Yeah, that was awful. Im still shaking about that. Yeah, thinking about that kinda freaks me out. Everyone was like “Man you could’ve died in there” but I wasn’t worried about what was happening after I got in the barrel, I was just worried about being in that barrel. I thought I was gonna run out of oxygen, and then the water started coming in when I got to the bottom when I was floating in that lagoon thing. Water started dripping in, I was like “fucckkk meee.”
Meghan: That happens to me when I go down water slides that are inclosed.
Ryan: Yeah! I can't do that, it makes you get stuck!
Liz: Yeah and what do you do if you get stuck, just wait for the next person and cause a line up?
Ryan: Yeah I know! And then you get all the pressure.. And ugh, I don’t like it.
Liz: Okay lets change the subject, let’s talk about Vito. In Haggard, how much money did you have to give Don Vito to be in a toga?
Ryan: I think we gave him a couple hundred bucks. He’s made a bit more money since then, but back then you could pretty much get him to suck a dick for twenty bucks. Don’t quote me on that. But I think it’s a possibility, I don’t know for a fact. For a fact it’s forty dollars. But I THINK you could’ve got it for twenty. I think we could’ve made it happen for twenty with a little bartering, I just didn’t have the time. (laughs)
Liz: So everybody has a favorite moment or episode from Viva La Bam. Now that it’s done and you look back, what was your favorite episode or moment?
Ryan: I think my favorite time filming, and yet, I haven’t seen it. I see a lot of footage as we get the footage and when its edited, but I cant watch it for some reason on TV, it kinda scares me. I can, but I don’t prefer to. So I haven’t seen it but the most fun I had was when we did, that I can remember, im sure there’s been a lot of fun times but usually its when Bam and I just go on a solo mission like we did when we were kids. And it was the time when we were in Europe for the European episode and we traveled all over Europe, and we kinda just forgot that the cameras were there and just did it like we used to do. We used to just jump on a plane and go to Finland and just hang out and forget about stuff. So we went over to Switzerland, drove through the Alps, rented and Ferrari convertible and drove through the Swiss Alps together listening to Beatsteaks. And still to this day every time I put that song in im like...
Ryan: Dude im just..Yeah. And I'm a car guy, I love cars, and I love traveling, especially fast cars so driving around in a Ferrari in the Swiss Alps down all those winding roads...And we got to this little town and I bought a kite, and actually drove through the town flying a kite out the top of a convertible Ferrari in the rain. That was good times.
Liz: So, you said you liked cars, what’s your favorite car?
Ryan: (Points to BMW tattoo). Pretty self explanatory.
Liz: Any particular model?
Ryan: The new one I just bought I love a lot, I just drove it yesterday. I had a white BMW, a 3 series BM, X5 and an Escalade. I wrecked the 3 series, I got a DUI. And then Angie drives the Escalade but I hate that fucking thing. So I decided to replace the red car and get the Escalade. So now I have too many cars is what happened. So now I have the Escalade and my favorite cars are the M5, I just bought an M5, and the X5 and then the M3. They’re awesome! And then my favorite bike is, I have two crotch rockets, a Yamaha 600 and a Honda 600 and then I just got a custom café racer it’s a 74 Honda CB750 café racer, flat black with red wheels, it's awesome!
Liz: I don’t know if you talk about this, because sometimes there’s things people don’t talk about, but how did you get the name Random Hero?
Ryan: I don’t know who said it, I think it was... who was it? O’Connor! I think it was O’Connor who said it, we were in the editing bay. This is years ago. We were trying to edit something down and we got to the point where we didn’t have enough footage to fit this slot and we’re like “dude we gotta fit something in here” And we were like “Go in the kitchen and throw some pots and pans” or “hey film me pooping!” So that’s when I ran upstairs and jumped off the roof and then that’s when he’s like “He’s a fuckin random hero.” I believe that’s the story. Tim O’connor. The skateboarder.
Liz: So what bands have you been listening to lately?
Ryan: Lately, I’ve been listening to pretty much full time country. That’s been my deal for about a year now, nah a couple years! I listen to other stuff but, my favorite album right now is a compilation with Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, they do a song called “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” fricken amazing. Or anything by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams first or third, second, not so much. First - awesome. Third (gives thumbs up) His new album’s great. What else do I listen to? Just crap that Angie plays like The Killers. I listened to it yesterday, it’s pretty good. And Le Tigre, I really like Le Tigre. The new album where they do the remake of lets get excited... uh, (singing and bouncing in the seat) im so excited! Lets get excited! Oh and the new Billy Idol! Well it's not so new anymore. It’s awesome! I think it's his best album.
Liz: Okay, so how much trouble has Don Vito gotten into on this tour so far?
Ryan: Arrested twice?
Liz: I know you already mentioned the random gropings.
Ryan: Well yeah, I don’t know why he doesn’t get arrested for that, because he should, but he gets arrested for screaming. And we have to fly back to Baton Rouge to go to court for him. And he got arrested somewhere else. Usually he just drinks so much that he passes out somewhere but again that doesn’t stop him because even when he’s sleeping. I swear to god, you’re sitting on his bed which is probably ridden with diseases, you’re swimming in a petri dish right now. Don’t sniff your fingers. So even when he’s sleeping I swear to god the other night he’s sleeping, I came up here to sit down and he’s like “YO!!! AHHH!! DAAHH!!!”
Stetson: Yeah, I'll be driving and he scares the hell out of me.
Ryan: Yeah he does, he just screams when he’s asleep. (to Corolla) Hey do Vito sleeping! (Corolla does impression of Vito sleeping and screaming) You nailed it! Here you get a cake for that! And you can eat it too!! Hahaha! Pizow!!
Liz: Can you introduce everyone so we know who’s who?
Ryan: Oh yeah, this is Corolla the Butler.
Corolla: I'm not a fucking butler!
Ryan: Fine he doesn’t do anything. No, he’s the show organizer I guess, I don’t know what he is.
Corolla: The tour manager!
Ryan: Oh I don’t know! We don’t have business cards or something!... And this is Mike Liddle, the director of photography. Ryan Shull, still photographer. And then...Stetson over here is our bus driver. (laughs) I'm gonna call you that from now on. Stetson! And then we have Euro Brother. Well they call him Little Brother, I call him Euro brother. He looks all Euro.
Corolla: He lives in our studio back in LA so we kind of adopted him. He’s 20 but he needs taking care of.
Ryan: Yeah he lives in the studio. And the studio is Beastie Boys old studio. You watch the Sabotage video when they’re running across the bridge, that’s right outside, and when they’re jumping on the roof, that’s the back porch.
Meghan: Do you guys do that too?
Ryan: No we just have a lot of gay sex. No time for running, people! Drop the pants.
Liz: Is there anybody else from Viva La Bam here tonight?
Ryan: No, Bam apparently...
Corolla: Cracked his head open.
Ryan: Yeah it’s because he’s stupid and decided to back flip into a pool that was 2 feet deep. You know who set him up? It was Evil Jared from Bloodhound gang said “Oh no its like 7 feet deep!” Like what kind of crazy person does that? So he jumps in and smacked his head. He could’ve died.
Corolla: And Evil Jared’s like “Gotcha!”
Ryan: And he’s got 11 staples in his head now. He’s f-ed up on so much drugs that he went into Rex’s and he goes up to Angie and he walks into Rex’s with Novak and he’s like “Novak this is Angie, Angie this is Novak.” This is the girl I’ve been with for five years. And Angie’s like “Yeah. I know” (impersonating her voice). Yeah, he’s all goofed up.
Liz: Okay I just have a couple random questions. If you could be any super hero who would you be or what magical power would you have?
Ryan: (Grabs the “Greatest American Hero” DVD off the table next to him and holds it up) Greatest American Hero!
Meghan: You have it handy!
Ryan: Yes I do. (points to picture on the back of DVD) That’s me! (Starts singing theme song) Believe it or not I’m walking on air! I never thought I could be a super hero! Remember that show? (To Stetson)
Ryan: Oh man, we are holding hands and watching that later! Can I wear the hat? Stetsons gonna let me wear his hat! And what would be my super power? Again, the ability to fly, not well. that’d work pretty god for me.
Liz: Can you describe your friends/castmates/CKY group in one word or phrase including yourself.
Ryan: In one word or phrase? Rascals!
Liz: No each of them.
Ryan: Oh each of them? Wow...Brandon Dicamillo would be “genius”.
Ryan: You said one word!
Liz: Well, off the record!
Ryan: Oh, this is off the record. Because he’s the funniest most genius person I’ve ever met. He’s hysterical. And he just comes up with shit that’ll make me laugh for days. And he’s just one of those weird people.
Corolla: Okay next person.
Ryan: Okay next person. Raab would be...He shit on lockers in highschool, so you gotta respect that forever, actually Raab’s one of my best friends, well they’re all obviously my best friends. Raab is... Weed. I think you can figure out why I call him that. He likes to garden. Quite the green thumb that guy! Rake, is weird. Rake is Sweetheart. Just too damn nice. And Bam...that fucking faggot. Uh, Bam in one word is, I dunno... sexy. Fuck yeah man.
Liz: And yourself?
Ryan: Oh god... Marginally talented and half interesting. That’s more than one word but you can skip the gaps.
Mike Liddle: Hipster!
Ryan: Yeah hipster! Right here. Realll hipster.
Liz: That’s all I have so thank you and if there’s anything else you want to add, go ahead.
Ryan: Um, nah, I’m a one trick pony. Thank you very much!