This could be the most ironic story you hear for a while. A man who, as a career choice, was chased down the street in his underwear by dozens of little people in their underwear for an international audience can trace his acting career back to a single decision to avoid awkwardly standing too close to other naked dudes. “The drama class was the closest class to the football locker room and I wanted to pick my locker because you have to stand naked next to dudes. I wanted to get one on the end so that I didn’t have to stand naked between two dudes. So, I joined drama class because it was real close. As soon as [drama] was over I could sprint down there and get a good locker.” It was by avoiding an awkward, terrible situation that, one could say, led Preston Lacy into some extremely awkward and terrible situations. Preston Lacy is a writer, comedian, and actor that has played in a variety of roles, and is most famous for his antics in the Jackass movie series, where he often found himself in terrifying and often painful scenarios, one of which was described in the opening lines.
We caught up with Preston via phone call as he was returning from a quick getaway in Vegas, where he confesses that he sets more boundaries in the casino than he does on the screen. “I don’t lose a lot. I lose a hundred bucks and I get mad and quit,” he shared.
Preston moved around a lot as a kid, but calls Joplin Missouri home. He had been saving up money, with dreams of moving to California. Then, one day he came to the realization that he could always move back if it didn’t work out. “99.9% percent of people don’t make it, but I was going to try it. I could always go back home to Missouri if it didn’t work out. I was just lucky enough that it worked out.” Lacy found himself landing some gigs in commercials for national brands. He then ended up working for Johnny Knoxville’s ex wife as an errand guy at her clothing store. “I got to know Knoxville through that, and he started telling me about this show he was working on and asked me to write some ideas, so I wrote him some ideas and then he said I had to do those ideas. Then we started shooting the pilot [for Jackass],” recalls Preston.
If you somehow don’t know, Jackass is an unscripted series of extremely terrible stunts that are dangerous, painful, and overall disgusting in nature, where a group of friends prank and dare each other to do things that humans should not do. It’s pretty awesome.
Many of the stunts that Preston performed were cringe worthy, but of course we wanted to know from his point of view which one was the most painful. He answered without hesitation, “Human Bowling ball. I went over the edge of a ramp and landed on a support chain that was holding up the ramp, and I broke some ribs, and that was the worst one ever. You can’t breathe, you can’t laugh, and when you sneeze.. shew.” But somehow the most painful thing he has ever done was not the craziest thing he had ever done. “The Bungee Jump with “Wee Man” [Jason Acuña] was one of the craziest things I have done. That was pretty scary because I was afraid I might hit him, and that would be like a bus hitting a Volkswagen,” Lacy continued. (In the video you can actually see Preston trembling in fear before the stunt.) The Bungee Jump consisted of Wee Man and Preston tethered together with a bungee. Wee Man jumps off of a bridge and, with more humor than style, pulls Preston down behind him. It’s well worth a Google.
It’s safe to say that over the course of Preston’s Jackass career he has ran the gamut of crazy stunts, but he says that it is possible he isn’t done abusing himself. Preston said, “It is the funniest and most fun job ever, almost all day, and then there is about 15 minutes when your life is the worst it’s ever been. We still get together for writing meetings in case there is ever another show.”
Lacy recently performed to a packed house at Half Pint Taproom & Restoration Hall along with three other comedians that he hand picked for the downtown performance. The sold out show was a success and a good time was had by all. The comedy crew even stayed after the show to hang out with fans. Preston Lacy may be a “Jackass” on screen, but he’s a pretty down to earth guy in the bar.