RIP, Cryin' Ryan Dunn

It always looked like it hurt with Ryan. The other guys on Jackass varied in their reactions to pain. Bam sometimes laughed as he was being hit, while Johnny Knoxville writhed while instantly reviewing the precise degree of pain he was in at that moment. Danger Ehren barely registered his agonies, while Preston Lacy seemed almost outraged when he was hurt. Chris Pontius, aka "Party Boy,"  seemed to enjoy it.

What made Ryan Dunn so enjoyable was his genuine fear and agony. In every stunt he did in Jackass' neverending string of fart-opera stuntworks Dunn appeared legitimately terrified before, and very legitimately in agony afterward. His nickname was "Cryin'" Ryan Dunn, and with reason: Dunn appeared to have both the lowest pain tolerance of any of the cast members, and yet was just as willing to go through with any degree of torture or backyard derring-do to get the shot, albeit not before ten seconds of obvious blind terror leading up to the act itself. He was the most reasonable member of the Jackass crew for his fear, and also the most deranged for his willingness to go through with what was, by any measure of the world, an insane act done in the name of entertaining total strangers.

It only makes sense that when others were unwilling to do, he did. No shopping cart stunt went undone, no human catapult went unsnapped, and no golf cart went unflipped with Ryan Dunn. Watch how many Jackass skits end with Ryan Dunn taking a stunt to its illogical limit. Dunn was the group's closer, and rode the concept of a piece to its breaking point in wheelbarrows, off balconies, or to the doctor's office to ask how a toy car ended up in his rectum. In the Jackass symphony, Dunn's appearances were the gong that let you know the piece was over; nothing was louder, and nothing more definitively said "The end."

Dunn died early Monday morning at 3:30 a.m.. His Porsche was going 110 miles per hour, and he had been drinking earlier that evening. The wreckage tells the story of what happened even if the details aren't entirely clear: Dunn was doing a scene, and he took it well past its logical conclusion. He finished it, just like he always did, and when it was over there was no doubt about its completion.

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