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Why A Man Named Jack Ass Sued A Famous TV Show

AI image of a man looking cross while watching TV

The U.S. is the land of the bizarre lawsuit.

In recent years, we have seen lawsuits from:

  • A man who sued Basketball superstar Michael Jordan for looking like him
  • A man sued McDonald's over the number of napkins he received
  • So, it didn't come as that much of a surprise when a man called Jack Ass sued the TV show Jackass.

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    Who was Jack Ass?

    To be clear, Jack Ass is not a victim of needlessly cruel parenting.

    In fact, Jack Ass was a man born as Bob Craft, from Montana.

    In 1997, Mr Craft decided to change his name for noble reasons.

    He ran a non-profit organisation to promote safe and sober driving.

    It had the slogan "Be a smart ass, not a dumb ass."

    The organization and his name change came out of tragedy, following the death of his brother in a road crash.

    But in 2003, Mr Ass came across the show Jackass.

    For the uninitiated, Jackass was a show where Jonny Knoxville and a cohort of young, muscular and somewhat unhinged men would do crazy stunts for the entertainment of viewers.

    Jack Ass then decided the best course of action would be to sue Viacom, the makers of the show, for $10 million.

    He claimed the show's name plagiarized his own, and the crude antics of Knoxville and co were defaming his character.

    The suit said: "I strongly feel that the Defendants Plagiarized, trademark and copyright infringement on my legal name (Jack Ass) and the cartoon character (Andi Ass)."

    "Therefore I (Jack Ass) pray this court will punish the Defendants to the maximum the law allows and that damages are no less than $10,000,000."

    The suit was met with little sympathy from Knoxville, who is quoted as saying: "What do I care? I can't wait to get served the papers. What could be more American than just suing the living **** out of someone for no reason at all?"

    What happened?

    The case was dismissed.

    Tragically, Jack Ass took his own life later in 2003.

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