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Dave Carnie Interview

If you were to ask me if I love Dave Carnie, I'd have to be honest and say "Yes". Not in a gay way, mind you. I'm not into that sort of thing, although he looked pretty swanky wearing that dress in AKA Girl Skater. Anyway...

His antics with Big Brother Magazine were legendary and he hasn't lost that raw comedic edge with which he can reduce any situation to sex or poop. I found this interview (don't recall where at this point) and thought I'd share (steal and re-post) it.

Dave Carnie Interview 2004

First known for editing skateboarding's most controversial magazine, Big Brother, Dave Carnie refused to follow the bombastic path set by a stable of successful skate magazines. Finding more engaging material in the sublime and ridiculous of skateboarding culture, Dave set out to provoke his critics and entertain his fans with puerile humor and silly stunts made in earnest. His printed concept inevitably became a series of videos, and in turn they became the TV series, Jackass.

The thing is that, despite the stretched leotards and heaving nappies accessorizing Dave's alluringly vagrant-like veneer on film; talk to him in person and you find a thoroughbred American who revels in sarcasm, has an acute interest in the culinary arts and has finally come to find reconciliation with the word 'extreme'.

I invited Dave Carnie to London to present the Crazy B*st*rds series of films on Extreme and he immediately agreed - on the condition that we would take him to visit Jamie Oliver's swanky London restaurant.

Hi Dave. Are you looking forward to coming to London?

Oh, yeah. Well, like I said I want to come and give Jamie Oliver a good kick in the taco. Me and Tania, we like to watch The Food Network and we especially love that 15 program with Jamie Oliver. They all act so slovenly. I want to come to London and get served dinner by the really fat-headed girl.

Do you have any favorites films for the Crazy B*st*rds line-up?

Yeah, there are some really good ones in there. I mean, I love Pritchard and Dainton and Wee Man, he's my buddy too.

Do you get along OK with Mike V these days? Only I heard you didn't get on...

Oh, he's always pissed at me for something. It's a joke we have.

Have you got your outfit planned yet for filming?

Not yet. Well, I do have my socks.

So, who's going to look after Gary while you're away? [Dave's notoriously spoiled cat].

Our friend Jessica will come by and look after Gary. We'll leave her a bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge, so she can come over and pop a bottle of wine. If I go away and Tania's here alone, Gary starts acting all crazy. He gets protective. Last time I left him alone with Tania he brought home a dove's head.

That's' evil.

Yeah, you don't f**k with my cat. Well, I've just bought this house in Glendale and he's kicking off all the time now. Here there are coyotes and raccoons and skunks - lots of wildlife for Gary to fight with.

Everyone here felt really sad about the end of Big Brother, I think because it's the kind of magazine that kids grew up with.

It was sad, I think the magazine still had another year or so in it.

We never thought of ourselves as anything in particular but Big Brother did somehow create this kind of family. Although - the people who actually read our magazine tended to be weird, nerdy kids, who bought Big Brother because they thought they'd see tits in it.

There was quite a lot of flak with people calling the mag 'porno for kids' and stuff. Did you like that?

Yeah, that's all definitely a compliment. We'd just like to take the piss out of people. Whatever you aren't supposed to do, we'd do it. We were on TV a lot in the early days you know, and the biggest reward I could get was watching how riled up we could get people. Big Brother was all about that sense of humor and sarcasm, but we Americans don't like people who have too much fun. No, we bomb them!! We liked to use irony and sarcasm ' and they liked to be offended.

Do you know who Doctor Laura is?

No.

She's this right-wing radio host, she's quite brash you know. Well, she kicked off a gnarly campaign against this poor little surf shop. Like a tiny, little coastal surf shop. And this wasn't even because they were selling Big Brother or anything ' they just had a copy of it on the counter that the kid who owned the shop was reading. On the counter! This poor kid had Doctor Laura screaming at him, and she tried to sue the shop. Anyway, it got thrown out of court in the end - it was just a stupid waste of time.

How did the Big Brother videos come about from the magazine?

Well, I don't know. We just thought it'd be fun to make a video. Every skate company had a video. It looked a lot like the magazine, because what we didn't like was just skating without any of the humor or anything.

So the first one we made was called Shit [which has since disappeared, at least out of ExSpCh's radar]. That was a gnarly video back then, but now it's like comparing Elvis to Slayer - more of an oldie but a goodie, y'know? But to me personally, the east coast tour from the video was just the best.

Then there were number two, boob and crap.

In fact, the title for boob was the cleverest thing I've ever done. All the other names of the videos had something to do with shit, except for this one. But wait!

If you turn the video upside down and read the title from a mirror' it says 'poop'!

Why didn't you want to be in Jackass?

Well, we started off with me, Jeff [Tremaine], Sean [Cliver], PJ [Johnny Knoxville] and Spike [Jonze]. PJ wanted to be on TV, I mean he trained as an actor, so I was trying to think of stuff he could do to get on TV. But, in the end, I was busy editing Big Brother and I wanted to write, I didn't necessarily want to be on TV like this. So some people stayed on it, and some people bailed out.

We did have fun though. I wrote this one thing for the first series with me and Pontius [Party Boy]. It was pretty funny, where we were holding auditions for a front-man for a funk-metal band.

What's funk-metal?

You know, Korn and Limp Bizkit and shit.

Oh, like nu-metal.

Yeah, so we made up this fake band. We were gonna rehearse these gnarly alpha-male singers who were all psyched and going 'ggggrrrmphhh!' [Dave makes some nu-metal aggresso noise].

Then we'd start jumping around and getting all gay on them.

It was funny but we were only gonna get 300 bucks for it. We were being asked to make dicks of ourselves for what was really a pittance and it led me to feel that I didn't want to work with MTV.

Yeah but, hang on, how do I phrase this? Don't you think it's come full-circle with you now guest presenting on the Extreme Sports Channel? [For those who don't know: when Dave edited Big Brother he made it his raison d'‘etre to declaim the word 'extreme'].

Don't make me think about it - I can block it out.

Well, no. Let me put it like this... if you think of Led Zeppelin, what do you think of? You don't think of this big balloon thing made of iron, do you? You think of this great, great rock band. Like them, the Extreme Channel, you have transcended your name.

OK, you're in Dave. We'll meet you at Jamie Oliver's.


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