I obviously didn’t know Zach as well as I did Ryan Dunn, but it’s important to me that his memory is not forgotten. Ryan first introduced us to Zach in 2006 when we went to West Chester to shoot jackass number two. We ended up hiring him as a production assistant for the two weeks we were there filming. Zach and Ryan hung out all the time and they had similar mannerisms and senses of humor; therefore, I got along with him right away. Here are a few stories from that time ... sorry that they’re kind of gross:
Zach was a war vet and he was pretty hardcore. If you messed with him it was going to come back to you tenfold. I can’t remember exactly what Trip [Taylor] had done to him while we there, but the payback was that Zach got a key to Trip’s hotel room and peed on both of his pillows. It takes balls to do that to Trip—trust me. On another day, I'd done something mean to him, and for that he shit into a Wawa cup during a morning coffee stop and put it on the hood of our car.
We hung out every night after filming and right away it felt like we had been friend’s for a long time. One of these nights we were out shooting pool and I had an impossible shot. I bet Zach that if I made it he would have to drink a glass of pee—mine. I hit the shot and he honored the bet. I know it sounds disgusting, but my pee isn’t that bad. In fact, Knoxville hardly ever notices whenever I pee in his drinks.
Aside from all these pranks, Zach took his job for us seriously and worked really hard. I appreciated him very much and will always consider him my friend.
Rest in peace, brother.
I am at a loss for words for the tragic departing of our good friends Ryan and Zach. I felt that I needed to share a quick story about Zach that made me laugh out loud. While at the memorial service for Ryan, we were toasting our friends when everyone reminded me of a story from one of our shoots in Philly for jackass. I cannot remember the reason for Zach's retaliation against me, but knowing me I definitely deserved it. To get back at me, Zach had keyed into my hotel room and decided to piss all over my pillows. By the time I came to the room to sleep, I was surprised to feel that my pillows were soaked and had a pungent smell of urine.
After doing a little bit of investigating or interrogation, I found out it was Zach. I laid into him—people who know me well know I can be an aggressive ass sometimes—but I did it to put up a front. What I was really feeling was a sense of respect for Zach: the kid had balls. How could I really be mad at someone for doing what we have all done as friends to each other for years? In our weird circle, Zach's respect level with me went up 100-percent. I later pulled him aside and told him how funny I thought it was and that I respected his retaliation... "Just don't do that shit again."
I feel so blessed that in the last month before the accident I'd been in contact with Zach. He reached out to ask for my help on a project he was doing. It was a very creative idea and it was focused on doing good things and exposing an industry that takes advantage of the little people. I am so sad that I now will not be able to help Zach finish something that he was so proud of and put so much heart into. It has taken me so long to write this because I well into tears every time my hands hit the keys. I will miss the two of them so much, but they will live inside of me forever until I join them.
Much respect and love for my lost brothers.
(Photo by Shanna Zablow; West Chester, Pennsylvania 2006)