For the past few months, VICE has received dozens upon dozens of calls alerting us to the shenanigans of one Irving Zisman. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Irving is the sexually vigorous 86-year-old who appeared on the final season of Jackass and in the three feature films that followed, in which he serves as a role model for plain-speaking and horndog octogenarians across the globe
Irving's antics sometimes make people uncomfortable, but I believe his popularity stems from his willingness to say what other people are afraid to acknowledge: namely, that old people can be horny with the best of them, and that this is nothing new. Still, it came as a surprise that, according to our readers, Irving had been popping up across the United States for the past six months or so.
In August, a lucky lady whom Irving had tried and—to her detriment—failed to seduce in Charlotte, North Carolina, gave me Irving's phone number. Much to my delight, he picked up when I cold-called him, and I learned that the Jackass crew had been documenting his impromptu cross-country road trip following the death of his wife a few months before. The result is Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which will hit theaters on October 25.
Irving was kind enough to invite me and a small crew down to document the final days of filming, and besides being punched in the testicles by Jackson Nicoll, Irving's nine-year-old co-star, who plays his badly behaved grandson Billy, I learned a lot about how I plan to behave as a senior citizen.
Some people say that Irving is actually Johnny Knoxville in elaborate prosthetics and makeup, and given that the posters for the movie list him as the star of the film (and the fact that we filmed him in makeup), I guess I have no choice but to believe this claim. However, during my time with Irving, he never broke character once, which leads me to wonder whether 1) Irving is a real person and this has all been an elaborate ruse on the public, or 2) Johnny Knoxville is the Andy Kaufman of our generation, fully immersing himself in a role that blurs the line between entertainment and reality. Either way, I guarantee this movie will give you hope that as an old person you don't have to be whiny and smelling like urine all the time.
Given that complaints and piss are the two things I hate the most, I had the foresight to secretly record my initial conversation with Irving, which you can read in full below. At the time, I was unaware that his wife had passed.
Some months later, we also arranged a photo shoot in a hotel room with Irving and a few lovely ladies who had no problem with his virile, liver-spotted nature. Everyone had a fucking blast.
VICE: Hello, is this Irving?
Irving Zisman: Hello? How are you… Who is this? This is Rocco. I'm the editor in chief of a company called VICE. Can you hear me, Irving?
Hey! Speak up! Well, Irving, I've had readers of VICE across the country email and call me, saying that they've seen an old guy perving out on their girlfriends, driving an aquamarine green '81 Lincoln Continental around with a young blond-haired child, and… how do I say this delicately… doing things that wouldn't exactly be classified as good parenting or grandparenting, as the case may be. I just want to know what's up. Why am I getting so many calls? What have you been up to?
You're referring to my little cooter-stretching grandson Billy. Yeah, is he bait?
Is he what? Is he bait for the cougars?
No, he's not bait. He's a little cock-blocker is what he is! Does your wife know what you're up to? Wouldn't it upset her?
My wife passed away, thank God. Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Happiest day of my life. Then I guess… I'm happy for you?
Yeah, you should be happy. She didn't give me any poo-na-na for the past 25 years. Twenty-five?
At least 25 years. Shit, and I imagine you made it clear that you wanted it?
I was begging for it, even from her! I remember the last time we had sex; pulling down her panties was like unwrapping an old piece of candy. Like a Werther's Original?
You gotta use it or lose it, Rocco. How long were you married to her?
Damn near 50 years. Well, that's a problem sometimes in marriages, right? Everything kind of dries up, I guess.
Yeah, I mean, you're out whoring around and having a good time and gettin' all this poo-na-na, and then you get married, and you only have one place to get the poo-na-na, and she shuts the door. She shut both doors, by the way, if you know what I mean. Were they ever both open?
Oh yeah, when cotton blooms on the poontang trail, go around back to deliver the mail—that's my motto. Rain, sleet, or snow?
White, yellow, red, or black, makes no difference in the sack. My preferred woman is within reaching distance. Who gives a shit about color? The only color I see is pink. What was the first thing you did when your wife passed away?
The first thing I planned to do was to go out and dive in a big bowl of that ham saddle. You know what I'm talking about. Poontang, it's Mother Nature's candy, and I was going out to get a whole bag.
Back to your grandson, though, you said he was causing you some trouble with the ladies? Why has he been traveling with you on what was supposed to be an X-rated trip?
Well, I got my grandson dumped on me at my wife's funeral. My daughter had to go back to jail, so she left the kid with me right at my moment of freedom. I had to take his little ass all the way across the country to North Carolina, to his no-good father. And you haven't been able to use him as an asset? I feel like puppy dogs and little kids can be assets when you're looking to attract ladies.
He's not an asset, he's an asshole! Why didn't you try to pay it forward and leave him with his father?
I tried to ditch him the whole time! I tried to ship him to Raleigh. And they almost let me. What do you mean, "ship him"? Like in a box?
Yeah, in a box. I almost got away with it. And then you were stuck with him. I get it now. Too bad.
Yeah, there's nothing you can do. He's too young to ride the bus and they wouldn't let me ship him, so I had to drive his little ass all the way to North Carolina. Were there times you were really close to getting some poo-na-na that he ruined?
Yeah, I was close! Real close! I went to one of them strip-teaser clubs one night—my theory is, never go to a female strip club, OK? Because those girls are onstage getting paid, all right? They just wanna get paid. Go to male strip clubs, because the women there are hotter than panties on a clothesline, and they're just gaggin' for it. You're gonna be the only nonworking guy in there, you gotta use your head, use your head, Rocco! And by that, you mean both heads, right?
Yes, both. I doubt you're discriminatory so… younger women, older women, what was their initial reaction, usually, when you propositioned them? Were they turned on?
Yeah, 18 to 80, blind, crippled, or crazy, I'm not picky at all. And of course they're turned on! But ya know, I got the kid back in the room. I can't leave him there all night, so eventually I gotta go home. You could have put him in the closet or something.
Yeah, yeah, but you don't want the little rally stopper having to listen to all the ooohs and the ahhhs—that gets a little dark. Do you have any problems downstairs? Can you still get the boa uncoiled?
I might be too old to chop the lettuce, but I can still toss the salad, Rocco. One of the people who initially tipped me off to your little excursion said you told her you aren't very well endowed. Could that be part of your problem?
Oh yeah, it's little, but it's mean. Life is easy, it's me that's hard. So you really didn't get laid once?
Not once. But I gotta say, I'm so happy that school has started again, because Billy's in school and I can just roam free all day long. I've been hitting those oriental massage parlors. Do you have to ask for the happy ending, or do they just know that's what you're looking for?
Oh, they ask you what you want and you say, "I rike' to rick' kitty kitty." What is that?
What, you don't like lick kitty kitty? Do they let you do that?
Sure, sure! Put the ol' septum to the rectum. You know what I'm sayin'? Yes, I do. But tell us a little bit more about your trip. What other situations did you find yourself in because of your spoiled-brat grandson?
Well, he damn near killed me on a kiddie ride. I was sitting there talking to this young lady, this beautiful Latina, and some damn ride of his wasn't working so I had to go check it out. It damn near broke my neck when it exploded and shot through the glass of the store it was outside of. Another thing—I don't like to talk about it, but I got my dong accidentally stuck in a soda machine. How'd you do that?
I was trying to fuck it. Well, did you put quarters in it beforehand? Because maybe that was the problem…
No, I put my jim-dog in it! But you didn't pay for that function. You always have to pay for these things.
Maybe if I'd paid, it wouldn't have gotten stuck, huh? Maybe. How'd you get it out?
I had to tug! Were you worried you were going to rip it off?
Yeah! I asked a lot of people for help. But let me tell you, when you have your jim-dong stuck in a soda machine, people aren't that helpful. They didn't want to get within about ten feet of me. But I got it out eventually, and I applied some sports cream, and I'm fine now. Do you have any tips for picking up ladies that might be helpful to our readers?
I'd say scratch where it itches and rub where it twitches. That's some damn good advice. Also, if you can't get it up, don't get it out, all right? You didn't just show up to kiss and eat doughnuts, it's gotta be all business. You gotta be confident, Rocco. Women don't like little shit rabbits, they like confidence. Can we get more specific? Let's say you take your grandson to get ice cream, and you see a nice lady sitting down by herself, how would you approach her?
You just introduce yourself real politely, lean in where the little boy can't hear it, and whisper to her, "What I lack in size, I make up for in speed." They really respond to that. Are you referring to the speed at which you bring them to orgasm, or the speed at which you achieve orgasm?
Oh, speed at which I achieve orgasm; it's not gonna be much of a commitment the other way. Do you suffer from low-hanging testicles? I imagine that could be a problem, even if you do manage to convince a lady to get naked with you. Rumor has it they're naturally averse to balls, especially when they have enough slack to be tied into a knot.
Just between you, me, and the wall, mine do hang a little to the south, but what I do is I just put my nuts in my butt, and that way, I get around pretty easily. Are you worried about STDs? Do you practice safe sex?
When you get to be my age, who gives a shit really about safe sex? I'm 86 years old. What's the worst that can happen?
Do you come from a long line of virile men? Was your father a ladies' man like you?
Yeah, he was a real man-whore; I always looked up to him for that. Great man. As horny as you are at the moment, it sounds like you were still faithful to your wife while she was alive.
Well, if you don't count my hand, the couch, or the oriental massage parlors, I was 100 percent faithful to my wife. I figure if you're payin' for it, you're not cheatin'. Some people might have a difference of opinion on that.
When you start cheating with civilians, that's when it's cheating. Is there a certain age you can reach at which those rules don't apply anymore?
Yeah, when your wife dies. That's when those rules don't apply anymore. I have news for you, Rocco: she's dead now. Where are you based right now? Are there a lot of prospects around?
Well, my daughter, who's in jail right now, she got a place in Redondo Beach, and I brought my grandson out here for school. I'm loving it here on the West Coast! Gorgeous! The poontang capital of the world! Ohhh my God, what a school of tuna out here. What do you say to the people who are made uncomfortable by seeing a man of your age exercising his sexual prowess and freedom?
They can go shit in Memphis, that's what I got to say to them. People are too caught up in what other people are doing; just mind your own damn business. I ain't hurtin' nobody. Have you ever inadvertently hit on someone's wife or girlfriend? What was the fallout?
Oh yeah! If the husband's not within reaching distance that's fine too. It's all about proximity. How about alcohol? Is that something you use as a way to break the ice?
I'll drink anything too thin to eat. I love the booze. I tried that cocaine back in the 70s, never liked it though. Every time I would do it I would get a sinus infection, and I couldn't get an erection. So I'm wondering, why the fuck am I doing this cocaine? It's like pushing a chain with my cock, like playing ping-pong with an oyster when I do cocaine, so the hell with cocaine. What about Viagra?
Oh sure, sure, Viagra I love, that is a delicious treat. It's workin' like a bran muffin on me, I'll tell you that right now. Sometimes it gives me a bit of a headache, but it all works out in the end. How about pornography? Are you a fan?
Sure, I love pornography! Have you been able to freely enter the world of internet porn since your wife passed?
Yeah, I got me one of those computers and got on the worldwide internet. Would you ever think about starring in a porno film? Some people have a fetish when it comes to old folks.
Oooh, that sounds like a good idea… we could call it A Serving of Irving, or, Eat Me in St. Louis. You could be holding two hot dogs on the cover.
Keep going, keep going! I think we're going to end this interview now. I don't want to get you too excited and shoulder the responsibility for anything that might happen afterward.
Geez, you're gonna leave me like this? I'm going to leave you hanging, or maybe erect as the case may be.
Well, the day is still young. I can go down to the happy spa and catch the last train to Cooterville, I guess. That's gross, but I will offer you the opportunity to leave our readers with some words of wisdom. Got any?
Yes, I'd like to say to your readers: There's no such thing as bad poontang, some are just hairier than the others. Never forget that, kids. I'm sure they will never, ever forget that.
And remember: Never, ever get your knob polished by a gal who chews tobacco. That is unless you got a bee sting on your jim-dog. And never look a gift whore in the mouth. What if she wants it in the mouth?
Well, I guess when in Rome… When in Rome, take out the bone? I don't know… Is there another rhyme there?
Wow, hey—you leave the comedy to me, you prick. OK, Irving, maybe I'll talk to you soon, maybe I won't, but I'll be living vicariously through your penis until then, which sort of makes me want to puke, but whatever.
OK, if I don't see ya through the weekend, I'll see ya through the window, kid! Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is out in theaters October 25. Watch down-and-dirty, behind-the-scenes footage this month on VICE.com.
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