Search icon

Movies & TV

29th Oct 2013

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – it’s JOE’s favourite cinematic Grandpas

What a bunch of grumpy, violent, drug-addled aul basta*ds...

Eoghan Doherty

To celebrate the release of the very funny Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, JOE takes a look at some of the best (and worst) Grandpa characters to ever grace the big screen.

The indestructible Johnny Knoxville has returned to our cinemas as 86-year-old Irving Zisman, the dirty aul man made famous from his regular appearances in MTV’s Jackass.

The semi-scripted movie sees Zisman taking his young grandson (Jackson Nicoll) on an inevitably inappropriate road trip from hell and, through the usual Jackass hidden cameras, captures the priceless reactions of the public as the pair destroy weddings, funerals and even infiltrate a kids’ beauty pageant – with Nicoll dressed as an 8 year old stripper.

That’s ‘Good Grandparenting 101’ right there folks.

This week, we’ve already checked out the crazy career of the film’s star Johnny Knoxville, as well as highlighted some of JOE’s favourite ever Jackass stunts. Now though, it’s time for the Grandpappys, the Gramps and the Paw Paws of the silver-haired screen to step up.

Speaking of up, it’s Up.

Carl Fredricksen – Up (2009)

Pixar’s 2009 tale of a widower Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner) and his unexpected brilliant balloon adventures with a young Wilderness Explorer named Russell (voiced by Jordan Nagai) is still one of the best old person/young person double acts ever filmed/animated/sent by the Devil to make men cry.

OK, OK. So technically Carl isn’t actually Russell’s Grandfather, but you have to agree he’s as good as, if not better.  Anyone who says otherwise is just a big smelly, meanie.

“Old man coming through.”

Vito Corleone – The Godfather (1972)

Vito Andolini Corleone AKA Don Corleone (portrayed brilliantly by Marlon ‘I’ve got golf balls in my mouth’ Brando) was a Godfather and a Grandfather who loved not just his family, but also The Family.

If this guy reminds you of your own Grandad then you should probably sign up for your local Witness Protection Program.


Here’s the moment in Francis Ford Coppola’s peerless film The Godfather when the Don dies the perfect death, playing in the orange grove with his grandson Anthony.

Royal Tenenbaum – The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Sure, Gene Hackman as the prickish patriarch from Wes Anderson’s amazing film The Royal Tenenbaums is a horribly insensitive man, a woeful husband and a failure as a father (he did intentionally shoot one of his kids after all), but by Jeebus, he’s one of the best bad Grandpas out there.

After their mother dies, Royal lights up the lives of his two grandsons so, even though he controversially pretended to have cancer to get close to his family, you can almost forgive him his misgivings.


“I’m talkin’ about puttin’ a brick through the other guy’s windshield.”

Edwin Hoover – Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Alan Arkin in 2006’s sleeper hit Little Miss Sunshine may be a Hoover, but he certainly doesn’t suck. Wahey!

As Edwin Hoover, Arkin won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a heroin addict Grandad who lives slap bang in the middle of his incredibly dysfunctional, and incredibly lovable, family.

Here he is expertly coaching his Little Miss Sunshine granddaughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) on how to be the perfect beauty pageant entrant:

Oh, and he really doesn’t like chicken

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is in cinemas now SO GO AND SEE IT.