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Johnny Knoxville Tells Incredible Story Of How 'Jackass' Came About

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Johnny Knoxville Tells Incredible Story Of How 'Jackass' Came About

It's hard to dislike Johnny Knoxville - he's funny, charismatic and seems like a genuinely nice bloke.

While we all know him from Jackass, he's revealed he worked his ass off in order to get that project off the ground.


He knew he wanted to be an actor before he left high school and once he graduated, he packed his bags and moved to Hollywood.


The 46-year-old wound up in a few commercials and was an extra in some projects, but he still couldn't land that big role.

Speaking to Maxim, Knoxville said: "I was making my living doing commercials for things like ESPN, Mountain Dew, and Bud Light. I was a complete whore because I had a young baby and I needed to make money.

"I had an idea for an article where I would test different types of self-defence equipment on myself. A few magazines wanted the story, but nobody wanted the liability.


"Everyone was fine with the pepper spray and the stun gun and the Taser gun. Where it got shady was where I was testing a bulletproof vest-with a .38.

"The only magazine that would do it was Big Brother."

That magazine focused on street skating and the culture around skateboarding, but they also explored virtually any topic they wanted and nothing was off limits. They produced articles about how to suicide or create a fake ID and became a fan favourite in the skating sphere for being so outrageous.


When Knoxville came knocking with his idea to test different self-defence objects, they leapt at it.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

After the video became a big success, Big Brother brought Knoxville on as a journalist. As they continued publishing incredible content, they brought in Bam Margera and his CYK Crew, which included Ryan Dunn, Brandon Dicamillo, and Raab Himself.

They shopped the idea of Jackass around to a bunch of TV networks and eventually they got MTV to sign on the dotted line.


The show became an instant success and catapulted the likes of Knoxville, Steve-O and Margera into celebrityhood.

Johnny says: "It was jarring, but it was a lot of fun. And I probably had a little too much fun. I definitely didn't handle it as well as I could have."

It's hard to imagine a world without Jackass and their spin-off shows, Wildboyz, Viva La Bam and Homewrecker, and we can pretty much credit Johnny Knoxville for having the balls in 1998 to get sprayed, shocked and shot to bring the concept into mainstream society.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, Celebrity, Big Brother, MTV, acting, Jackass, california

Stewart Perrie
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