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Why We Don't See Much Of Johnny Knoxville Nowadays

Why We Don't See Much Of Johnny Knoxville Nowadays

The actor and stunt performer was made famous by MTV's 'Jackass' but has been out the limelight for a while now.

Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

Johnny Knoxville was pretty much a cult hero to a lot us a few years ago. He didn't necessarily do anything groundbreaking, nor did he break the mould with his acting, but what he did do was be himself. He was a child in a grown man's body; fearless enough to go and do things that broke his bones, and, in one instance, his penis.

Way back in 2000, Knoxville had an idea for an article for Big Brother Magazine. He told the then editor of the mag, Jeff Tremaine, that he wanted to test various self-defence equipment on himself and then write it up.

Credit: MTV/Dickhouse

Tremaine told him that they should film it, too. That small idea went onto become the foundations of the Jackass TV show, and Knoxville and Tremaine would go on to become the star and the director, respectively.

I don't think the pair could have expected that messing around in a back garden with a few handheld cameras would turn into three television seasons, three movies, one spin-off and numerous DVD releases, but here we are.

The last time he did anything Jackass related, or indeed of major note, was back in 2013 in a spin-off from the films that made him, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.

Adopting a different format to the previous films, the movie followed Knoxville as he acted as Irving Zisman, an elderly guy who gets up to mischief with his grandson. The film had a script but had many real stunts set up along the way.

Since then he's voiced Leonardo in the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and a few special projects but he's been far less prolific than he used to be.


The main reason we don't see him as much is the same reason we don't see a lot of the cast of Jackass - Ryan Dunn's death. In 2011, Dunn passed away after a car crash, which also killed the passenger, Zach Hartwell. Instantly, there was a gaping hole in the stunt family.

Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Preston Lacy and Dave England were all stunned and heartbroken but none more so than Dunn's best friend, Bam Margera.

Not that the decision had to be made, but any work, or possibility of work in the future, was put well to the back of their minds as a reunion without their comrade didn't make sense.

Credit: PA

Truth be told, Knoxville also has a lot other things going for him rather than having to break his body. He's currently worth a reported $75 million. A good chunk of that is thanks to Jackass and films like Men in Black II, The Dukes of Hazard and Walking Tall. But he's also a producer, owning and operating Dickhouse Productions with Tremaine, as well as Hello Junior, another production company that works closely with Paramount Pictures.

Dickhouse produces shows such as Rob Dydrek's Fantasy Factory, Ridiculousness, Loiter Squad and Nitro Circus, as well as the Jackass series and subsequent films.

A pretty big factor in him being quiet is that he's a devoted family man. The 45-year-old married his first wife, Melanie Lynn Cates, in 1995. They had a daughter together, named Madison. Knoxville has her name tattooed on his chest, and she's received credits on the last two Jackass films.

The couple split up in 2006, and eventually divorced in 2007. He then met Naomi Nelsonsoon and married her in 2010. They have two kids together, Rocko Akira Clappand Arlo Lemoyne Yoko Clapp.

Despite always being willing to put his body on the line for entertainment, it's probably a welcome break for Johnny. Over the years he's amassed a number of injuries, filming the majority of the first season of Jackass with a cast on his leg, getting knocked out twice during the first film, almost dying in the second, and tearing open his hand to reveal a bone in the third.

None of these are anywhere near as gruesome as the time he broke his dick, though.

In 2007, he was paying tribute to Evel Knievel, attempting a back flip on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, as he reached the top of the ramp he was flung from the bike and had to watch as it came falling from sky, landing right in his crotch, tearing his urethra.

In the back of the ambulance, he said: "Why couldn't I have broken an arm, or leg, or collar bone? But no, I've got blood shooting out of my pee-pee."

Even now he has to use a catheter twice a day to stop scar tissue from forming, and he told Vanity Fair: "It's just like a dog's chew-toy down there."


Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, MTV, Jackass