Johnny Knoxville

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Johnny Knoxville
Knoxville at the Jackass 3D premiere in Berlin, October 2010
Born Philip John Clapp Jr.
(1971-03-11) March 11, 1971 (age 44)
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A
Nationality American
Education South-Doyle High School
Occupation Stunt performer, comedian, actor, screenwriter, and producer
Years active 1992–present
Notable work Jackass
Spouse(s) Melanie Cates (1995–2008; divorced; 1 child)
Naomi Nelson (2010–present; 2 children)
Parent(s) Philip Clapp, Sr.
Lemoyne Clapp

Philip John "PJ" Clapp Jr., known by his stage name Johnny Knoxville (born March 11, 1971), is an American stunt performer, comedian, actor, screenwriter and film producer. He is best known as a co-creator and star of the MTV reality stunt show Jackass.

Early life[edit]

Knoxville was born Philip John Clapp, Jr. in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Philip Clapp, Sr., was a tire/car salesman, and his mother, Lemoyne Clapp (née Houck), taught Sunday school.[1][2][3] Knoxville credits a copy of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, given to him by his cousin, singer-songwriter Roger Alan Wade, with giving him the acting bug.[4][5] After graduating from South-Young High School in 1989 in Knoxville, he moved to California to become an actor. In the beginning, Knoxville appeared mostly in commercials and made several minor appearances as an extra. When the "big break" he sought eluded him, he decided to create his own opportunities by writing and pitching article ideas to various magazines. An idea to test self-defense equipment on himself captured the interest of Jeff Tremaine's skateboarding magazine Big Brother, and the stunts were filmed and included in Big Brother '​s "Number Two" video.

Johnny Knoxville at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.

In October 2013 on the late night talk show Conan, Knoxville revealed that he comes from significant inbreeding.[6][7][8] Knoxville discovered this when he hired an American genealogist to help trace his family tree. It was during the search that the extent of inbreeding among his family was actually discovered, the genealogist informed Knoxville.

"Sit down," the genealogist advised Knoxville. "You know, in these rural mountain regions you come from, no one ever goes into the community and no one ever leaves the community. So it's not uncommon that there's in-breeding in those communities,” the genealogist said. When Knoxville asked if there was inbreeding in his family, the genealogist replied with "a significant amount". Knoxville was not alarmed, but amused.[9]


Main article: Jackass (TV series)

Knoxville and co-founder Joseph R. Sperry are responsible for many of the ideas in Jackass. The show also stars Jeff Tremaine, Sean Cliver, and Dave Carnie who produced a pilot that used footage from Big Brother and Bam Margera's CKY videos. With help from Tremaine's friend, film director Spike Jonze, they pitched a series to various networks. A deal was made with MTV and Jackass was born.[10] Knoxville also participated in the Gumball 3000 for Jackass along with co-stars Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Jackass director Jeff Tremaine, and producer Dimitry Elyashkevich. Prior to Jackass premiering on MTV, Knoxville and company turned down an offer to perform their stunts for Saturday Night Live on a weekly basis,[citation needed] though Knoxville later hosted a 2005 episode of the show.

Film and television roles[edit]

Johnny Knoxville at the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard premiere

Knoxville has been in several feature films, most notably starring opposite Seann William Scott in Jay Chandrasekhar's adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard. He starred in Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two, and Jackass 3D (which marked the 10th anniversary of the franchise). He played a two-headed alien in the 2002 film Men in Black II. Knoxville also worked with John Waters in A Dirty Shame in 2004, and appeared as a supporting character to The Rock in Walking Tall in the same year. He starred in Katrina Holden Bronson's Daltry Calhoun in 2005, and in The Ringer as an office worker who pretends to be disabled and joins the Special Olympics to pay for surgery for his office's janitor. He starred in the movie Lords of Dogtown as Topper Burks, made a minor appearance in the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly, and was featured as a guest voice on two episodes of King of the Hill.

Knoxville appeared in the John Madden-directed adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel, Killshot. He guest-starred in a Season 3 episode "Prank Wars" on Viva La Bam, in which he and Ryan Dunn trashed Bam Margera's Hummer and performed other pranks. He also voiced himself in an episode of Family Guy. Knoxville also co-produces The Dudesons in America and the now-canceled Nitro Circus on MTV. In 2010, Knoxville hosted a three-part online video for Palladium Boots titled Detroit Lives. The videos focus on the resurgence of creativity in Detroit. Recently, Knoxville guest starred as the voice of Johnny Krill, an extreme sports enthusiast, in a 2012 episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Knoxville voiced Leonardo in the 2014 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[11]

Production credits[edit]

Knoxville has a production company called Dickhouse Productions, which he owns and operates with Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze of the Jackass franchise.[12] Dickhouse projects include The Birth of Big Air (2010), a documentary about Mat Hoffman that was part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series, and The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2010), both of which have been picked up by Tribeca Films.[13]

In May 2014, Knoxville (along with Jackass Executive Producer/H.M.F.I.C. Derek Freda) formally announced the formation of a new production company called 'Hello Junior', which will continue Knoxville's now-longstanding relationship with Paramount Pictures, who have signed an exclusive two-year first-look deal with Knoxville and 'Hello Junior' in the wake of the massive success of Bad Grandpa in late 2013. Knoxville was quoted as saying, "I am over the damn moon about continuing an amazing partnership with Paramount Pictures," he said. "I have many more films to make and bones to break. I am glad I will be doing it for Paramount." [14]

Personal life[edit]

Knoxville married Melanie Lynn Cates on May 15, 1995. They have a daughter, Madison (born 1996).[15] His daughter can be heard in the credits for Jackass Number Two, is seen in "The Making of Jackass Two" on the special features on the DVD, and was seen in the credits of Jackass 3D, punching Tremaine with a boxing glove. After 11 years of marriage, the couple separated in July 2006. Knoxville filed for divorce on July 3, 2007.[15] The marriage was legally ended in March 2008,[16] with final divorce arrangements settled in July 2009.[17]

On August 18, 2009, Knoxville announced that he and his girlfriend Naomi Nelson were expecting a baby.[18] Nelson gave birth to a son, Rocko Akira Clapp, on December 20, 2009 in Los Angeles.[19] Knoxville and Nelson married on September 24, 2010.[20] Nelson gave birth to a daughter, Arlo Lemoyne Yoko Clapp, on October 6, 2011, in Los Angeles.[21]


On January 15, 2009, at the Los Angeles International Airport security workers discovered an inert grenade in his carry-on; he was detained and was cited for carrying a prohibited item into the airport.[22] He was released following the investigation when it was determined that the item was a prop from a commercial, and that an assistant had packed his bag for him.[22]

On February 4, 2009, Knoxville explained on The Howard Stern Show how he tore his urethra during a stunt for Nitro Circus explaining how he had to flush it twice daily. He said this was done by "sticking a tube into his penis all the way up to his bladder", referring to the practice of catheterization. Knoxville said the process prevented scar tissue from forming.[23]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Desert Blues Bob
2000 Coyote Ugly College guy
2002 Life Without Dick Dick Rasmusson
Big Trouble Eddie Leadbetter
Deuces Wild Vinnie Fish
Men in Black II Scrad / Charlie
Jackass: The Movie Himself Writer
2003 Grand Theft Parsons Phil Kaufman
2004 Walking Tall Ray Templeton
A Dirty Shame Ray Ray Perkins
2005 Lords of Dogtown Topper Burks
The Dukes of Hazzard Luke Duke
Daltry Calhoun Daltry Calhoun
The Ringer Steve Barker
2006 Jackass Number Two Himself Writer and producer
2007 Jackass 2.5
2010 Father of Invention Troy Coangelo
Jackass 3D Himself Writer and producer
Detroit Lives Documentary
2011 Jackass 3.5
The Dry Gulch Kid Bobby Ryder
2012 Nature Calls Kirk
Fun Size Jörgen
2013 The Last Stand Lewis Dinkum
Movie 43 Pete
Small Apartments Tommy Balls
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Irving Zisman Writer and producer
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo Voice
2015 Skiptrace Conno Watts Filming
2016 Elvis & Nixon Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Cure fan 1 episode
1999 boob Himself
2000–2002 Jackass 25 episodes
2001 Don't Try This at Home: The Steve-O Video
The Andy Dick Show Wannabe Andy Dick 2 episodes
2001–2005 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself 3 episodes
2001–2010 The Daily Show 4 episodes
2002 CKY 4 Latest & Greatest
Jackass Backyard BBQ
MTV Cribs 1 episode
Howard Stern 2 episodes
2003–2006 Wildboyz 10 episodes
2003–2009 Late Night with Conan O'Brien 5 episodes
2003 Player$ 1 episode
V Graham Norton
Australian Idol
2004 SexTV
Viva La Bam
2004–2010 Late Show with David Letterman 4 episodes
2005 Sunrise 1 episode
Good Morning Australia
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Jackass: Gumball 3000 Rally Special
Saturday Night Live 2 episodes
2005–2010 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 8 episodes
Last Call with Carson Daly 2 episodes
2006 King of the Hill Peter Sterling 1 episode
The Henry Rollins Show Himself
Howard Stern on Demand
2007 Adventures in Hollyhood
2008 WWE Raw
Jackass World 24 Hour Takeover
Family Guy
King of the Hill Hoyt Platter
Unhitched Chuck
2009 Dogg After Dark Himself
Dancing with the Stars 3 episodes
Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory 1 episode
Nitro Circus 10 episodes
Creator and executive producer
The Goode Family Dean 1 episode
2010 The Dudesons Himself
The Dudesons in America 3 episodes
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 1 episode
The Graham Norton Show
2011 Ridiculousness
2012 Loiter Squad
SpongeBob SquarePants Johnny Krill
2014 Drunk History Johnny Cash and Preston Brooks 2 episodes
Maron Himself 1 episode


  1. ^ "Strictly+for+Jackasses". The Times (London). Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Meet Jackass the Sophisticated Dude; You Want Rowdy and Moronic? Johnny Knoxville Is Poised and Bookish, if You Please". The New York Times. November 4, 2002. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Knoxville: A Southern mix of contradictions", USAToday, August 8, 2005.
  5. ^ "Overview for Johnny Knoxville". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  6. ^ Arnold, Ben. "Johny Knoxville Discovers He Comes From Significant Inbreeding". 
  7. ^ "Johnny Knoxville Discovers He Comes From 'Significant In-breeding'".  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  9. ^ Birk, Raj-Kabir. "Johnny Knoxville discovers his incestuous lineage". Tribute. 
  10. ^ Scott, Mike (August 4, 2009). "Johnny Knoxville: 'Jackass' star Steve-O almost ready to dive back into his work". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  11. ^ "Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub Lend Voices To ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ ". Deadline. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  12. ^ "". [1]. 18 Oct 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O: Jackass 3D". 15 Oct 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  14. ^ "Johnny Knoxville Signs Exclusive Two-Year First-Look Deal With Paramount". 19 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  15. ^ a b "Johnny Knoxville Files For Divorce". CBS News. Jul 4, 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  16. ^ "Johnny Knoxville, Single Jackass". TMZ. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Johnny Knoxville to Pay $6,000 Monthly in Child Support". People. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ dickhouse productions. "dickhouse". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  19. ^ "'Jackass' star Johnny Knoxville has a new recruit: Baby boy Rocko". Monsters and December 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  20. ^ "Johnny Knoxville Gets Married". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Johnny Knoxville expecting third child". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  22. ^ a b "Johnny Knoxville brings unarmed grenade to LAX". MSNBC. January 15, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  23. ^ "Stern Show News — Archive". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 

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