Johnny Knoxville

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Johnny Knoxville
Knoxville at the Jackass 3D premiere in Berlin, October 2010
Philip John Clapp

(1971-03-11) March 11, 1971 (age 50)
OccupationActor, stunt performer, filmmaker, comedian
Years active1992–present
Notable work
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in) [1]
Melanie Cates
(m. 1995; div. 2008)

Naomi Nelson
(m. 2010)

Philip John Clapp (born March 11, 1971),[2][3] known professionally as Johnny Knoxville, is an American actor, stunt performer, filmmaker, and comedian. He is best known as a co-creator and star of the MTV reality stunt show Jackass, which aired for three seasons from 2000 to 2002. A year later, Knoxville and his co-stars returned for the first installment in the Jackass film series, with a second and third installment being released in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013), the first film in the series with a storyline, saw him star as his Jackass character Irving Zisman. According to Knoxville, Jackass Forever, slated to be released in 2022, will be his last Jackass film.[4]

Knoxville has had acting roles in films such as Men in Black II (2002), A Dirty Shame and Walking Tall (both 2004), The Dukes of Hazzard, The Ringer, and a cameo role as a sleazy corporate president of a skateboard company in Lords of Dogtown (all 2005), The Last Stand (2013), and Skiptrace (2016). He also voiced Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014).

Early life[edit]

Knoxville was born Philip John Clapp in Knoxville, Tennessee.[3] His father, Philip (1935–2018), was a tire/car salesman, and his mother, Lemoyne Clapp (née Houck; 1938–2017), taught Sunday school.[5][6][7] He has two older sisters.[8]

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.[9][10]

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.


Knoxville is responsible for many of the ideas in Jackass, and is often seen as the de facto leader of the crew. The show is directed by Jeff Tremaine, 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.[11]

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,[12] though Knoxville later hosted a 2005 episode of the show.

Film and television roles[edit]

Knoxville at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con

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, however, his character was subsequently removed from the final cut of the film. 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 voiced himself in an episode of Family Guy. He co-produced 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. Knoxville guest-starred as the voice of Johnny Krill, an extreme sports enthusiast, in "Extreme Spots", a 2012 episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Knoxville voiced Leonardo in the 2014 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[13] but did not appear in the sequel.[14]

Production credits[edit]

Knoxville (right) with Jeff Tremaine (left) and Bad Grandpa co-star Jackson Nicoll

Knoxville has a production company called Dickhouse Productions, which he owns and operates with Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze of the Jackass franchise.[15] Dickhouse's 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.[16]

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."[17]

Personal life[edit]

Knoxville married Melanie Lynn Cates on May 15, 1995. They have a daughter, Madison (born 1996).[18] 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 eleven years of marriage, the couple separated in July 2006. Knoxville filed for divorce on July 3, 2007.[18] The marriage was legally ended in March 2008,[19] with final divorce arrangements settled in July 2009.[20]

On February 4, 2009, Knoxville explained on The Howard Stern Show how he tore his urethra during a stunt for Jackass Presents: Mat Hoffman's Tribute to Evel Knievel,[21] describing 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 urinary catheterization. Knoxville said the process prevented scar tissue from forming[22] and performed the procedure "twice a day for three and a half years" after the injury.[23]

On August 18, 2009, Knoxville announced that he and his girlfriend Naomi Nelson were expecting a baby.[24] Nelson gave birth to a son that December in Los Angeles.[25] Knoxville and Nelson married on September 24, 2010.[26] Nelson gave birth to a daughter in October 2011, in Los Angeles.[27]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Desert Blues Bob
1998 Number Two: Big Brother Himself (uncredited) Direct-to-video
1999 boob Himself Direct-to-video
2001 Crap: Big Brother Himself (uncredited) Direct-to-video
2000 Coyote Ugly College Guy
2001 Don't Try This at Home: The Steve-O Video Himself Direct-to-video
2001 CKY3 Himself Direct-to-video
2002 Life Without Dick Dick Rasmusson
2002 Big Trouble Eddie Leadbetter
2002 Deuces Wild Vinnie 'Fish'
2002 Men in Black II Scrad / Charlie
2002 Jackass: The Movie Himself and Irving Zisman Writer and producer
2002 CKY4: The Latest & Greatest Himself Direct-to-video
2003 Grand Theft Parsons Phil Kaufman
2004 Walking Tall Deputy Ray Templeton
2004 A Dirty Shame Ray 'Ray-Ray' Perkins
2004 Steve-O: The Early Years Himself Direct-to-video
2005 Lords of Dogtown Topper Burks
2005 The Dukes of Hazzard Luke Duke
2005 Daltry Calhoun Daltry Calhoun
2005 The Ringer Steve Barker / Jeffie
2006 Jackass Number Two Himself and Irving Zisman Writer and producer
2007 Jackass 2.5
2008 Jackass Presents: Mat Hoffman's Tribute to Evel Knievel Himself Direct-to-video
2009 Jackass: The Lost Tapes Direct-to-video
2010 Father of Invention Troy Coangelo
2010 Jackass 3D Himself and Irving Zisman Writer and producer
2011 Jackass 3.5
2012 Nitro Circus: The Movie Himself
2012 Nature Calls Kirk
2012 Fun Size Jörgen Uncredited
2013 The Last Stand Lewis Dinkum
2013 Movie 43 Pete
2013 Small Apartments Tommy Balls
2013 Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Irving Zisman Writer and producer
2014 Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.5
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo Voice
2015 Being Evel Himself Documentary
2016 Elvis & Nixon Sonny West
2016 Skiptrace Connor Watts
2017 Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine Himself Documentary
2018 Half Magic Father Gary
2018 Action Point Deshawn Crious 'D.C.' Carver Writer and producer
2018 Rosy James
2019 Polar Michael Green
2019 Above Suspicion Cash
2019 We Summon the Darkness Pastor John Henry Butler
2020 Steve-O: Gnarly Himself Direct-to-video
2020 Mainstream Ted Wick
2022 Jackass Forever Himself / Irving Zisman Writer and producer


Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Cure Fan 1 episode
1999 Big Brother Himself
2000–2002 Jackass Himself 25 episodes
2001 The Andy Dick Show Wannabe Andy Dick 2 episodes
2002 Jackass Backyard BBQ Himself TV special
2002 MTV Cribs Himself 1 episode
2003–2006 Wildboyz Himself 10 episodes
2003 Player$ Himself 1 episode
2003 Australian Idol Himself
2004 Cooking Channel Himself
2004 Viva La Bam Himself 1 episode
2005 Saturday Night Live Himself 1 episode
2005 Jackass: Gumball 3000 Rally Special Himself TV special
2006 King of the Hill Peter Sterling 1 episode
2007 Adventures in Hollyhood Himself
2008 WWE Raw Himself 1 episode
2008 24 Hour Takeover Himself TV special
2008 Family Guy Himself (voice) Episode: "The Man with Two Brians"
2008 King of the Hill Hoyt Platter
2008 Unhitched Chuck
2009 Dogg After Dark Himself
2009 Dancing with the Stars Himself 3 episodes
2009 Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory Himself 1 episode
2009 Nitro Circus Himself 10 episodes
Creator and executive producer
2009 Steve-O: Demise and Rise Himself TV movie documentary
2009 The Goode Family Dean 1 episode
2010 The Dudesons Himself 1 episode
2010 The Dudesons in America Himself 3 episodes
2010 WWE Raw Himself 1 episode
2011 Ridiculousness Himself 1 episode
2011 A Tribute to Ryan Dunn Himself TV movie documentary
2012-2013 Loiter Squad Himself 2 episodes
2012 SpongeBob SquarePants Johnny Krill Episode: "Extreme Spots"
2014–2018 Drunk History Various 4 episodes
2014 Maron Himself 1 episode
2014 CKY: The Greatest Hits Himself TV special
2015 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself 1 episode (Unexpected guest in a segment)
2020 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt C.J. Special: "Kimmy vs the Reverend"
2021 Jackass Shark Week Himself Executive producer
2021 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself 1 episode

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Jackass: The Game Himself Voice and motion capture

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Track Role Notes
2002 Andrew W.K. We Want Fun Himself
2006 Chris Pontius Karazy Himself
2010 Weezer Memories Himself

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Hot Ones Himself 1 episode
2021 Undercover Himself 1 episode


  1. ^ "Johnny Knoxville - Biography". Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  2. ^ "Johnny Knoxville: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Johnny Knoxville: Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  4. ^ Sledge, Philip (June 20, 2021). "Jackass 4: Release Date, Cast And Other Things We Know About The Johnny Knoxville Movie". CinemaBlend. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  5. ^ "Strictly+for+Jackasses". The Times. London. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ Gouch, Beth Harrison. "East High School Class of 1956 1952-1956, Knoxville, TN".
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Knoxville: A Southern mix of contradictions", USAToday, August 8, 2005.
  10. ^ "Overview for Johnny Knoxville". Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Scott, Mike (August 4, 2009). "Johnny Knoxville: 'Jackass' star Steve-O almost ready to dive back into his work". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  12. ^ "The Washington Times - In a Southern state of mind". Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub Lend Voices To 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'". Deadline. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  14. ^ "INTERVIEW: Johnny Knoxville Talks To Me About 'Elvis & Nixon'". April 20, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "welcome to - dickhouse". Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  16. ^ "Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O: Jackass 3D". October 15, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  17. ^ "Johnny Knoxville Signs Exclusive Two-Year First-Look Deal With Paramount". May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Johnny Knoxville Files For Divorce". CBS News. July 4, 2007. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  19. ^ "Johnny Knoxville, Single Jackass". TMZ. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  20. ^ Lee, Ken. "Johnny Knoxville to Pay $6,000 Monthly in Child Support". People. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  21. ^ Yamato, Jen. "Johnny Knoxville: How I Broke My Penis". Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  22. ^ "Stern Show News — Archive". Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  23. ^ Roach, Vicky. "Bad Grandpa and Jackass star Johnny Knoxville reflects on his worst injury". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  24. ^ dickhouse productions. "dickhouse". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  25. ^ "'Jackass' star Johnny Knoxville has a new recruit: Baby boy Rocko". Monsters and December 23, 2009. Archived from the original on December 26, 2009. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  26. ^ "Johnny Knoxville Gets Married". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  27. ^ "Baby No. 3 On the Way for Johnny Knoxville". People. Retrieved August 8, 2012.

External links[edit]