Johnny Knoxville

Johnny Knoxville

Knoxville at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born Philip John Clapp Jr.
(1971-03-11) March 11, 1971
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.A
Nationality American
Education South-Doyle High School
Occupation Actor, comedian, film producer, screenwriter, stunt performer
Years active 1992–present
Notable work Jackass
Spouse(s) Melanie Cates (m. 1995; div. 2008)
Naomi Nelson (m. 2010)
Children 3
Parent(s) Philip Clapp, Sr.
Lemoyne Clapp

Johnny Knoxville (born Philip John Clapp, Jr.; March 11, 1971) is an American actor, comedian, film producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer. He is best known as a co-creator and star of the MTV reality stunt show Jackass, which aired for three seasons from 2000–2002. 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. In 2013, he starred in Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa as his Jackass character Irving Zisman. Knoxville has had acting roles in films like Men in Black II (2002), The Dukes of Hazzard, The Ringer (both 2005), The Last Stand (2013) and Skiptrace (2016). He also played Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014).

Early life

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.

In October 2013 on the late night talk show Conan, Knoxville revealed that he comes from significant inbreeding,[6] discovered 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. Knoxville was not alarmed, but amused.[7]


Main article: Jackass (TV series)

Knoxville is responsible for many of the ideas in Jackass, and is often seen as the de facto leader of the crew. The show also stars Jeff Tremaine, Sean Cliver, Joe Sperry (Spoezy), 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.[8] 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, though Knoxville later hosted a 2005 episode of the show.

Film and television roles

Knoxville at the Jackass 3D premiere in Berlin, October 2010

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. 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.[9] He was not asked to return for the sequel.[10]

Production credits

Knoxville has a production company called Dickhouse Productions, which he owns and operates with Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze of the Jackass franchise. 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.[11]

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."[12]

Personal life

Knoxville married Melanie Lynn Cates on May 15, 1995. They have a daughter, Madison (born 1996).[13] 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.[13] The marriage was legally ended in March 2008,[14] with final divorce arrangements settled in July 2009.[15]

On August 18, 2009, Knoxville announced that he and his girlfriend Naomi Nelson were expecting a baby.[16] Nelson gave birth to a son, Rocko Akira Clapp, on December 20, 2009 in Los Angeles.[17] Knoxville and Nelson married on September 24, 2010.[18] Nelson gave birth to a daughter, Arlo Lemoyne Yoko Clapp, on October 6, 2011, in Los Angeles.[19]


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.[20] 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.[20]

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 Urinary catheterization. Knoxville said the process prevented scar tissue from forming.[21]


Feature films

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Desert Blues Bob
2000 Coyote Ugly College guy
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 Writer
2003 Grand Theft Parsons Phil Kaufman
2004 Walking Tall Ray Templeton
2004 A Dirty Shame Ray Ray Perkins
2005 Lords of Dogtown Topper Burks
2005 The Dukes of Hazzard Luke Duke
2005 Daltry Calhoun Daltry Calhoun
2005 The Ringer Steve Barker
2006 Jackass Number Two Himself Writer and producer
2010 Jackass 3D
2010 Detroit Lives Documentary
2010 Father of Invention Troy Coangelo
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, producer, and actor
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo Voice
2016 Elvis & Nixon Sonny West
2016 Skiptrace Connor Watts
2017 Above Suspicion Cash


Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Cure fan 1 episode
1999 boob himself
2000–02 Jackass 25 episodes
2001 Don't Try This at Home: The Steve-O Video
2001 CKY 3
2001 The Andy Dick Show Wannabe Andy Dick 2 episodes
2002 CKY 4 Latest & Greatest
2002 Jackass Backyard BBQ
2002 MTV Cribs 1 episode
2003–06 Wildboyz 10 episodes
2003 Player$ 1 episode
2003 Australian Idol
2004 SexTV
2004 Viva La Bam
2005 Jackass: Gumball 3000 Rally Special
2006 Saturday Night Live 2 episodes
2006 King of the Hill Peter Sterling 1 episode
2006 Celebrity Deathmatch himself 1 episode
2007 Adventures in Hollyhood
2008 WWE Raw
2008 Jackass World 24 Hour Takeover
2008 Family Guy Himself 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 3 episodes
2009 Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory 1 episode
2009 Nitro Circus 10 episodes
Creator and executive producer
2009 The Goode Family Dean 1 episode
2010 The Dudesons Himself
2010 The Dudesons in America 3 episodes
2010 WWE Raw
2011 Ridiculousness
2012 Loiter Squad
2012 SpongeBob SquarePants Johnny Krill
2014 Drunk History Johnny Cash and Preston Brooks 2 episodes
2014 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.
  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. Birk, Raj-Kabir. "Johnny Knoxville discovers his incestuous lineage". Tribute.
  8. 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.
  9. "Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub Lend Voices To 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' ". Deadline. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  10. "INTERVIEW: Johnny Knoxville Talks To Me About 'Elvis & Nixon'". Rama's Screen. 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  11. "Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O: Jackass 3D". 15 Oct 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
  12. "Johnny Knoxville Signs Exclusive Two-Year First-Look Deal With Paramount". 19 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  13. 1 2 "Johnny Knoxville Files For Divorce". CBS News. Jul 4, 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  14. "Johnny Knoxville, Single Jackass". TMZ. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  15. "Johnny Knoxville to Pay $6,000 Monthly in Child Support". People. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  16. dickhouse productions. "dickhouse". Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  17. "'Jackass' star Johnny Knoxville has a new recruit: Baby boy Rocko". Monsters and December 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-25.
  18. "Johnny Knoxville Gets Married". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  19. "Johnny Knoxville expecting third child". Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  20. 1 2 "Johnny Knoxville brings unarmed grenade to LAX". MSNBC. January 15, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  21. "Stern Show News — Archive". Retrieved 2012-08-08.
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