Johnny Knoxville Looks Back On The Absolutely Wild Stunt That Led To ‘Jackass’

Johnny Knoxville is in the news this week after Bam Margera reported that Knoxville and Steve-O were hospitalized on the second day of filming the next Jackass movie after injuring themselves during a stunt. For the record, the stunt — jumping on a full-speed treadmill while carrying a tuba — sounds both hilarious and incredibly painful. Knoxville’s return to headlines, however, inspired me to revisit his appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast.

On the podcast, in addition to getting into the details behind when Shepard “broke his penis,” Shepard also brought up the stunt that would eventually lead to the Jackass movies. Recall that Knoxville was originally a writer, who pitched an article idea for Jeff Tremaine’s skateboarding magazine, Big Brother (Tremaine would ultimately become the director of the Jackass movies). The first pitch involved a stunt that Knoxville filmed (and would eventually go viral) in which he was “supposed to get shot” while wearing a bulletproof vest.

The stunt, however, didn’t go exactly as planned. “When we got out there,” Knoxville told Shepard, “my friend refused to shoot me, so I had to shoot myself.” This was particularly concerning for Knoxville because he was “broke at the time, and I bought the cheapest vest they had.”

As Knoxville tells it, when he asked for a vest, the sales clerk insisted that it was “the best vest, top of the line,” etc., until Knoxville said, “Good, because I’m going to shoot myself while wearing it.” The sales clerk called someone, however, and a few minutes later, they asked Knoxville not to do it. “Too late,” he said, “I’ve already said I would.”

For those who haven’t seen it, all these years later, the stunt involves a young Johnny Knoxville shooting himself in the chest while wearing a bulletproof vest. It’s the stunt that went viral and would eventually lead to three Jackass movies and counting. In addition to shooting himself, Knoxville also allows himself to be pepper sprayed and tased. Warning: It’s brutal (but funny), and you can watch it right here.

Filming will presumably continue on Jackass 4 in the coming days. The movie is tentatively scheduled for release in the Spring of 2021.

Source: Armchair Expert