INTERVIEW: Johnny Knoxville's 'mile of cock'

by Shannon Derby

"I was asleep on the couch one day and (my dad) got a hot dog and ran it through my mouth. When I woke up he acted like he was zipping his pants."

Thus ends the search for the source of Johnny Knoxville's crude humor and violently slapstick comedy. As Knoxville explained in a recent Hatchet interview, his father was his first inspiration.

Before visions of child molestation and sick old men could even begin to dance through my head, Knoxville reassured me he knew it was a prank and laughed it off. His father has always been a source of humor and entertainment in his life, contributing many ideas for his television show.

Known for his outrageous brand of humor on MTV's "Jackass," Knoxville represents a new brand of star, nationally celebrated for his masochistic tendencies.

So he's famous now, but still, what could possibly motivate a man to take a paintball, a baseball and a sledgehammer to his testicles?

"Well, we just have a lot of bad ideas that end up getting filmed, so, uh ... " said Knoxville, trailing off.

"Were you in pain?"

"Oh yes."

"For how long?"

"Umm ... uh yeah, I mean it goes away, I'm kind of indifferent to pain, by now, I mean it hurts ... " Knoxville trails off again; perhaps the memory of smashing his nuts with a sledgehammer was just too much to think about at the moment.

According to Knoxville, coming up great ideas like this with has always been an informal process on the set of "Jackass."

"We start with a germ of an idea and then it usually mutates into its own virus when we start shooting it," said Knoxville.

Knoxville met most of his fellow "Jackass" cast-members through Big Brother Magazine, based out of California. Some, he just picked up at random.

"We got Steve-O out of the circus inside a flea market in Florida," Knoxville said. Who else but a circus freak would be willing to put a jellyfish on his head as though it were a beanie and wear it until his head turned red and swelled up like an enlarged testicle?

Testicles seem to be a popular topic on Jackass. And so does pain. In Seeking new kinds of personal torture Johnny Knoxville and the other cast members of "Jackass" actually decided to submit themselves to the wrath of legendary Hollywood stunt man Gene Lebel for the sake of their new film Jackass: The Movie. Employing tested techniques of strangulation, Lebel put the entire cast on the ground, literally.

“He choked out the entire cast and it seemed hilarious at the time – I was drooling, Bam was convulsing, he even choked out Wee Man.”

Looking forward to seeing this on the big screen? Sorry kids, even the daredevils of “Jackass” decided that it was “borderline disturbing” and cut the scene from the movie. Knoxville said they didn’t want kids trying this trick at home since it could potentially result in death if done improperly.
But how do Knoxville and other “Jackass” cast members prepare for such stunts?

“Most of the cast would wear condoms while we were filming the stunts,” explained Knoxville. He also said that a good health insurance plan was a must.

Enough with the safety precautions, what was it like to work with Brad Pitt?

“Brad Pitt couldn’t have been nicer, a more regular guy ... very handsome young man,” Knoxville said. “We had the best looking man in America, so why not put him in an ape suit and show him for two seconds?”

Although all of the guys from “Jackass” loved working with Pitt, it was a little bit intimidating working with such a high profile actor, Knoxville said.

“The guy’s worth millions and millions of dollars and we’re all worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars – so we kinda looked out for him,” he said.

Among all of the crazy stunts pulled on the show and in the movie, Johnny reminisces over the most miserable thing he has ever done in the name of being a true jackass.

“We shot a video of (cast member Chris) Pontius for Playgirl in various states of undressed – cowboy boots and nothing else at all,” Knoxville said.

Pontius, a.k.a. “Party Boy,” finishes off the video by “finishing” himself off. He then proceeds to chase the cast of “Jackass” around the set, attempting to hug them while still a mess. Knoxville happened to have a sprained ankle that day, which hindered his running.

“That was the most frightened and horrified and depressed as I ever was on the show,” he said.

But don’t allow yourself to think that masturbation and hobnobbing with famous movie stars is all that the members of “Jackass” get to do. They also toured the world, from Japan to Amsterdam, while shooting their upcoming movie.

“The boys were on their absolute worst behavior in Japan – Pontius pissed his pants three times on the flight over,” Knoxville said.

So what can you expect in a movie where the actors have willingly been choked out into unconsciousness and taken sledgehammers to the nuts? Definitely no wholesome fun for the whole family here. In fact, Knoxville puts it best when he says of the new film:

“It’s just a mile of cock.”

I wouldn’t be surprised Johnny, really I wouldn’t.

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