Johnny Knoxville explains that his stunts for Jackass are based on his love for cartoons and his own philosophy that life should be like one.
Jackass originator and star of the upcoming Jackass Forever, Johnny Knoxville, has revealed how he comes up with the franchise’s stunts. With just over a week as of this writing to go before the fourth installment in the series arrives in theaters, fans of the more than two-decade old franchise can’t wait to see what’s next for the cast. Trailers and photos have so far hinted at one of the biggest installments yet, with new cast members suggesting that this could be the final outing for at least some of the original Jackass stars.
There certainly has been no shortage of difficulties, drama, and heartbreak in the years since Jackass 3D was released back in 2010. The biggest and most shocking development was, of course, the death of Ryan Dunn in 2011. As one of the original cast members, Dunn brought his own brand of comedic recklessness to the series, offering a slightly more subtle counterbalance to the full-speed-ahead insanity of regulars like Knoxville and Steve-O. His absence has changed the dynamic of the cast somewhat, and the recent decision to drop Bam Margera from the cast will also have its own impact on how the series is shaped. But throughout all these challenges, one thing has remained the same and that’s the level of hilarity and outright danger that the Jackass stunts entail.
Despite the effects of what can often be described as downright stupid stunts on aging bodies, at age 50, Knoxville still hasn’t scaled back the extremity of the work he does. He’s certainly paid a heavy physical price for this over the years, and while speaking with THR recently, the Jackass co-creator provided some insight into why his stunts are often so impossibly dangerous: they’re based on cartoons. After being accused of having “impossible standards” for stunts by cast mate Steve-O, Knoxville defended himself, saying, “I just like cartoons. I think life should operate like a cartoon.” Check out the full video below:
Though the Jackass franchise could never be accused of being high art and therefore difficult to decipher, knowing that Knoxville bases his stunts on cartoons does explain a lot about a key theme behind the series. It’s always been a bit of a challenge for many to understand what motivates the desire to take on stunts like being shot out of cannon or riding a jet-ski off a ramp in a swimming pool. When considered in terms of a cartoon, however, everything falls into place. Imagining any one of the ridiculous contrivances employed by Wile E. Coyote, for example, and replacing him with Knoxville, now makes perfect sense.
Unfortunately, real life clearly doesn’t operate like a cartoon. Knoxville has repeatedly learned this throughout the existence of Jackass, but while shooting Jackass Forever, he actually sustained brain damage after a stunt with a bull. It’s hard to imagine Knoxville continuing on with the franchise after an injury as major as that, regardless of how fun it is to pretend that life can be like a cartoon. Hopefully, for his sake and the sake of his family, he’ll step back from the franchise and let others take their own chances with wild stunts.
- Jackass Forever (2022)Release date: Feb 04, 2022
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