If it wasn’t for Jackass, we could be thinking of Johnny Knoxville as a Saturday Night Live cast member. While that probably would have resulted in far less physical injuries suffered during his time in show business, Knoxville made the decision to go with Jackass when he was faced with the decision of picking one show or the other to pursue. It’s a story that the actor and daredevil reflected on while hooked up to a lie detector for a new video interview with Vanity Fair.
“Well, they were going to offer me about five minutes each week to do something like a video piece,” Knoxville said of his SNL offer, which happened to come in when the MTV deal for the Jackass TV show was just coming together. “At that time, Jackass was — the deal was finally getting done, but then it took a couple years. And so, I had to choose between going out on my own on Saturday Night Live, which was a very competitive show, or kind of bet on myself and my friends. A crazy move at the time, but I just bet on me and my friends. It was a tough one.”
Knoxville didn’t join SNL as a regular cast member, but the fame he’d receive from Jackass would eventually allow him to appear on the sketch comedy show after all. In 2005, Knoxville hosted an episode of SNL while System of a Down served as the musical guest. It was able to provide a tease of what Knoxville may have been like on the show, though he would’ve certainly had a lot more limitations with that he’d have been allowed to do on SNL compared to what he’d been getting away with on Jackass over on MTV.
Johnny Knoxville Is Still Pranking People
After enduring even more brutal injuries for Jackass Forever, Knoxville isn’t looking to put his body on the line anymore, at least not to the extent that he had been. However, he’s not giving up pranking others, as these days, he can be seen pulling off pranks for the ABC series The Prank Panel. The show also features Eric Andre and Gabourey Sidibe with the three serving as judges with wannabe pranksters pitching ideas to pull off ribs on their friends. Those with solid enough ideas will have the professional pranksters help them pull off their plans for an elaborate prank.
We may also have not seen the last of Knoxville on Jackass. There have been reports of a new Jackass series getting developed for Paramount+ following the success of Jackass Forever. The current status of that project is unclear, though Knoxville has suggested that he’d be more of a mentor while new cast members take center stage.
“If there was another one, I would probably step back and sit next to [director] Jeff [Tremaine], more times than not, behind the camera. But we could do another one, yeah,” Knoxville said of a Jackass Forever follow-up last year, via Extra.