For someone who most conventional audiences have written off as a one-trick pony at best or a disgusting disgrace at worst, Johnny Knoxville has a surprisingly legitimate career track.
Most known for his stunt work and comedic pranks in the Jackass franchise, he’s also been in a slew of blockbuster films and has worked with a veritable cabal of big-name movie personalities. Essentially, Knoxville is under-appreciated as a public icon representative of the moment in time when some like him could become a huge star, and if the world isn’t ready to give Johnny his due, that’s fine. He’s got the net worth to prove his value regardless of public opinion.
Johnny Knoxville Net Worth As of 2019: $75 Million
Apparently, Knoxville’s real talent isn’t just enduring an obscene amount of pain for the entertainment of the masses, it’s negotiating lucrative contracts. Between his television career, film roles, cameo appearances, voice-over performances, and comedy work, Johnny’s accrued quite a nest egg worthy of an A-list Hollywood celebrity. Sources such as Bankrate, The Richest, and Cinemaholic list Knoxville’s current net worth as being around $75 million.
Johnny Knoxville, nee Philip Clapp Jr., was born on March 11, 1971, in the town whose name he would later take as his stage persona. He was raised by his father, a car salesman, and his mother, a Sunday school teacher, but his primary inspiration was his cousin, actor, singer and songwriter Roger Alan Wade. Wade’s beat style planted the seeds of fame in young Knoxville’s mind and he moved to California from Tennessee immediately after high school to start his acting career. However, he was disheartened when the only roles he managed to land were bit parts in commercials.
Knoxville found side work as a magazine writer and it was here were fortune struck him. Physically. While writing for skateboarding magazine Big Brother, he volunteered to test safety and self-defense equipment, intentionally taking nasty wipeouts and falls in order to review them. Owner Jeff Tremaine was impressed with Knoxville’s tenacity and eventually made his stunts and test part of the Big Brother Number Two video. The segment was so popular that Tremaine decided to capitalize on it. He introduced Johnny to other Big Brother writers Chris Pontius, Dave England and Jason “Wee-Man” Acuna as well as skating personality Brandon “Bam” Margera and his CKY Crew. A clown Knoxville found in a Florida flea market named Steve-O rounded out the team. Once they were assembled, Tremaine began pitching the idea of a comedy-stunt show to networks. After the team turned down an offer from Saturday Night Live, MTV eventually won a bidding war for the rights to the show. Thus, in 2000, Jackass was born.
The show was a shot in the arm for the then-dying skateboard counterculture age and youth audiences fell in love with the devil-may-care lifestyle that the show and its stars exuded. However, the show drew a huge amount of ire and controversy, often being criticized for its crude and violent humor. This contributed to the show’s short lifespan. In 2002, Knoxville, who had established himself as the frontman for the franchise, announced that the show was ending after three seasons due in no small part to MTV’s growing censorship and strict editing policies. The crew ended the show with Jackass: The Movie, the first of several sequels that they would make over the next decade.
Jackass may have been over for Johnny Knoxville, but that didn’t mean Johnny Knoxville was over. He’d never fully quit his acting career and with the fame that Jackass had afforded him, he now had a foot in the industry’s proverbial door. His first major film role was in 2002’s Men in Black II, where he showed off his comedy chops as a two-headed alien sidekick to the main antagonist.
After that, he nabbed his first starring role in Walking Tall where, as a rookie cop in over his head, he shared the screen with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. With his star power now firmly established, he got the opportunity to work with John Waters, one of Hollywood’s most experimental directors, in the sex comedy A Dirty Shame.
Since then, his film career has cooled somewhat, often taking small roles in comedy and action films. His most prominent role outside of the Jackass movies, which crop up every few years, was when he voiced Leonardo in Michael Bay’s live-action adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Johnny’s real money-making career as of late has been on television. Apart from Jackass and it’s plethora of spin-offs, he’s also had bit roles on King of the Hill, is a recurring star on Drunk History, created the short-lived Nitro Circus and even had a part on, of all things, Spongebob Squarepants. He’s also reached the point in his career where he can simply cameo as himself, as he did for the likes of WWE Raw, Family Guy, Maron and Celebrity Deathmatch. But despite having a surprisingly large pedigree, Knoxville’s future is pretty nebulous right now. Fortunately for him, he has the time and money by now to do more or less anything he wants these days. Case in point, his most recent project is producing and starring in the upcoming Action Point, a stunt comedy film that takes him back to his Jackass roots about a real-life amusement park infamous for its unsafe conditions.
Johnny Knoxville’s upcoming film “Action Point” seems like the film Johnny Knoxville has been waiting his entire life to make.