Johnny Knoxville Said the Destroyed Rental Car From ‘Jackass’ Had to be Returned on a Flatbed: ‘They Weren’t Happy’

At the start of the new millennium, celebrity stuntman Johnny Knoxville thought it would be funny to pull some wild pranks on the unassuming public. The controversial reality show Jackass debuted on MTV and ran for three seasons from 2000 to 2002.

Knoxville parlayed the success of the franchise into eight movies and several spinoffs. The most current film, Jackass Forever, recently premiered in theaters and on the Paramount+ streaming network.

Fans still can’t get enough of the death-defying stunts, crude humor, and zany physical comedy. The Jackass franchise has undoubtedly earned its place in pop-culture history as one of the raunchiest shows to hit the airwaves.

Over the years, the cast has put themselves in severe physical danger, often landing them in the emergency room. Destruction of property is not unheard of, and Knoxville recently recalled an incident where a rental car was damaged beyond repair.

Johnny Knoxville washes a car during promos for Jackass: The Movie in 2002
The star of 2002’s Jackass: The Movie, Johnny Knoxville | Theo Wargo/WireImage

In 2002, Jackass: The Movie was released in theaters and meant to be a final farewell to fans. It was met with great success and sparked the making of many more wild films.

One of the most famous stunts in the first movie involved a rent-a-car crash derby. Knoxville rented a car in good condition. It only had a few scratches on it when it left the lot. After filming the memorable scene, he had to return the car in pieces.

Knoxville spray painted a No. 3 on the sides and roof of the white car, smashed out the windows, and had roll bars installed. He then competed in a demolition derby that left the engine on fire and the vehicle demolished.

Johnny Knoxville had to return the rental car on a flatbed truck

The Dukes of Hazzard actor returned to the rental car company with the destroyed car. As Knoxville pulled his inflatable passengers out of the back seat, he ran away from the lot, laughing and yelling “F.U.” to the confused rental car attendant.

In a recent episode of the WIRED Autocomplete Interview, when Knoxville was asked if he paid for the rental car, he responded, “Yes, we pay for everything we break. We’re not assholes.”

The actor explained, “That was the rental car smash-up derby from Jackass No. 1, where I rented a car, had it modified for a crash-up derby.” He said, “I think we had to return it on a flatbed.”

Is Johnny Knoxville ready to retire?

According to The Things, Knoxville has an estimated net worth of $50 million. He was instrumental in the franchise’s success, and although he has cut back in the past decade on extreme stunts, he is still the most recognized cast member of the Jackass franchise.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, the 50-year-old actor’s real name is Philip John Clapp. Known for pushing the limits, the father of three came up with the idea of testing self-defense equipment on himself. Jackass co-creator Jeff Tremaine encouraged him to film the material, which turned into the MTV original series.

Knoxville explained to Variety that he thought the franchise would end when the TV series was over. The Bad Grandpa writer said OSHA cracked down on him, saying, “You can’t do this! You can’t jump off anything higher than four feet!” The controversial actor said, “It was impossible to do the show.”

Jackass left the small screen and found unprecedented success in theaters. According to The Numbers, the eight movies brought in approximately $572 million worldwide box office sales.

Knoxville has endured countless physical injuries filming crowd-pleasing stunts. He has had numerous broken bones, herniated discs, concussions, and even a torn urethra that forced him to wear a catheter for three years. Recently, the madcap stuntman received a brain hemorrhage after a prank with a wild bull went seriously wrong.

Jackass Forever may be the last of the life-threatening stunts we see from Knoxville. The pop icon recently told Entertainment Weekly, “You can only take so many chances before one forever catches up with you.” He explained, “I realized that it’s amazing that I’m still walking around. I think I pushed my luck far enough.”

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