Johnny Knoxville Turned Down Lorne Michael’s Offer to Appear on ‘SNL’ Before His ‘Jackass’ Days

Johnny Knoxville rose to fame with a selected form of actuality TV that was rooted in shock and awe. Lately, most of Knoxville’s stunt work is behind him because the bodily toll of doing such harmful work for leisure started to pile up. The height of his fame — particularly his performances within the present Jackass — will stay on in infamy as a cultural touchstone of a selected second in historical past in addition to an affect on comparable reveals and social media channels that proceed to wow. 

Nonetheless, issues might have gone a lot in another way. Early on, Knoxville had an opportunity to seem on SNL, and taking it may need put him on observe for a wholly completely different profession. 

Johnny Knoxville was born in Tennessee

Johnny Knoxville | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Photographs for Vulture Competition

As his stage title suggests, Johnny Knoxville was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. As Fandom reviews, his actual title is Philip John Clapp, and he knew from an early age {that a} conventional path via life wasn’t meant for him. In actual fact, he factors to Jack Kerouac’s well-known work On the Street as an early affect. Given to him by a cousin, the ebook helped Knoxville envision a life the place he lived on his personal phrases and with journey as a guideline. 

After graduating highschool, he relocated to California with desires of changing into an actor, however it wasn’t panning out. He acquired a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, however he dropped out after two weeks. Knoxville’s drive for journey wasn’t becoming with any clear path via schooling or work, so he got here up with a brand new plan. He would function a dwelling crash take a look at dummy for self-defense tools. Quickly, the skateboarding journal Large Brother picked up on his antics and gave him a platform for sharing. 

Fellow Large Brother contributors Steve-O and Chris Pontius would be part of Knoxville in pitching a stunt and prank present to MTV. This collection would ultimately grow to be Jackass and assist outline a technology. 

Johnny Knoxville had a proposal from ‘SNL’ 

As Knoxville labored to get his stunt present thought on the air, he had a proposal from a really well-known present recognized for its means to present early help for burgeoning comedians. Lorne Michaels, the creator behind Saturday Evening Reside, provided Knoxville a weekly gig doing stunts for SNL

Talking with Howard Stern, Knoxville defined that Michaels promised three to 5 minutes every week for his stunts, and Knoxville acknowledged what an enormous alternative it was. Nonetheless, he was already filming the pilot for Jackass with MTV, and he had lots of associates relying on him. “I would have to leave that,” Knoxville defined of his torn emotions in regards to the selection. “They didn’t want the whole crew?” Stern requested to make clear. “Right,” Knoxville confirmed, displaying that he put his loyalty to his associates as a precedence. 

Knoxville has had a novel profession

It’s laborious to say how Knoxville’s life may need been completely different if he had taken the SNL route. It’s potential that he would have sustained far fewer accidents in three-to-five minute clips on the weekly sketch comedy than he did in his eventual path via a number of movies for the Jackass franchise. In the meantime, the Jackass forged struggled with points outdoors of the set — specifically substance abuse — and Knoxville has spoken candidly in regards to the psychological well being features of his difficult stunt work. 

All that mentioned, Knoxville has amassed a formidable internet price and a spot as an leisure legend. It’s potential that taking a distinct path might have led to an analogous stage of success, however it’s additionally potential that Knoxville would have been one of many SNL stars who burned out and pale within the public eye. 

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