MTV’s poster boy for inane pranks walks into a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City and immediately asks his assistant for a beer out of the mini-bar.
He’s wearing tattered pants that are cut off at the ankles and an equally ragged cardigan emblazoned with the “Jackass” skull logo.
Wearing dark aviators and holding a freshly opened Heineken in his hand, he plunges into the couch and props up his smudged Converses on the coffee table.
He’s not about to give a serious interview, but then again, Johnny Knoxville’s career isn’t about being serious.
“We started the show just trying to make each other laugh, and that’s what we’re still doing,” said Knoxville, who films the “Jackass” shows and movies with his now famous friends.
“We didn’t even think it could be a TV show, much less a successful one. We’re just happy we get to fly around and shoot really dumb stuff and people pay for our beers.”
Knoxville probably won’t have to open his own wallet for a beer anytime soon, as “Jackass: Number Two” is set to open Sept. 22. Its predecessor earned an impressive $22 million in its opening weekend in 2002. “Jackass: Number Two” is promised not to divert from the original. In fact, it’s said to be simply another installment of the same “Jackass” antics.
Yet with testing the dangerous, shark-infested, electrified waters again, Knoxville is well aware of what he’s getting into – even if the audience is still shocked that he’s pushing the envelope.
“There used to be a line, but everyone keeps drawing it over and drawing a new line. I don’t know if we’re even driving
the ship anymore,” Knoxville said.
The stunts can be frightening, and even though Knoxville’s image states otherwise, he’s a family man with a wife and daughter.
“That kind of stuff is tough on family, because I never tell them what I’m doing; they’ll just worry,” said Knoxville.
“Actually, I’m not even supposed to be on this trip, because my mom saw a preview of the movie, and she saw the rocket and some other things in the movie, and she told me I was grounded. So I wasn’t supposed to be here today.”
After his six-year tenure on “Jackass,” Knoxville’s body has been through a beating. He says he’s got scars, but no permanent damage.
But will there be another “Jackass” film installment?
Knoxville’s partner in crime, Bam Margera, said, “We’ll die if we do another one.”
So what does the future hold for Knoxville’s career?
“Oh man, I don’t know. I just want to drink some more beers with Bam.”
Jesse North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.