[Post] - It was a “Jackass” decision.
Although most famous for being the heavily-abused face of “Jackass,” Johnny Knoxville almost never appeared on the iconic reality show: While filming the pilot, the actor and stuntman was offered a role as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” which he thankfully rejected to continue his work on the MTV comedy series.
“I was really honored that Lorne Michaels offered me five minutes on the show each week to do what I do, videos and whatnot,” the Tennessee native told Barrymore, 48, of the potentially career-making opportunity. “And I had to choose because, one thing, I was going on to an established show where I would have little control.”
“At the end of the day it’s like, ‘Am I going to go into a situation where I have no control or am I going to bet on myself and bet on my friends, and go that direction?’” he explained.
I'm not trying to lie or exaggerate in the headline at all. This was a society changing decision. This was one that would have buried Johnny Knoxville. For those of us around my age - mid-30s - we were lucky enough to grow up at the best time. It's been talked about before but every single time I see something like this it just reminds me how lucky we were. Hell, we even got to watch good SNL. Now? Imagine growing up during this era and this is the comedy you get.
Johnny Knoxville would have been a pussy. He would have been buried on SNL having to do this sort of comedy. Instead we got legendary and I mean LEGENDARY memories. Again, if you're around the age of 35 you can close your eyes and when I say Jackass immediately picture your go-to scene. It could be the paper cut scene. It could be shopping carts. It could be the airhorn on the golf course. Again, everyone has something. We would have been robbed of that. We would have been robbed of one of the funniest stretches of TV.
We're coming up on 22 years of Jackass in our life. It started 2000, which is still weird to think. But, that's prime TV watching and why Knoxville choosing Jackass saved us. Sure, we may have caught some SNL back then, but you know what we talked about while eating chicken patties at the lunch table in the cafeteria? If you caught Jackass. There wasn't DVR. You had to record that shit to a VHS if you were lucky. Good chance you just had to lie and say you watched it and play along like you were there with them. Speaking of lies. If you grew up in central/eastern Pennsylvania like I did you 100% heard of multiple people who 'knew' the cast or partied with them at West Chester at some point. Easiest bet in life is asking someone from York, Lancaster, Philly, Bucks County, Delco, maybe even Gettysburg about it. You'll hear a variation of some story.
Also here's the thing. Knoxville can do SNL whenever. SNL is fairly desperate it feels like. He happened to choose Jackass at the right time and it worked out. We couldn't have Jackass starting in 2022 let alone 2015 or 2010ish. This had to start in the early 2000s. It's when TV and the Internet were truly the wild, wild west. Speaking of which, a/s/l?
All I know is I, along with basically everyone else, is happy to grow up with these idiots. Memories burned into our skull because of them. Now it's only right to watch a bunch of highlights.