You?re such a ''Jackass'' -- Johnny Knoxville explains the reasons for his popularity

By Tricia Johnson
December 23, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Moment of Arrival As the host of MTV’s Jackass, Knoxville has upped the stakes in the bizarre-jester genre. Embracing the pain and performing stunts that fuse Evel Knievel-like bravery (jumping a cement aqueduct on roller skates) with adolescent-boy stupidity (jumping a cement aqueduct on roller skates), he’s turned Jackass into one of MTV’s highest-rated series.
How He Got There A videotape of him testing self-defense weapons on himself (e.g., a face full of pepper spray) made the rounds in Hollywood, garnering fans and several television offers.
Where He Was Before The Tennessee-bred charmer wrote for the skateboarder magazine Big Brother.
What Fame Has Brought ”Just a wee bit more financial freedom,” says Knoxville, who has a daughter, Madison, 4, with his wife, Melanie. ”We’re just very happy that we can send (her) to a good school now.” Yes, this is the same guy who voluntarily stood in a, uh, loaded Porta Potti as it was tipped upside down.
What’s Next? He begins shooting Life Without Dick with Sarah Jessica Parker in January. Then it’s on to some creative typecasting as a road warrior in the comedy The Tree: ”(I’m from) the truck-driving capital of the world. My friend Jason drives an 18-wheeler…. I’m probably going to drive around with him just to get a feel for it.”