Johnny Knoxville’s 10 Most Dangerous Stunts


Johnny Knoxville helped put Donkey on the map testing out the initial concept that would evolve into the ridiculous franchise it is today. With Fooled forever Due for release in February 2022, it’s a great chance to look back at some of Knoxville’s craziest and most dangerous stunts to date.

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It’s no secret that Knoxville will put himself in danger just for a laugh or two, but some of those stunts were downright life threatening. Several of them could have killed him instantly if something had gone wrong, while others nearly did, leaving him with open wounds, concussions and worse.


Derby Crash-Up Rent-A-Car (Jackass)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville in a demolition derby

Derby demolition rallies are a lot of fun, but the cars in them are usually safe and rules are followed to discourage injury. the Donkey the crew went the other way when they rented a Ford Contour from a local establishment and then wrecked it in a Derby.

Knoxville drove the car, which was smashed from every conceivable angle by the other vehicles in the event. In the end, another car’s entire wheel crashed dangerously through his windshield, which could have caused serious injury had it landed a foot or two closer to him. Additionally, flying glass would have been considered too dangerous for most Derby events.

Golf carts (Jackass)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville and a golf cart at Jackass

YouTube is full of videos showing what happens when alcohol is mixed in golf carts, and the results are never good. In Donkey, however, Knoxville and the crew decided to have fun in them completely sober – or so they say. The result was one accident after another, most of them quite humorous.

However, Knoxville nearly committed suicide when his golf cart flew over an embankment and overturned, sending him straight into the ground in the back of his head and neck. Although painful, it could have been much worse, and almost was.

Riot test (Jackass)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville taken with an ottoman in Jackass

Long before Johnny Knoxville started performing in theatrical roles, he made a name for himself testing various safety and security equipment, which served as a precursor to what would later become Donkey. Therefore, it was not surprising that he put himself in front of a live fire exercise with alternative riot control ammunition.

Dubbed “less deadly” by the company that made him, Knoxville was shot in the stomach with a bean bag fired from a shotgun, which struck him right in the abdomen. Although it sounded excruciatingly painful, it was also incredibly dangerous. The gentleman who fired the bullet spent a lot of time describing how the bullet was always deadly, especially if it hit the heart or another vital organ.

Department Store Boxing (Jackass)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville beaten by Butterbean in Jackass

While a simple boxing match doesn’t sound particularly dangerous, the fight between Knoxville and Eric “Butterbean” Esch most certainly was. Butterbean is known to be a deadly fighter who hits like a speeding freight train, and he proved it when he faced Knoxville in the middle of a department store.

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After throwing him to the ground, Knoxville was sent straight to the hospital with a concussion and had to undergo stitches to stitch up a deep gash in the side of his skull. Even with gloves, a fight against a guy like Butterbean was incredibly dangerous.

Yak Charge (Jackass Number Two)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville attacked by a yak in Jackass

Playing with aggressive wild animals seems to be a Donkey tradition, and Knoxville favors farm animals like bulls when he does his stunts. In this particular case, he decided to get in the way of a big yak, which charged at full speed, and threw him head over heels.

Worse, he did it blindfolded, which meant there was no way of knowing where the yak was coming from, or where it was going to strike. The blow caught him completely off guard, which could have been quite dangerous if one of those horns had hit him directly in the chest or groin.

The Toro Totter (Jackass Number Two)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville and the Toro Totter in Jackass

The concept of putting four guys on a swing and unleashing an angry bull eventually became one of Jackass best stunts, but it was also incredibly dangerous. Already pissed off, the bull started randomly charging at Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn and Bam Margera. Dunn was the first out, followed by Bam in pursuit.

After the bull struck and injured his leg, Pontius paused, leaving Knoxville at the bull’s tender mercy. He narrowly escaped being beaten up, before the bull came back at him a second time, giving him a good beating against the swing frame. If the rodeo clowns hadn’t intervened to distract the bull, he might have been killed.

Big Red Rocket (Jackass Number Two)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville riding a rocket in Jackass

Although simple in theory, this particular stunt ended up being one of the most dangerous in Knoxville. It was a simple affair – Knoxville had to hang on to a custom-built rocket that was to be launched over a large body of water, at which point he would likely let go and fall to safety.

However, the rocket missed the first shot, blowing a hole in one side. The explosion came dangerously close to Knoxville, and if his body had been in front, he would certainly have been seriously injured or possibly killed.

The Christmas Tree (Jackass 3D)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville and a falling tree in Jackass

Falling from a great height carries an inherent set of risks, but that doesn’t matter in Donkey. Knoxville decided to climb a giant tree with Finnish stuntman Jukka Hildén, in which case he would be cut at the base, sending them toppling over in deep snow.

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In fact, it went as planned, but the impact still seemed horrific. Although falling in the snow might seem like a cushioned way to land, a lot could go wrong in such a stunt. In fact, Hildén ended up landing under the tree, which could have gone wrong. Luckily, they were tall enough that the weight of the tree didn’t weigh on any of them.

Buckethead Golf (Jackass 3D)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville playing golf at Jackass

Obviously, Knoxville and the gang should have watched classic golf movies before attempting this stunt. Buckethead Golf’s premise seemed to take safety to the maximum into consideration, which is why the result was so shocking. Knoxville, Steve-O and Ryan Dunn decided to hit golf balls inside an indoor tennis court, with large metal buckets on their heads. The idea was for the golf ball to hopefully hit one of the buckets and ring, while protecting their heads from damage.

Knoxville took a hit, and the golf ball bounced off the wall, before somehow catching him under the bucket, and square in his throat. It was a particularly dangerous and unforeseen event, as a little more force could have inflicted a mortal wound on him. Thankfully, Knoxville seemed oblivious after catching his breath.

The Invisible Man (Jackass 3D)

Split image of Johnny Knoxville attacked by a bull in Jackass

Many animals deserve Oscar nominations for their roles, but the Jackass crew was forced to stick to the farmyard variety. Always ready to up the ante, Knoxville decided to see if a bull could spot his painted body, which was meant to blend into a painted backdrop. It didn’t work as well as he had hoped, and the bull quickly latched on and ran towards him.

After dodging several charges, Knoxville was taken by surprise and the bull punched him, sending him into a cartwheel which landed him on his head. He caught so much air during the stunt that his foot left a scratch mark in the painted background, indicating how high he had gone.

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