Is your little daredevil the next Johnny Knoxville?

“Jackass 3D” hit theaters on Friday and made about $50 million displaying idiotic men getting knocked in the groins and shot at by their friends.

Entertainment Weekly decided to interview the mother of the Jackass ring leader, Johnny Knoxville, to find out if he exhibited signs as a child of his future career as a professional Taser victim.

Knoxville’s mom, Lemoyne Clapp, describes him as a child in EW:

“I had raised two daughters, and PJ came 11 years later. He was completely different, but I thought it was because he was a boy and all boys acted like that. At 9 months old, he could climb up on his playpen and throw himself out on the floor. Luckily, we had carpet back then. But he never cried, even when he would get hurt.

When he was 2, he tried to put the cat in the washing machine. I happened to catch him doing it, and he said, ‘He’s duwty.’ He couldn’t pronounce his r’s…. When he was 14, playing baseball on a travel team, his teammates told me he was diving out the second-story window into the pool. That should’ve been a warning, shouldn’t it? But he’s got a heart of gold. He’s a sweetheart. I never heard him say a bad word till I saw it on TV. He never, ever sassed. I’d tell him when to come home, and it was ‘Yes, ma’am.’ He came home when he pleased sometimes, but it was always ‘Yes, ma’am….’

“Does he pull pranks on me? I’ll read you the birthday card I got yesterday with flowers. I have back problems, and any time he sends flowers, I ask the girl if she’d mind carrying the flowers in the house for me. I was looking at the flowers, thinking how pretty they were, and I noticed she was giving me a strange look. Here’s the card: ‘Dear Mom, Ever since you got out of prison, you have been a different person. I hope the judge takes that into consideration at your next trial. We love you very much.’ I get these a lot, and it always has something to do with my prison record or drug rehab. The reality is, I don’t drink and I’ve had one speeding ticket — and they dismissed it! But as far as pranks, it’s just the cards and things. I laugh. I just know that’s him. And I wouldn’t change a hair on his head.”

My husband’s brother was the daredevil in their family. Michael would find him playing with sharp objects, fireworks, matches, chemicals, basically anything he shouldn’t have.

Michael remembers one time walking home from school and finding his brother about 20 feet up a pine tree and his first-grade friends circling the bottom of the tree. The game: shake the kid out of the pine tree. His brother wasn’t being bullied. He was more than willing to be at the top of that tree.

Walsh is my little daredevil.  I’m waiting for his head to get knocked off by his ceiling fan when jumps from the bunk bed. For some reason, my little genius fails to grasp that the rotating blade is right next to his head.

I watched him at the playground last night jumping from high equipment. I’m waiting for him to break an ankle bone. Then he joined some other kids sliding down concrete handrails on a staircase. I can accept him doing it on his bottom but I just knew he was going to try it standing sooner or later. I caught him posed to make the descent standing, and I yelled from across the playground “down” and he went immediately down. He knew he was busted.

Tell us the best (and scariest) stunts your little daredevil has pulled? Is there one child in particular you have to watch? Do you think there’s a future career in it?Is it always the boys or do girls pull stunts too? Are your teens or college students trying “Jackass” style stunts or pranks?

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Jesse's Girl

October 18th, 2010
6:50 am

I’ll say only one thing on this topic. Because really…after you hear it….you’ll understand why wine is my BFF:) The boy has had 6 sets of stitches in his head alone. He acquired those in an 18 month stretch of time from ages 1 to 3. The last set was just under his hair line on his forehead. I sewed that bad-boy by myself. I was more than slightly afraid that DFACS would be called if he had yet another ER trip. He is also on the National Registry for Head Injuries and Concussions. No lie….the kid will no doubt do me in one day with his antics. Had he been born first….my uterus would have jumped out of my body and slapped me in the face just to drive home the point that getting pregnant again would be a very…very…very bad idea indeed. As the third and final installment in our reproductive saga….we have come to realize how dangerously shallow our gene pool has become:) We love him. Really we do. But when people come over for a visit and they him climbing the roof of the shed and jumping onto the trampoline…which is 15 feet below….they no longer question why I drink.


October 18th, 2010
8:10 am

I guess you could go with it and “direct” them toward stunt double school. At least that way they could learn how maybe not to kill themselves.


October 18th, 2010
8:20 am

We’ve had close calls with all 4 kids. Boy #1 put a tall, plastic laundry hamper at the top of the all-hardwood stairs, climbed in it by holding onto the railing, and tumbled down. He landed unscathed at the bottom, which was a miracle. Girl #1 climbed onto a lawn chair in the garage fast as lightning, stood up, and it fell over, busting her chin open to the bone. Both of those incidents occured when I was in the same room!

Girl #2 is a constant concern for me. When she was supposed to be napping, somehow she piled up toys, a box, and a small chair and got to the top shelf of her closet. I know this because she appeared downstairs with a porcelein doll that was up there for safe keeping. I am both impressed and horrified by her initiative, wondering where it will take her in the future. I constantly hear crashes coming from her room, but I am scared to look most of the time, figuring ignorance is bliss. She takes her bare feet off the pedals of her bike when going down hills and tosses her helmet aside the second I turn away. Boy #2 is only 2, but with his 5 year-old sister as a role model, we are doomed. His favorite hobby- standing on the back of the couch and jumping down.


October 18th, 2010
8:37 am

One round of stitches, sprained ankle and and chipped bone on the finger for our son. Nothing for our daughter. Mine were not into that kind of stuff…even though their Dad was always in the thick of it!
Perhaps sometimes it takes a while to get the hang of cause and effect or do they just dare themselves to prove it wrong?


October 18th, 2010
8:40 am

So timely. Do you know how many times I had to tell the boy that I wasn’t going to allow him to waste twelve bucks watching this movie over the weekend? He and his friends are all about stupid stunts and tricks. They like one boy’s house because they have a garage near their pool. They can climb on the roof and jump into the pool. One of the others has a lake house so over the summer they built a ramp so you could ride the bike down the ramp and flip into the lake (they pooled their money to buy a bike from Wal-Mart and strapped a life vest to it so it wouldn’t sink). My fear is not what he does on his own so much as what he’ll do when the collective bunch of testosterone-ridden boys who’ve watched way too many episodes of JackAss & the other stunt shows on TV gets bored. One of the boys got a Flybar Pogo Stick for his birthday. Want to talk about an accident waiting to happen? I’m still surprised none of them got seriously injured jumping over stuff (like mailboxes). On his Christmas list for the 2nd time in his life is a trampoline. Maybe I should just send him to circus school and forget college now…

Hey, TechMom...

October 18th, 2010
8:45 am

…just send him to Florida State University – they have both a huge circus program and a college curriculum…


October 18th, 2010
8:52 am

I was the daredevil!! We had the ER on retainer. I was there at least two to three times a year. I have had stitches all over my body. The worst accident involved a trampoline. I had to have surgery to put three pins put in my elbow, that required 10 stitches. Then they had to remove each pin, and east spot got two stitches.

My brother and I collided on bikes – 5 stitches in my knee.

I fell off the monkey bars in elementary school – 4 stitches in my chin.

Busted my knee again playing football – 4 more stitches…..

Playing too rough with my cousin’s cat – two stitches in my face.

Fell while playing tag onto a metal fence – 4 stitches in my leg…..

Tried to to a hand stand in the shallow end of the pool, hit my chin – 4 stitches in the chin again.

Fell out of a tree playing hide & seek…just got banged up on that one, no stitches.

My mom threatened to keep me indoors one summer. That summer, I tripped on a pillow and hit the corner of the tv with my forehead. 4 stitches……

And recently – two surgeries on my parathyroid – 4 stitches each time…..


October 18th, 2010
9:20 am

I’m afraid my oldest is going to be this way. He already is in some respects. When he was barely 2, he would climb to the very top of the tallest “older kids” playset at the playground and try to jump off. Of course I was scaling it behind him to grab him! He’s just like his father, and my hubby had tons of stitches and broken bones in childhood. His hair grows funny in two places from permanent scars! His mom found him just in time to see him jump off of their roof when he was 7 in his underwear with a towel tied around his neck for a cape. She actually had child services investigate her in Chicago because they had been in the ER so frequently! She’s a great mom though, and he was NOT abused -just an insane little daredevil. Given how DFACS is these days, I hope my oldest isn’t quite so bad! The worst we’ve had with him so far was when he was 2. Our driveway goes down a pretty steep hill and levels out in the backyard. However, there’s a big wooden gate at the bottom of the drive! I was hugely pregnant and sitting on our front steps watching my son scoot around on a little tractor toy. He was sticking to the yard and the upper drive, and I was being very careful to make sure he didn’t go flying down the hill. My neighbor came home and spoke, and I turned my head for a second -of course when I looked back there he went! I was so big I ran as fast as I could, but I couldn’t get there in time to grab him. He smashed into the gate face first and flew off the tractor and hit the pavement. Blood everywhere! I thought he had knocked his teeth out, but miraculously he only scraped his face, hands and knees up really bad. I’m sure we’re going to be seeing more blood out of him though!


October 18th, 2010
9:33 am

Oh yeah. Kids being kids, they do dumb stuff and get hurt sometimes.

I broke my arm rough housing, when I was in 4th grade. My child broke hers by jumping off the top of the slide at Pre-K (she had decided to be spiderwoman). The boys across the road from me growing up thought that putting firecrackers in bottles would be a good idea (nobody got blinded but a trip to ER was needed). A friend of a friend, has a toddler that just got out of cast–she fell out of the swing.

I am sure if we think about it, we find we all have an time or three when we were kids that we can say….gee that wasn’t the smartest thing I did. And probably half that time, we have some scar to show for it.


October 18th, 2010
10:01 am

Haven’t had many broken bones in my family, but a lot of stitches..It’s a wonder since there are so many in my family..I think I’m the only one of my siblings that has ever had a broke bone..Broke my collarbone when I was 13..

Nephew, jumped off the porch (Superman) when he was about 4..3-4 stitches..As soon as he got home from the hospital, he jumped again..

Stitches in my foot from playing with the frisbee and jumped down on a broken coke bottle..

Think that’s about it..I agree with FCM’s last few lines..There has been a lot of other stuff that I did as a child (and young adult), that makes me wonder why I’m still alive..Then I always think of what my Mother used to say..God looks out for fools and drunks, so guess since the stuff that I was doing was foolish, he looked out for me..


October 18th, 2010
10:20 am

@TWG -my comment is out there somewhere if you can find it!


October 18th, 2010
10:23 am

@FCM -yep, I wasn’t a daredevil per se as a kid, but I was a rough tomboy. I had tons of bruises and scrapes all the time. We would fly down this hill beside my house in the middle of the street on our dirt bikes standing on the handle bars or someone on roller skates would get behind a bike and hold on -and go flying down the hill where we had constructed a ramp so we could hit that and fly through the air or try to do flips! I specifically remember a rash of scrapes and broken bones after the movie “Roller Boogie” came out in the early 80s!

@Becky -my mother used to say that about fools and drunks -usually in reference to her father! However, yes, some of the situations I put myself in during late high school and college definitely make me a believer in that! I’ve been really lucky.


October 18th, 2010
12:10 pm

JATL—yes I recall not being able kneel in chapel (2nd grade) because of some escapade involving either a skateboard or roller skates. Whatever I did (don’t recall specs) I managed to tear a hole in both knees of my jeans, and then the scabs got infected at somepoint. It was a mess!


October 18th, 2010
12:44 pm

mom of 3

October 18th, 2010
4:30 pm

At least one in every family. Have gone thru broken bones, stitches, surgeries to repair injuries, emergency dental visits, etc…..the joys of parenthood. Oh yeah, the 3 year old found the car keys, started the car and backed into the garage door. Fun times.


October 20th, 2010
9:01 am

I broke several things, have stitches in a few places, and got three concussions and wasn’t nearly as crazy as the Jackass crew. The stuff they do is lunacy. I thought I was nutty for launching myself from swingsets, jumping out of trees, and inventing tackle kickball.

Nope. Nothing on the Jackass crew. BTW, Jackass 3D is epic.

Dog-tired Dad

October 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

Okay. Been there. Son #1 would flip out of his crib onto his back and come get into our bed at night. I would put him back and he got so good he would beat me back to my bed! Finally had to put pillows down to break his fall. Son #2 would drive down our big hill driveway to the back entrance garage and turn at the last moment to spin out. Lots of fun until he started aiming at Mom and Dad! Dad jumped out of the way, Mom got nailed! Son #3 skipped the climbing out of the crib stunt and just broke the rails! He is now a springboard diver in high school. Son #1 took up skydiving in college and Son #2 had stitches so often I knew the ER schedule better than the doctors did. Son #3 is also playing rugby. First game, broke his nose. And wanted to continue playing game 2! They may grow up but they never mature.

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October 23rd, 2010
9:20 am

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