Is Johnny Knoxville the Gayest Straight Guy Ever?
By Will Doig
During the filming of A Dirty Shame'a film credited for bringing gay bears into the collective American consciousness'Knoxville developed a thing for bear culture and tried to get himself on the cover of American Grizzly magazine. 'They said they don't do celebrity endorsements,' he laments. 'I was so angry and hurt. I asked John, 'Do you have a number for the editor?' But he didn't want me to grovel.' Instead, Knoxville tattooed a bear on his arm with Grrr! written across its belly. Then he bought all the MTV executives subscriptions to American Grizzly, 'whether they liked it or not.'
Which pretty much sums up the Jackass mentality. Its devoted fan base knows that not only is Jackass really juvenile, it's also perceived as really, really gay, a quality that Knoxville appears to relish. 'A few different publications gave us awards for, uh, gayness,' he says. 'After this next movie comes out we might be looking at some lifetime achievement awards.' The franchise is essentially Girls Gone Wild for homos, an amateurish production where jockish straight boys get naked and, as Knoxville says, 'wrestle around and hurt each other. There's ass play, giggling. It just comes real natural.' So natural that while shooting Wildboyz'the Jackass crew's current MTV venture, which is like National Geographic with G-strings and injuries''they got some notes from above saying, 'OK, guys, this is almost too gay. Can you tone down the gayness?' And so they tried to make it not as gay, but then it just got gayer,' Knoxville says. 'So it seems we are no longer driving the ship.'
Pick up the September issue of Out to read more about Johnny and Jackass: Number Two.