The business of Jackass, at the risk of being as blunt and simplistic as a shopping cart containing an MTV actor smashing head-on into a brick wall, is for its cast members to hurt themselves in interesting ways. And business is apparently booming, as NME reports on a new study (from Nova Legal Funding) that purports to claim that Johnny Knoxville and his crew—including Steve-O and Ehren McGheyhey, his closest brothers in achieving serious, life-threatening injuries—have apparently wracked up an approximate $24 million in medical costs across their long tenures with the series.
Now, to be clear, this is one of those “studies” that pops up on the internet every once in a while, performed by a company pretty clearly getting people to try to talk about, in this case, all the very expensive, legally profitable injuries one might suffer, had one not already signed what we have to assume was just an ungodly amount of waivers before filming on Jackass could begin. (Real estate companies also love this stuff, presumably on the grounds that you, the consumer, might want to move to, and then buy a house in, whatever state shares your love of your favorite Marvel character, or fast food French fry, or whatever.) As such, the actual money values on these injuries might be a tad suspect, although, really, the sheer volume of all the harm is staggering either way. In fact, it’s a long enough list—including Knoxville’s recent Jackass Forever brain hemorrhage, which apparently added a full $2.5 million to his hypothetical tab—that it makes us start to get genuinely worried about how we, as a society, have contributed to the destruction of these men’s bodies. Like, any time you’re typing the words “broken neck x3" into anything, you’ve probably crossed an ethical line somewhere, right?
Anyway, Knoxville ($8.6 million) undeniably tops the list, propelled in part by the 16 concussions he’s apparently suffered during his long tenure with the show, followed closely by McGhehey ($7.38 million), whose triple broken necks are accompanied by a broken back, two replaced teeth, and an ACL reconstruction. Steve-O comes in third at $5.82 million, with big money items including that time he needed skin grafts on 15 percent of his body, and a pricey fractured skull and no, seriously: Maybe Jackass should have been illegal? These men have harmed themselves so much, is the thing And all they got out of it was what we assume was some money, and a supporting villain role in Men In Black 2. At least Jason “Wee Man Acuña got out of it all with a relatively light $675,000, we guess.
Anyway: Jackass Forever is out in theaters on February 4, 2022.