Johnny Knoxville’s Emotional Tribute to Ryan Dunn
Knoxville explains that he was too overcome to convey his feelings and words at Dunn’s memorial service last week, but wanted to give his dear pal the tribute he deserved. “Here is what I wished I could have told everyone then,” says Knoxville, opening a discussion of Dunn’s “hair trigger laugh reflex,” “enormous capacity to love,” and tremendous loyalty.
He also touches on his own anger with Dunn’s death, especially when he had to tell daughter Madison the horrible news about his friend. Here’s Knoxville’s post:
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
“At Ryan’s memorial Wednesday night in West Chester, people were invited up to the microphone to say a few words about his life, whatever they were feeling at that moment.
“I walked to the podium and tried to share memories of my dear friend, but the words were just spinning in my head. What came out were the mumblings of a man trying his best not to cry, and I wasn’t even successful at that. I didn’t break down, because I knew Angie or his family didn’t need to see that, but I also didn’t get to properly convey what Ryan meant to me. I won’t be able to do that here either, but I will try. Here is what I wished I could have told everyone then.
“I felt 34-percent funnier when I was with Ryan, but I guess everyone did. He had such a hair trigger laugh reflex. He lived his life wanting to laugh and wanting you to laugh with him. He would cackle really f*****g loud, too, and it wasn’t uncommon that he would fall over from it. Sometimes I would fall with him because his spirit was very contagious.
“He wasn’t incapable of seriousness, though. Ryan was a great listener. If you were having troubles, he was always someone you could go sit down and talk to. Granted, most of our sitting down was actually standing up playing pool together, but he was always there if you were sad about something. That’s why all this is even harder because right now I really need to talk to him but I can’t.
“Ryan also had an enormous capacity to love. His friends and family got a lot, but a lion’s share of that went to his sweet and beautiful Angie. If he wasn’t with her he would be talking about her. More times than not he would smile wide through that filthy ass beard of his and say something along the lines of, “How did I ever luck up and land her?” Well, it sure wasn’t because of the way he smelled that’s for sure. (Dunn despised water and rarely bathed.) It was because he had a pure, open heart, and many other qualities of which I am writing about now.
“He was very loyal, too, and sometimes that bit him in the ass. We were filming a bit for number two where someone was going to stand in front of the Stingmore mine as it exploded. After we did the test, nobody wanted to do it except me. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I knew we needed footage.
“As I was doing my usual pre-stunt ritual of sitting in someone’s car listening to Roger Alan Wade very loudly, Dunn climbed in the backseat. He asked me if I was doing it and I said, “Yeah.” He told me he was going to sit this one out and I said, “That’s fine, buddy, I got it.”
“We went back to listening to Roger and ten minutes later someone knocked on the window and said it’s time. I got out of the car and Dunn fell in behind me grouchily saying, “Ah hell, I’ll do it with you.” Actually, I don’t know if he said that or anything, but I could tell how he was walking beside me that he was doing it. Bam decided he would as well and we all went in and got our asses shot real good. Whether it was a bit for jackass, a friend in need, or his beloved Angie, Dunn was as loyal as they come.
“I’m becoming upset now because this isn’t right, goddamnit. Ryan, I had to go wake up Madison and tell her you were gone. Do you know how hard that was?!! She loved you so much and I know you loved her, so why, buddy? Rocko will never get to know you like she did, nor will my daughter that is coming in October. I cry a lot about that.
“Roger wrote a pretty song for you, but you’re not here to listen to it. And I’m hurting!! We all are because we loved you so much and now you’re gone. I know your spirit lives on in me, Angie, Bam and everyone you touched, but that’s pretty tough to see right now through the tears. I’m starting to ramble now, just like I did at the memorial, so I’ll stop.
“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m just very sad because I lost my brother and my world got about 134-percent less funny. I don’t know what else to say right now, so I will close with I love you, Ryan. I have a lot of emotions swirling, but I want you to know I love you so very much.”