Before today’s vloggers made a fortune posting outrageous stunts, there was Jackass. The MTV series was an absurd but undeniable hit in the 2000s, and it launched a whole generation of modern-day clowns like Steve-O. But when cast member Bam Margera was recently soliciting fans for Venmo donations, it begged the question of what Jackass stars are really paid to put their safety on the line. For instance, does Johnny Knoxville’s net worth match Margera’s? And whatever happened to some of the lesser-known performers? In honor of the upcoming Jackass 4 release, we found the estimated net worths of some of the most notorious Jackass cast members. Find out just how much it pays to set your head on fire or staple letters on your butt.
‘Jackass’ Debuted All The Way Back In 2000 On MTV
Is there any Gen Xer or millennial who didn’t watch at least one episode of Jackass in their lifetime? The series, conceived by Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville, and Spike Jonze, aired on MTV between 2000 and 2003. Its success was stunted when viewers across the country were injured trying to recreate the dangerous stunts. Still, the franchise endures. Jackass has spawned popular spin-offs (Viva La Bam, Wildboyz), films, and related feature projects (Bad Grandpa).
Jackass cast members—a mix of skaters and thrill-seekers with high pain thresholds—constantly push the envelope in the form of cringe-inducing stunts and pranks. With the upcoming release of the movie Jackass 4, we recently asked ourselves, “What’s the going rate for jumping in a ball pit with an anaconda?” Find out what these fearless fools get paid to bring us laughs and who has made a fortune since the series’ conclusion.
Steve-O has an estimated net worth of $2.5 million. Not bad for someone who was working as a flea market clown when he was discovered by Jackass producers.
However, it took a long time for Steve-O to achieve financial success. In 2019, he posted a video on his YouTube channel breaking down his salary during the early Jackass days.
“I didn’t make very much money on the first season of Jackass,” he explained. “I got paid per bit that I shot, and if the bit was dangerous where I could get hurt, I was to be paid $500. If it was just kind of funny, I was to be paid $200.”
“At the end of the day, I made less than $1500 after taxes for the entire first season of Jackass. No residuals. No nothing, and by the time the show came out that money was long gone.”
Check out a detailed breakdown of his finances in the video below:
We assume Steve-O also lost a good chunk of his earnings to his drug addiction. In 2008, he was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after friends expressed concern for his well-being. The entertainer was also charged by the L.A. County District Attorney with felony possession of cocaine.
“He’d wake up to nitrous balloons, then drink a vodka and grapefruit juice, snort a line of Special K and then a line of coke, and then smoke PCP with weed in it, Bam Margera told Maxim in 2010. “Seriously, anything you can think of, he would do. He was on this path of pure destruction.”
Steve-O entered a treatment program and has been sober ever since. He currently hosts his own podcast and tours as a stand-up comic.
“Everyone involved in Jackass has had to put up with me being a real burden, a super-annoying guy, and it’s a blessing for me to be able to work with everybody and not be that guy anymore,” he said two years into recovery.
“I’m completely blown away by how well he’s doing now—so honestly proud of him and how healthy he is and how he’s helping other people get sober,” added Knoxville.
Preston Lacy has an estimated net worth of $3 million. The 51-year-old is a former truck driver who started his acting career in commercials.
“I met Knoxville from a couple of commercial auditions together.” He told the Dallas Observer in 2015. “That’s where I met him, and he asked me to write him some ideas [for Jackass]. I told him the show sounded really dumb and that we should do more of a situation comedy.”
Lacy ate his words. Jackass was a hit, and he eventually split his time between writing for the show and appearing in stunts—the most notable one being his wild pursuits of Wee Man in crowded public areas.
Aside from a 2011 arrest for marijuana possession, Lacy seems to have stayed out of trouble in his personal life. In 2006, he wrote and appeared in National Lampoon’s TV: The Movie with his Jackass co-stars Wee Man, Chris Pontius, and Steve-O. He also starred alongside Patrick Swayze and Chris Kattan in Christmas in Wonderland the following year. In 2020, he had a part in the comedy Guest House starring alongside Pauly Shore.
Chris Pontius has an estimated net worth of $4 million.
The goofy Californian got his start as a writer for the popular skateboarding magazine Big Brother. When his editor Jeff Tremaine created Jackass, he followed him and joined the series. Viewers will always remember him as his G-string-wearing alter-ego Party Boy.
Pontius also co-starred in four seasons of the MTV spin-off Wildboyz with Steve-O. In it, they traveled the world to learn about various native cultures—and to predictably perform ridiculous stunts with wild animals.
Pontius has also had film roles outside of Jackass. His filmography includes parts in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, and the Netflix comedy Game Over Man.
He’s doing better than well for someone who originally joined Jackass just to have fun.
“Were some people handling success better than others? Yeah, definitely,” said Tremaine. “[Steve-O] wanted [fame] so bad, whereas Pontius could give two sh-ts.
It sounds like he’s spending his Jackass royalties wisely. In 2020, Pontius paid $1.6 million for a home in Tarzana, California. The 3,300-square-foot mid-century modern ranch has five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, and is set on half an acre.
Jason Acuña AKA Wee Man
Jason Acuña, aka Wee Man, has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
We all know him as the pint-sized yin to Preston Lacy’s oversized yang. But Acuña has had an interesting career and life outside of Jackass. Like Pontius, he began his career working at Big Brother. The skater has used his athleticism to his advantage in the reality programs Armed and Famous and NBC’s Celebrity Circus.
Acuña’s net worth may have something to do with his entrepreneurial spirit. When he’s not filming pranks, he’s an investor in the fast-food franchise Chronic Tacos.
He also lives a very modest life with low overhead. In 2019, he sold his Malibu home and moved into a customized Sprinter.
“I realized the more [stuff] you have, the more issues you have,” he said in an interview about van life. “I like being on the road, I love traveling. I was like, I want to do something different.” Check out a tour of his cribs-on-wheels below:
Bam Margera has an estimated net worth of $20 million. That’s quite a sharp decline from his peak estimate of $50 million, but unfortunately, Margera’s personal struggles have taken a toll on his bottom line.
The former pro skateboarder has struggled with alcoholism and emotional problems for years. But during the filming of Jackass 4, producers finally drew a firm line in the sand and told the longtime star: get clean or get lost. He was dumped from the project shortly after posting a string of now-deleted video tirades.
“We want Bam to be happy and healthy and get the help he needs,” Knoxville told the Hollywood Reporter in May. “We tried to push that along. I think that’s all I really want to say about it.” He later added, “I don’t want to get into a public back-and-forth with Bam. I just want him to get better.”
Johnny Knoxville is by far the wealthiest Jackass cast member with an estimated net worth of $75 million.
In addition to the franchise, Knoxville has appeared in a number of other films, including Men in Black II, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Lords of Dogtown. He is also the voice of Leonardo in 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
But Knoxville’s fortune was not built on getting hit in his private parts for laughs. Much of his wealth comes from working behind the scenes. He not only co-owns Dickhouse Productions with Jackass co-creators Tremaine and Spike Jonze, but he also has a separate production company, Hello Junior. In 2014, the latter signed a two-year first-look deal with Paramount Pictures. We imagine that after Jackass 4, the money will just keep coming.