Johnny Knoxville Settles Down Into Sitcom Life With Reboot

Ever since Jackass premiered on MTV in 2000, Johnny Knoxville has been introducing himself to the world…and then subjecting his body to abuse. We’ve watched him lose fights to boxers, stress test an athletic cup with a sledgehammer, and terrorize Los Angeles as a Night Monkey. But in this spring’s Jackass Forever—the long-awaited, much delayed fourth installment in the MTV show’s feature-film franchise—Knoxville was charged by a bull and suffered multiple injuries including a brain hemorrhage. After suffering an estimated 16 concussions, his stunt days were over. Fortunately for him, he could pivot into sitcoms.

This week, Hulu premieres Reboot, in which edgy writer Hannah Korman (Rachel Bloom) follows her indie film, Cunt Saw, with a dark reimagining of Step Right Up, a TGIF-caliber multicam sitcom. She wants to bring back the original cast, including Reed Sterling (Keegan-Michael Key), Bree Marie Jensen (Judy Greer), Zack Jackson (Calum Worthy), and Clay Barber (Knoxville). All have their own reasons to return to any version of the show that made them famous; since Andy Dick recently told him he was out of control, Clay may need it most of all for image rehab. And since the old episodes of the show do well on the platform, Hulu’s happy to revive it; they just might want to bring back the original showrunner, Gordon Gelman (Paul Reiser), to impose his antique comic sensibilities onto Hannah’s vision. It’s a real sitcom using a fake sitcom to make a metacommentary about the business of television and celebrity. Simple right? To add another layer of meta-mind-scramble on top, also returning to the world of (real) sitcoms is Reboot’s creator Steven Levitan, whose massively successful ABC sitcom, Modern Family, ended its run in 2020.