NEW YORK – MTV's controversial stunt show Jackass is no more.
The show's star, Johnny Knoxville, whose real name is P.J. Clapp, called it quits late last week for a career in movies. The last original episode of Jackass aired Sunday night.
"We told [MTV] we would do specials down the road," Knoxville told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. "But this is enough. We have done enough."
MTV will continue to air repeats of the 24 episodes of Jackass that were made — but will edit out questionable content, Knoxville said.
"The most objectionable things will be taken out," he said. "All the funny things will be gone."
MTV proposed another 22 episodes as late as last Thursday night — but Knoxville says he was not interested.
During its peak, the controversial cable show aired as often as 10 times a week, was seen by as many as 20 million viewers each week and was the highest-rated show on the network.
But it drew the ire of former Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman and other politicians who last year called for the show to reform itself or be taken off the air when teens started trying to copy the dangerous stunts.
One boy in Connecticut suffered serious burns after trying to copy a stunt in which Knoxville tried to barbecue himself. Knoxville wore a heat-resistant suit; the boy didn't. Another boy in Kentucky was run over by a car while attempting another stunt.
The video footage of the hit appeared on local newscasts for weeks afterwards, drawing further criticism and unwanted attention to Jackass.
As a result, MTV had canceled several spin-off projects, including a book and a soundtrack, and the lack of promotion irritated Knoxville and the show's cast and crew. "It was frustrating for us on one hand," he said.
"But, in MTV's defense, it was an extraordinary case of events, and no one really knew what the right move was," he said "I'm sure they would have liked to have done things differently."
Knoxville said he wanted to quit while the show was still special. "With this kind of comedy, people become inured to the shock value," he said.
The move seemed to catch at least some MTV officials totally by surprise.
Press representatives were at first unaware that the show was ending.
"We're having ongoing discussions about new episodes of Jackass, " an MTV spokeswoman said later, shortly before press time.
Knoxville will appear in Big Trouble, a comedy in which he co-stars with Tim Allen and has a role as a two-headed alien in Men in Black 2 next summer.
Jackass featured Knoxville and a group of his friends attempting dangerous stunts like setting themselves on fire, getting shot with crossbows, Mace or a tazer gun and swimming in raw sewage.
They sometimes injured themselves doing the stunts, and Knoxville appeared in several episodes wearing a cast.
The show was co-created with Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), and the three are partners in their own production company.