Johnny Knoxville, who gained fame and notoriety as pulling pranks on film and television, had a hero in his father, Phil Clapp, who died Wednesday at the age of 83.
The actor and comedian announced his father’s passing on his Instagram page, hailing his father as “my one true hero” and sharing that his father was the one who instilled Knoxville’s “fondness for pranking his friends.”
Knoxville, who was born Philip John Clapp, signed off the tribute as ‘P.J.’
Phil Clapp was a resident of South Knoxville, where, like his son, he attended Young High School, which then became South-Young High School and is known today as South-Doyle High School. He worked as a car tire salesman at Clapp Tire Company.
Full Instagram post text: “My father went to join my mother yesterday at 6:32 p.m. eastern. I was on my way from the airport to the hospital when he passed. He was hilariously impatient and grumpily kind, and he loved my mother and his children more than anything. He was a loyal friend and not afraid to stretch an already exciting and legitimate truth into infinity. He loved telling embarrassing stories and usually at your expense. He also instilled in me his fondness for pranking his friends. He especially adored pranking his employees at his tire company. He made them ex-lax milkshakes, sent letters from the “V.D. Clinic” to their homes, staged gunfights at Christmas parties between two men shooting blank cartridges at one another, the list goes on and on. He was a hell raiser and my one true hero. I love you Ol’ Man, you will be forever missed. Your biggest fan, P.J.❤️❤️❤️”