Say what you will about Stephen “Steve-O” Glover, the Jackass alum knows how to entertain. As part of the Jackass crew of MTV fame, Steve-O gained a reputation as the most extreme of the lot. In 2008, Steve-O hit rock bottom. A chronic alcohol and drug user, his antics moved from being funny to being a liability. With help from Johnny Knoxville and his Jackass peers, Steve-O recovered. His path to sobriety was documented in the 2009 MTV film Steve-O: Demise and Rise. Now five years sober, Steve-O continues his daredevilry, this time paired with a staged retelling of stories, a YouTube channel with nearly 2 million followers, and a bit part in a 2014 film, Barely Lethal. Steve-O spoke with the VCReporter from the Dominican Republic.
VCReporter: How do you transition from being known as a stunt-guy to being a stand-up comedian?
Steve-O: It was pretty accidental. I was just hanging out back in 2006, somebody asked me to go to a comedy club to do a crazy stunt on stage. When I showed up, I couldn’t think of anything crazier than me trying stand-up. I was terrified. I ended up getting on stage and having a pretty decent time and realized that it was something I wanted to pursue.
You were nervous?
I was more nervous doing stand-up than stapling my balls to my leg.
Has it been hard to convince fans who haven’t seen your stuff for a few years that you’re not Steve-O from Jackass circa 2004?
I haven’t had a lot of people surprised or disappointed that I was doing comedy. Even if people were inclined to feel disappointed about that, I would think that my experiences get everyone’s attention pretty quickly when the show starts.
2009’s Demise and Rise. Before, Steve-O was one person. Afterward, seeing what you went through, I think everyone realized your humanity. Do you have more concern for your personal safety post-rehab?
That documentary was one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. Just the act of handing over that box of videos from when I was all loaded I consider one of my more reckless stunts. Looking back on it now, I have mixed feelings. I still haven’t watched that finished documentary myself. I don’t regret doing it. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad it’s also behind me. Do I care more about my well-being? Absolutely, yeah. When we filmed Jackass 3D it was in 2010; during that year I hit two years of sobriety. I told everybody on that movie that I had survived enough in my life that I felt I wasn’t down for getting killed or paralyzed. If paralysis and death aren’t on the table, I’m in. Now I’m almost 40 years old, how much longer is it going to be cool to be doing this? I don’t know.
How long did it take you to heal up after you threw yourself onto Mike Tyson’s fist?
That was a pretty quick one. I had two black eyes and a broken nose. I’m so excited you asked this. I had broken my nose once before that. Bam Margera broke my nose during the time we were filming Jackass 3D. We were filming a bit called BB Gun Nipple Piercing, and Wee Man fired a BB through my nipple and it stayed in my nipple. My nipple was gushing blood. I was standing there doing a wrap-up on the bit and Bam snuck up behind me with his cup of water and boxing glove trick, punched me right in the face and broke my nose. Then [Comedy Central’s] Roast of Charlie Sheen came up. Mike Tyson and I got booked by the same agent for that. I told him that I wanted to do this thing where I dive into Mike Tyson’s fist. I had asked him to do that once before when we were both locked up in a psychiatric ward in 2008, which is just so hilarious to me. Anyway, I dove into Mike Tyson’s fist and broke my nose again. This kung fu guy came out of the audience and said, “Steve-O, your nose needs to be set right now.” He told me he was a kung fu instructor for 12 years and has set 20 broken noses. He put two thumbs on either side of my nose and clicked it back into place and lined it up all straight. The next day I had two black eyes and my nose was all blown up. It healed in a matter of two or three weeks and it’s straighter than shit. Mike Tyson and the kung fu guy did a better job setting my nose straight than that doctor could have done with his chisel. I got a Mike Tyson nose job.
What should somebody expect from your show?
Filthy comedy and stupid tricks. It’s very much in line with the sensibility and humor of Jackass. If you appreciate Jackass and are interested in juicy stories of behind the scenes, like really juicy stories, then it’s for you. That’s what it’s all about.
Steve-O will be performing at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club on Thursday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.venturaharborcomedyclub.com.