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MTV 'Jackass' star gets audiences to laugh in new ways (audio)

By by j.r. ortega/jrortega@vicad.com
April 24, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.


From the TV screen to the comedy main stage

•  WHAT: Steve-O Live Comedy Show

•  WHEN: 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

• WHERE: Golden Gecko, 202 E. Forrest St., Victoria

• COST: $27 plus sales tax

• INFO: To learn more about Steve-O or his shows, visit SteveO.com and GoldenGeckoevents.com.

We've seen him on MTV for years, daring to go where no man has really gone before.

From jumping out of an airplane with no parachute to piercing his cheek with a fishing hook, Steve-O, 38, has entertained many by doing anything and everything to get attention.

But recently, the "Jackass" star has taken on a new challenge - performing a stand-up comedy routine on stage - and, he'll be bringing it to the Golden Gecko on Friday and Saturday.

Steve-O chatted with the Advocate about the good, the bad, and, of course, - the ugly.

Our area tends to be more conservative. How do you think people are going to react to your comedy show?

My work has been probably more popular in places that are more conservative. In Canada, my DVDs were banned in Ontario, and when I went to Ontario it (my comedy and stunts) was more acceptable than anywhere else. So you can't really hold stuff back for censorship or dogma.

How do you go from doing outrageous, painful stunts to doing stand-up comedy?

It was about seven years ago. Somebody invited me to this comedy club in Los Angeles, and they asked me to do a crazy stunt on stage. I showed up to the comedy club, and I looked around, and I couldn't think of anything crazier than trying stand-up. It was generally terrifying, and it seemed just reckless and crazy. So, I decided to do it. Honestly, from the first time I ever tried it, I was pretty psyched on it. I thought, "Wow, this is something I would like to do." I guess in one sense it kind of seems odd to go from doing crazy stunts to doing stand-up. But in another sense, I've lived this crazy life that just lends itself to comedy. The stories I tell are ----ing funny. It certainly feels natural for me. I've really been digging it, and I've been working super hard at it, too.

In watching some of your stand-up comedy, you talk about a variety of topics, but is there something you focus on in particular that you always try to get into your show?

It terms of focus, I would say it's sort of raunchy sex stories and sexual misadventures I would say. Overall, the theme of my comedy is really skewed toward my experience as a semi famous, drug-addicted male slut. It's cool. I dig it.

As a kid, how do you wake up one day and think, 'I wonder what it would feel like to have a firework thrown at my butt?'

I think I was born with a very unnatural, overdeveloped need for attention. Like an unreasonable hunger for attention. I was kind of always wired that way - to just sort of do whatever I could possibly think of doing with anything at my disposal for the approval of my peers. The approval and affection of my peers is always really important to me, and I would do anything to try and get it. My efforts usually tend to have the opposite result.

Most people would think some of the stuff you used to do you have to be absolutely crazy or drunk. Is it hard keeping that same level of funny but also be sober?

I don't think I ever really did stunts because I was drunk or high. I did stunts because I was an attention whore. That hasn't changed. I'm still an attention whore. My sense of humor is no different now that I'm sober. I really believe that I still have plenty of crazy in me.

What's the craziest thing as far as stunts go? Is there one stunt that absolutely terrified you?

I've got a top three that I think were the most ridiculous. One would be injecting five ounces of vodka into my arms through an IV - I talked an unemployed registered nurse into putting an IV into my arm.

Another time, I jumped out of an airplane with no parachute into the ocean. That was a gnarly stunt. I was probably 40 feet in the air going 40 miles per hour.

The last one was being strangled unconscious six times in a row. That was was pretty ----ed up.

Is there anything you would not do?

I've tried pretty hard, sometimes more than others, to avoid being paralyzed or killed. I've had some pretty close calls with both. An example would be when someone suggested being heavily duct taped to a mechanical bull. I try to be incredibly mindful of spinal cord injuries.

Do you still incorporate physical comedy?

I'll never do a show where I don't do some type of physical tricks. There is always going to be physical stuff. The tricks I do on my shows - they are not as injurious or risky. I think the tricks I do are pretty rad. There really is a limit with how much you ---k yourself up.

Any thoughts you have coming to Victoria?

I've had really good experiences in Texas. I'm excited to go there. How far are you guys away from the beach?

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