Steve-O. Jackass. ’Nuff said? Nope. When the notorious fecal frolicker, self-piercer and animal hassler—among other things—rolls into Wiseguys this weekend, he’ll perform stunts like … telling jokes.
Famously on the wagon as of 2008, after his jackassery got to be excessive even for him—as shown in the 2009 documentary Steve-O: Demise and Rise—Stephen Gilchrist Glover is trying to diversify. It had to happen; who could sustain that level of self-torture, or survive so many flirtations with hepatitis? But is he funny without the bottle rockets up his butt?
In an exploratory gig at The Laugh Factory in 2006, documented for posterity on YouTube, Steve-O calls stand-up his “craziest stunt ever.” Hollywood was his ultimate goal, he tells the crowd, but “I don’t wanna fuckin’ be an actor. I can’t sing, I can’t dance. I can’t act. I fuckin’ played with shit. And look at me: I made it.” He proceeds with a repetitive, by turns self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing, set about sex, drugs and fame.
It nonetheless had some rhythm and structure, showing Steve-O did some homework—and that was pre-sobriety. He’s had four years to punch up the old stuff and write new material. Plus, his bread-and-butter tomfoolery, despite its puerility, is funny. How can you not laugh at someone squirting citrus in his eye or playing ham football amid a pack of wild hyenas, and who is unrepentant and undeterred in his sobriety? Even if the jokes blow chunks, as Steve-O may actually do onstage, it’s still quality entertainment.