'Jackass' icon Steve-O shifts gears from stunts to stand-up

Date: 3/15/2011

March 14, 2011

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Managing Editor

CHICOPEE — Contrary to what some might think, Steve-O does not spend his days contemplating the most comical ways to be hit in the nether region or how many ounces of human sweat he could ingest after it had been collected off the body of his friend. Rather, the man made famous for his outrageous, and oftentimes disgusting, stunts in MTV's "Jackass" television series and movies, has entered into a new direction in his career — standup comedy.

Steve-O will perform two shows at the Hu Ke Lau on Memorial Drive on March 18 at 6 and 10 p.m., as part of his international standup tour titled, "Steve-O's Entirely Too Much Information Tour." According to the actor, writer, comedian and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College graduate, there are no holds barred.

"My approach is to relay personal experience. I definitely admit way too much, especially if I was interested in hooking up with a lot of girls after the show," Steve-O said of his experiences he confesses to audiences.

"I talk a lot about the behind-the-scenes of 'Jackass' and how it changed my life in ridiculous, funny ways," he continued, noting that he also shares "a lot of misadventures in the bedroom."

When asked how audiences have responded to his standup, Steve-O replied, "It's been great. A lot of people show up at the show not knowing what to expect and the consensus is that they're pleasantly surprised ... They say, 'Dude, you're hilarious. You really don't have to hurt yourself anymore [to be funny].'"

He hasn't completely abandoned the stunt work that made him famous, however. The first set of his show is standup comedy, followed by a second set of stunts.

"Since I got my own tour, I feel like I'd be kind of letting people down if I didn't put some painful stunts into my act," Steve-O explained. "Now that I'm doing an average of six shows per week, it has now turned into something that's more abusive than [anything I've done] ever before. I'm a performer and I love making the crowd laugh and wince."

He completes all of his stunts without any kind of painkillers or "liquid courage," having chosen to abstain from drugs and alcohol after entering rehab in 2008.

"I have hurt myself but I've been fortunate enough not to have to take any painkillers. Being sober, it certainly doesn't help when you're doing these stunts," Steve-O said. "In this last 'Jackass' movie, ['Jackass 3D'], because I was really present and clear-minded, I was really dreading the stunts more than ever before. But I also wanted to prove that I'm not a boring sissy."

When asked what's in store for the future of his career as an entertainer, Steve-O replied that he's unsure whether or not there will be another "Jackass" movie but that he will be promoting his book, "Professional Idiot: A Memoir," which will hit shelves June 7.

"I've been working on it for two solid years. It's my baby," he said. "I'm not necessarily proud of what's in it. It's not a flattering story, but I really wanted to tell it how it is ... There's a real balance between the fascinating, the sad and the tragic and the ridiculous."

Tickets for either performance of "Steve-O's Entirely Too Much Information Tour" are $25 and can be obtained by visiting www.hukelau.com.

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