If you're hoping to hear Steve-O's take on airline food or the presidential election when he performs stand-up Thursday at Zanies Comedy Club-Chicago and Friday and Saturday at Zanies-Rosemont, you're probably going to be let down. The former star of MTV's “Jackass” and “Wildboyz” — who made a name for himself with his painful-looking stunts, including swallowing a goldfish and regurgitating it — isn't that kind of comedian.
So what exactly can the audience expect from his shows?
Steve-O (real name: Stephen Glover) initially didn't want to get into specifics during our conversation over the phone. He felt he wouldn't do certain aspects of his show justice by explaining them and preferred to maintain an element of surprise. But after a bit of prodding, the graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, who has been sober since 2008, shed some light on his unique routine.
Storytelling: “The stand-up part is stories that are all 100 percent true. It's not observational comedy. It's crazy (stuff) that has happened to me, and the ridiculous world I've lived in as a semi-famous, drug-addicted, male slut. There's some incredible material there.”
Stunts: “If ‘Jackass' fans are going to see a Steve-O show, I feel like I owe it to them to give them some (stunts) too. I'm really kicking my own (butt) on this tour. I'm doing things that hurt six times a weekend. It's (messed) up. At the same time, I love doing it.”
Nervous club owners: “I've been stitched up in Belgium after a stunt I did. I guess that was the only time I had to go to the emergency room. But there have been all kinds of burns. Some club owners will get really freaked out: ‘Dude, you can't play with fire.' They have certain things they don't want me to do. It doesn't bother me. I'll just do different (stunts). I have a deep bag of tricks.”
The occasional heckler: “Most of the time it's just drunk people. I really care about putting on the best show I can, so if somebody is (messing) up the show, I'm going to make them pay. I like to nip that (stuff) in the bud. I make an example out of them.”
Audience interaction: “I include the audience a bunch. I go off-script and start asking people questions. I find it's hilarious to ask people questions because it makes them uncomfortable. People who sit in the front row will be a part of the show.”
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