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‘Jackass’ star Steve O returns to Helium Comedy Club

Sep 4, 2015 | Entertainment

By Lauren Kirchmyer

Imagine running around in the snow in the middle of winter wearing nothing but rubber underwear that does not cover your backside, then jumping into freezing cold water. That’s what sticks out to Steve O from his first visit to Buffalo last year.

Weather aside, how did you like Buffalo when you were here last year?

It was great last time. Helium has a tradition of taking a full staff photo with headliners and we took the coolest photo ever. I got naked, taped a shoe to my [privates] and got an awesome jumping jack photo with everybody. That weekend went really well too.

What can people expect out of your live shows?

What makes my comedy good and fun and interesting is I’m shameless and I’ve had an outrageous life. There’s nothing I won’t admit. I’m super candid, reckless and honest. If I tell a story, you can bet it happened. It gives me an edge over other people. My comedy is sex and drugs and rock and roll. I never do a show without taking a photo. Every ticket is a backstage pass as well.

Why is that?

The more people post photos on Facebook and social media, the more the word gets out about me crossing the bridge from “Jackass” to comedian. People have low expectations from Steve O’s stand up show, but it’s shocking how I outperform those expectations.

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You also outperformed people’s expectations when you were on “Dancing with the Stars.” Do you have any advice for the stars this season?

Paula Deen is going to be the marquee person because of the controversy. I saw she was saying she planned on winning, not trying to recover her career or do damage control. It will be interesting how they handle that. She will be the destroyer this season … but I don’t know who else is on the show. I still go back somewhat regularly to visit and sit in the audience because I really like the people over there.

How did your time in clown school influence you as a performer?

It gave me all kinds of great material. There are tricks I learned in clown college I still like to do at the end of my show. I was a clown, I was on “Jackass,” I was a drug and sex addict, I’m an author … it all comes into play.

When you first signed on for “Jackass,” did you expect your stunts to be as wild as they were?

I might have expected them to be wilder actually. When the show got ordered, they asked me to send in all of the video I had. I sent all of my best stuff and none of it was allowed on TV. My initial concern was it was going to be a watered down show but we found a way around the rules.

Were there any stunts looking back you think you shouldn’t have done?

Certain stunts I could have executed in a different way for a better outcome, but I don’t think there’s anything I shouldn’t have done all together. One time I was really drunk and went off a balcony, fell on my face and broke a lot of stuff so maybe I should have done that when I wasn’t so intoxicated. On the other hand if I didn’t I wouldn’t have that awesome story. I can’t say I regret that.

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What did you learn about yourself as a person during your time with “Jackass?”

There was a lot of personal growth. Becoming a recognizable personality overnight comes with a lot of privilege and to some extent power. Few people take to it very well. I abused it in every way, there’s a long history of that with my family … but I made it through that. A lot of growth came from becoming sober and living that way. All of the steps I shamelessly and recklessly took go into my comedy. I take serious steps and make it hilarious.

I applaud you for getting clean! The Western New York area has faced a drug problem recently and there have been many overdoses. Do you have any advice for people who are struggling with addiction?

There’s nothing mysterious about it. It’s pretty simple. When you want to get clean, try on your own. Once you failed on your own enough times get help from other people who have done it already. Link up with other sober people and have them show you the way. It’s not a lot of fun initially but your life depends on it. It’s very do-able.

Lauren Kirchmyer is the entertainment reporter for BuffaloScoop.com. If you have any story ideas, please send an email to lk********@gm***.com.

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