LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Thirty years ago, MTV’s Steve-O dropped out of college and enrolled in clown school.
And his life of TV pranks and stunts has been a circus ever since.
Known for his stunts on MTV’s “Jackass,” Stephen Glover — aka Steve-O — will perform stand-up comedy as part of his “The Bucket List Tour” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Long Center for Performing Arts.
Glover began his television career with MTV airing the first season of “Jackass” in 2000, working with well-known actor and stuntman, Johnny Knoxville. However, MTV was far from the first time Glover had participated in stunts and other risky physical acts.
“I would say the start of my career was dropping out of the University of Miami in 1993,” Glover said. “…Back then, when I was dropping out of the University of Miami, the obvious question was, ‘Well, what are you going to do now?’ and my response was that I was going to become a famous stuntman by filming stunts with a home video camera.
“…Everyone I told this plan to felt really sorry for me.”
Glover soon went to Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College where he used what he had learned to work as a clown until the first day of filming for MTV. As Glover says, it was the same day he last took off his clown makeup while performing his first stunts for MTV.
Some of Glover’s home video stunts were pitched for “Jackass”, but were turned down because they were too dangerous or inappropriate for broadcast on television. That didn’t stop Glover from filming stunts like “things that were obviously illegal,” as Glover put it.
“There are several disguised medical professionals who administer stolen drugs. One case, I have a disguised medical professional who puts an IV in my arm and injects general anesthesia drugs into it while I am doing bike.”
Guests can expect stand-up comedy with a show-stopping twist from Glover, as 10 videos of his stunts and other shenanigans will also be included. As Glover explains, his comedy show is rated “XXX” for a reason.
“The videos that play during the show… just go down… The images that I project during the show, some of them have grown men fainting in their seats… We absolutely average a guy per show.
“You can also expect that if you bring a kid there, you might get arrested. It’s a whole new approach to live comedy.”
In addition to continuing “The Bucket List Tour”, Glover also has a new book coming out in September 2022. His book, “A Hard Kick in the Nuts: What I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Terrible Decisions”, is a combination of his autobiography and the lessons Glover learned throughout his career and more.
“The idea of a Steve-O wisdom book is obviously ridiculous,” Glover said. “We’re enjoying it for the comedy it’s worth. There’s certainly a lot in the book that’s funny, but the reality is that the lessons I learned are quite gnarly and weighty.
“As incomprehensible as my life experience may be, the wisdom I have learned from it, I think, is very relevant.”
Those interested in learning more about Glover’s wild life and professional career, as well as those of other celebrity guests, can tune into Glover’s podcast, “Steve-O’s Wild Ride.” Guests such as Demi Lovato, Shaq, Tony Hawk, Post Malone and many more have appeared on her show. All episodes of Glover’s podcast can be found on his Youtube channel.
Although Glover touts his wisdom as “ridiculous,” he has some advice to share with would-be stunt performers, comedians, and anyone else deciding if they want to pursue their dreams.
“My advice to everyone is the same,” Glover said, “no matter what you’re trying to pursue is: start doing it. Don’t wait for an opportunity, don’t wait to be chosen. Just start doing whatever you want to do.
“The only caveat is to find someone more advanced than you or a reliable source to make sure you’re starting out the right way.”
Tickets for Glover’s performance on Wednesday have been nearly sold out since Friday. Tickets range from $43 to $53 each. VIP tickets are sold out. Visit www.steveo.com to learn more about Glover’s upcoming show and other work.
Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.