Sure, people know Steve-O once swallowed a goldfish live and then threw it up back into its bowl. And the Jackass star got the world's dumbest tattoo (a self portrait of himself with two thumbs up and the words "Yeah dude, I rock!"). But did you know that he's a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, was a clown at Ft. Laurderdale's Swap Shop, has two rescue dogs, and practices Nichiren Buddhism? Neither did we. Nor were we aware that he's doing stand-up. His act is scheduled to swing into town this Thursday to Sunday at the Miami Improv. We caught up with Steve-O and talked about pain, stunts, stand-up, and sobriety. Look out for the extended interview in this week's issue. For now, read on for a small taste of Steve-O.
New Times: Favorite stunt?
Steve-O: Jumping out of one of those sea glider airplanes, with no parachute, into the ocean. The plane had to be 50 feet up in the air, going like 50 miles per hour. We were on the third day of a bender, with no sleep. After I landed, I had the wind knocked out of me so bad that the rest of the day, and maybe the next day too, I was convinced I had internal organ damage. Being that high and going that fast, water does not feel like water.
Speaking of pain, do you Jackass guys all have a high tolerance for it?
No, not at all. If we did, there'd be no reaction, and it wouldn't be that entertaining to watch. I think what makes it work is that we're all scared, and feel pain, and have good chemistry. We're not brave, really, just dumb.
Does your stand-up act have any homoerotic undertones like in Wildboyz?
That's just our way of trying to rid the world of homophobia. You either find the homoerotic humor funny or you get uncomfortable and people who get uncomfortable are usually homophobic.
What's your take on the gay-marriage issue?
Growing up I always had a reverence for California, like it was this liberal, rad place. The fact there's been all this Proposition 8 stuff and the state's been at the forefront for gay bashing kind of disappoints me.
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Do you still have an ass piercing?
That came out right away. I wouldn't have been able to get off that table and walk around with out that thing ripping right out.
See Steve-O at 8:30 and 10:45 p.m., Thursday through Sunday at Miami Improv Comedy Club (3390 Mary St. # 182, Coconut Grove). Call 305-441-8200 or visit improv.com. Tickets cost $22 plus two drink minimum.