The master of outrageous and the most infamous member of MTV’s Jackass, and notorious for his often violent and self-deprecating stunts, Stephen Glover — better known as Steve-O — is set to tickle Asia’s funny bone when the daredevil heads to Singapore in August as part of his “Guilty As Charged” tour.
The British-American multitalented performed promised his fans to inject a local flavor to his show, which is organized by LA Comedy Live.
To get things started, a Facebook competition running from June 10 to July 10 is inviting the region’s budding comedians to send in a video of their best stand-up act; the talents who receive the most “likes” will then be invited to a final showcase in early August. Out of this group, an ultimate winner will be selected by a team of judges and experts to perform as the opening act for Steve-O — a task that seems exciting and daunting at the same time.
“If you aren’t super talented, very professional and armed with a ton of material, it is a long time to be on stage,” Steve-O said in an official statement. “The winner of this contest needs to prove that they can handle it.”
Steve-O, who was born in 1974 in London, famously took his career into his own hands at the age of 15 when he found a video camera in his father’s closet. He began shooting skateboarding videos that saw him performing dangerous stunts and tricks, combined with comical behavior on screen.
After high school, Steve-O studied at the University of Miami, only to realize that college wasn’t really what he was looking for, so decided to enroll at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College instead — a school that taught the art of clowning with an emphasis on broad and slapstick type humor. The college closed down in 1997 after having trained around 1,400 clowns — Steve-O was one of the school’s final graduates.
The class clown began immediately sending his home videos to dozens of producers, one of which eventually fell into the hands of Jeff Tremaine, Jackass’s creator, director and producer, who at the time was teaming up with Johnny Knoxville in order to create a reality show based on stunts. It was the perfect fit, as Steve-O was fearless and brought with him a comical touch at the same time.
MTV aired the first season of Jackass in 2000 and only one year later, Steve-O created his show, “Steve-O Don’t Try This At Home Tour,” proving that he was more than just that crazy guy from TV who stapled his own balls to his leg — he demonstrated he had the comedic chops to entertain audiences while live on stage.
Jackass ended after a two-year run, but it was not the end of the franchise, as “Jackass: The Movie” was released by Paramount in October 2002. Afterward, Steve-O and Jackass partner in crime Chris Pontius starred in a spinoff show called “Wildboyz,” which also ran on MTV for four seasons and took the already crazy stunts to a whole new level. A second and third Jackass movie followed in 2006 and 2010 respectively.
Along with the highs, came bottom-of-the-barrel lows and an unshakable addiction to drugs and alcohol finally took its toll on the comedian who began having thoughts of ending his own life. In March 2008, he was placed on psychiatric hold after his concerned friends urged him to seek help.
Steve-O has managed to stay clean and sober since, focusing his career on further developing his stand up comedy. His 2010 successful “Steve-O’s Entirely Too Much Information” tour led him to perform at prestigious comedy venues, where he received favorable reviews — although he had never actually thought about dabbling in stand up comedy full time.
“Someone invited me to a famous comedy club in Los Angeles and they asked that I get on stage and do something outrageous,” Steve-O recalled in an interview with radio station Berry. “When I got to the club I looked around, and it occurred to me that the craziest thing I could possibly do by far would be to try stand-up comedy. Like, that was genuinely the most terrifying, outlandish just crazy thing that I could do.”
In “Guilty As Charged,” Steve-O will share his most memorable experiences from Jackass, Wildboyz as well as his personal life. While the rundown may sound predictable at first, bear in mind that this is Steve-O; so Singaporeans better prepare themselves for some bold, cheeky stunts.
“I’ve lived a crazy life, in fact, it’s amazing I’m still alive,” Steve-O said. “I’m so grateful to be coming to the UCC to share my insane and unbelievable life with my fans in Singapore. I’ll be ready to do crazy things for all of you, and I can’t wait!”Steve-O: Guilty As ChargedAug. 10 at 7 p.m.University Cultural Center (UCC)National University of SingaporeTickets at sistic.com