Sober Steve-O: My Personal Life Would Seem Boring to 'Jackass' Fans

By McCarton Ackerman 12/12/16
Steve-O now has more than eight years of sobriety under his belt.
Sober Steve-O: My Personal Life Would Seem Boring to 'Jackass' Fans

Steve-O is best known for his ill-advised stunts and pranks on Jackass that made him an MTV poster boy in the early 2000s, but maturity and sobriety have made him decidedly more tame these days. 

Now 42, the TV personality says his daily life is far tamer than what might be expected from the guy who stapled his scrotum to his leg or casually huffed paint on camera. He opened up to Vice UK in a new interview about his ongoing attempts to move forward from his Jackass persona.

"My days at home would be terribly disappointing to the people who consider me a wild maniac from Jackass. "They'd be like, 'Wow, it's fucking boring!'” he said. “Which is fine with me—I live a double life, there's no question about that. In my personal life, I'm far more responsible and health-conscious."

"I've heard people say that they think I'm a much nicer guy than they expected me to be, which fucking drives me nuts a little bit," he continued. "People assume I'm a dickwad ... That brings on anxiety. Maybe I should work on seeming nicer."

Steve-O now has more than eight years of sobriety under his belt. He’s also tackled his sex addiction, telling KIIS FM in Australia earlier this year that he “went to see a sex therapist” and had been celibate for more than seven months.

But despite his earnest efforts to change his life for the better, there will likely always be remnants of the immature 20-something fans first loved. During the Vice interview, Steve-O had his tour manager light pubic hair and then blew the smoke into the face of the interviewer.

He also has plenty of wild stories to tell from his 2000s heyday. In a GQ interview last March, Steve-O revealed that he went on a cocaine binge with boxing champion Mike Tyson. After locking themselves in a bathroom for three hours with a steady supply of the drug, Steve-O attempted arguably his most dangerous stunt ever: using the N-word in front of Tyson. 

“I said to him, my exact words, ‘You know, Mike, I don’t have a racist bone in my body, but I like to consider myself a n-----,'” recalled Steve-O. “I’ll never forget, he said, ‘You ask me, the definition of that word is anybody who uses it.’ And I was like, ‘Damn! Iron Mike, deep as fuck!'”

These days, Steve-O has reinvented himself as a stand-up comedian and he released his own special earlier this year. But for his fans who haven’t quite grown up yet either, he didn’t rule out another run with the boys.

"I almost don't want there to be another Jackass movie because I've worked hard to build my own momentum, and for me to have a little bit of traction, and to be able to be getting away with having a career beyond Jackass ... I want to keep that going," he said. "But I would never turn down anything Jackass-related."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.