By Quinn Russell Brown Herald Writer
For members of the MTV generation, the name Steve-O brings to mind the craziest of the crazy: a stunt performer and prankster whose daredevil masochism knows no bounds.
As a centerpiece of the MTV series and movie franchise “Jackass,” Steve-O was hit in the groin with baseballs and shot with bottle rockets, plummeted through the air in an outhouse and literally used as shark bait. He was, as the title of his memoir says, a “Professional Idiot.”
Contrary to common sense, Steve-O is still alive and well in 2014. And he’s coming to a comedy club near you.
This Thursday through Saturday, he’ll be performing five sets of stand-up comedy at Parlor Live in Bellevue.
“Above all else, expect rigorous honesty,” Steve-O told The Herald. “My whole philosophy is that I don’t appreciate being lied to, so I keep it juicy and shocking and 100 percent true. I really put it all out there.”
After years of battling addiction to drugs and alcohol — substances that helped him power through his exploits — Steve-O got sober in 2009. Despite once being the portrait of puerile, he said much of his stand-up comedy is about maturity.
“The highest priority for me right now is growing up, man,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out how to have healthy relationships. I talk about ‘Jackass’ and stuff, but that’s not really what it’s all about. It’s really the conflict and struggles around me trying to grow up, and still being this maniac immature kid.”
His routine details “sexual misadventures and escapades,” but it’s equally about a new goal: celibacy.
“I started seeing a therapist, I went into this sex addict thing,” he said. “Now I’m having my struggles with celibacy, which is hilarious in and of itself.”
He also started a meditation practice and adopted a meat-free diet.
“I’ve been way more creative, way more productive, way more active,” he said. “I’m on this great tear. My ticket sales are way up, my comedy’s gotten way better. I’m not complaining about a thing.”
A self-proclaimed lover of the limelight, Steve-O has said he was terrified by the thought of the cameras stopping while filming “Jackass.” That fear continues into sobriety.
“I deal with it in healthier ways than I used to,” he said. “I must have been terribly neglected as a baby, because I’m so desperate for validation and affection from fans and audience members. And I work hard to get it.”
The third “Jackass” movie came out in 2010 and there are no plans for another, which means Steve-O is on his own. His YouTube channel has over two million subscribers and he’s in the middle of a nationwide tour.
“I’m gonna keep doing what I do for as long as I can possibly get away with it,” he said.
Tickets to see Steve-O are $25-35 and can be purchased here. Parlor Live is at 700 Bellevue Way NE. Suite 300, Bellevue WA 98004.