June 27th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Steve-O on what it's like being a sober 'Jackass'

After learning about “Jackass” stuntman Ryan Dunn’s fatal crash on Monday, Stephen Glover - better known as Steve-O - postponed his “Entirely Too Much Information Tour,” which incorporates a mix of stand-up comedy and stunts.

In addition to canceling six shows at the Punch Line Comedy Club in Sacramento, California, Steve-O tweeted last Monday, “I don't know what to say, except I love Ryan Dunn and I'm really going to miss him.” (Since the news first broke, we’ve learned Dunn, 34, was traveling up to 140 mph with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.196 percent when his car crashed on a Pennsylvania highway.)

Three days before his cast mate and friend’s untimely death, I talked to Steve-O about his new memoir, “Professional Idiot,” and what it’s like being a sober “Jackass”:

Three years and three months sober, Steve-O said he’s still learning to separate his personal life from his work life. Having been loaded for most of his career, filming 2010’s “Jackass 3D” sober proved to be an interesting experience for the stuntman.

“It’s not easier doing stunts sober, but it’s more important than ever for me to do them. Part of me feels like it’s so important for me to prove that I have it in me to be crazier than ever before. But, I don’t know. That’s probably that part of me that’s really sick,” he said laughing. “I can’t help it. I’m hardwired that way.”

Steve-O continues to perform at comedy clubs - lighting himself on fire and blindly navigating his newfound double life.

“Recovery has been largely a function of really establishing an identity separate from the Steve-O guy,” he said. “I never contemplated any kind of existence or identity after my career. I never thought at some point the entertainment industry is going to be through with me. And when it first occurred to me that my career was going to cease to be ascendant, then I freaked out.”

That realization, he said, was the reason he urinated on the red carpet at the “Jackass Number Two” premiere in 2006.

“I guess I just always imagined that I was going to die like somehow on top,” he added. “I was going to, like, go out in some sort of blaze of glory. I never thought about sort of fading into obscurity. And I’ve worked so hard at having a life, an identity, in obscurity and finding peace with that.”

Many people wondered what Steve-O, with his attention-grabbing antics, would pull on the eighth season of “Dancing with the Stars.” But, to their surprise – or dismay – the stuntman kept it family friendly on the ABC competition show.

“At the time … I felt like I maybe just needed to throw in the towel on a career in entertainment,” he said. “For me, like, the attention and celebrity has just been a drug like anything else. … I felt [“DWTS”] was a really safe way to sort of test the waters of entertainment and sobriety.”

So, at eight months sober, Steve-O put on his dancing shoes, which seemed like a good idea until he realized: “I’m so bad at dancing.”

“Doing something I’m that bad at in front of that many people, that new in sobriety, made for a pretty uncomfortable experience,” he said. “But that’s not to say that I regret it. It definitely challenged my sobriety. I’m so glad that I was living in that halfway house where I had so much accountability and such a good support system there because that was pretty harrowing.”

In the midst of his run on “Dancing with the Stars,” Steve-O revisited the idea of writing a memoir.

The first time he approached publishers with the idea was when “Jackass: The Movie” hit theaters in 2002.

“They set me up with a writer,” he said. “And then this poor bastard came over my apartment and just watched me snort line after line of cocaine and just jabber on endlessly about nothing. It just wasn’t going to happen.”

This time, with help from his ghostwriter David Peisner, he was successful. But after months of pitching the story in third person, Steve-O said first person won out.

“I felt like the platform, or whatever, to speak in my voice should be doled out to me cautiously, like a doctor might want to cautiously dole out painkillers to an addict," he said.

When it came time to decide what would make it into the book, Steve-O said he had one rule: He didn’t want to incriminate anyone.

“When I talk about doing coke in the bathroom with Mike Tyson and stuff, I felt a little weird about that. But then again, on the other hand, it’s not like a big secret that Mike Tyson used to do cocaine.”

Conversely: “There was one story about Johnny Knoxville that I asked him if I could write and he said, ‘No, go ahead and don’t write that.’ ”

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soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. uggs outlet

    ugg outlet
    uggs outlet http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/

    November 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. arnoldparris

    I feel awful for Bam. Not only would it destroy someone to lose their best friend, but how it happened is terrible. All of these ignorant people that talk about how he had it coming, and that he deserved it can just suck a big one. http://bit.ly/ieOvXR

    June 29, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. DonJJ

    Good for Steve-O. Keep it up hopefully.

    June 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. charlie crack

    Time for all racists and haters to get off the bandwagon....go away....when people are grieving and dealing with situations like Bam, Knoxville and the families of course you just need to have some sort of morals. Ya smell me???? Be nice... Ive had too many idiots try and fight with me on here lately...we all know everybody can take a joke but tone down the hate for Dunn... He is dead....Let him rest in peace regardless of a mistake or Tox level or BAC......give it a rest

    June 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pat

    Steve-O got it right... Although lighting himself on fire is a bit too much.

    June 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. yoshi

    I give Steve-O credit – Dunn is dead, and took someone else with him. Steve had the discipline to get clean and sober. He's still standing.

    June 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hang In There Steve-O


    June 28, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. Arglebargle

    Maybe others will learn from this. Naw, who are we kidding.

    June 28, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. darious

    So, someone remind me as to why alcohol is legal, and marijuana isn't....

    June 28, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. D Caf

    Sorry you lost a friend. Even more reason to hang on to your sobriety. Keep up the good work!

    June 28, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. nph

    i love cocaine

    June 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snorty McSnowbooger

      I hate cocaine......................I just love the way it smells.

      June 28, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Idiots???

    So Derek, you consider your name a real name ??? Derek???? LMAO !

    June 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Holy Frijoles

    Good for Steve-O! Congrats to him on his sobriety and carving out a sober life in the public eye. It can be a difficult road. Too bad so many of you guys want to tear him down. What a sad hobby you people have. If there's anything to karma, you guys should consider walking away from the screen and trying to build someone up instead.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. derek

    Anyone who is named Steve-O is a idiot. Grow up and get a real name and then maybe you can think about children. I am so sick of these wanna be jerks thinking they are stars because he lite a fart on fire. Grow up idiot!!!

    June 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lee

    In order to save a career, you first need to have one. Performing a$$wipe stunts doesn't qualify as a career. GO BACK TO SCHOOL PUTZ !!!

    June 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • pugh7755

      That PUTZ, has no doubt made more money with his a$$wipe stunts than you ever will. Jealous much?

      June 28, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  16. Fernandez

    im sure not a steve o fan but i say good for him. if he can clean up his life and have a better one that is absolutely incredible.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. PhilG.

    Being sober really sucks.

    You can't sugar coat it.

    But being a drugged out moron victimizing everyone you love sucks way worse.

    I'll take sober-like life gives you a choice anyway-if you want to live.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teeph

      Wow. Way to find that silver lining Phil. You should write greeting cards or something.

      Of course, I'm not saying you're WRONG by any stretch of the imagination. Being sober DOES suck. But, couldn't you just maybe sugar coat it a little?

      June 28, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  18. sandra

    hope this worthless pos crashes his car next.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • pugh7755

      You're a bigger POS for making that comment. Like your any better!

      June 28, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  19. Some Random Dude

    Being sober sucks.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  20. charlie crack

    However, I should have said losing a dear friend will "keep" you sober. Should I be hung?? Poor babies...moderate posts please i'm sure CNN will send you a check.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  21. charlie crack

    Never said he wasn't sober. Said he "battles" with it everyday. Read a book, not just a blog.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  22. sarah S

    good for Steve-O. i feel like it's a pretty rare thing for a celebrity to be able to stay sober anymore. it's nice to hear there's at least one sober person in hollywood.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. I'm Outside

    So nice and refreshing to read about someone who actually pulled themselves together and managed to get their addiction under control. Way to go, Steve-O!

    June 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Also a Chris

    Dr Drew is such a dbag..... that dude does more harm than good for the people he "helps".

    June 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. PETE


    June 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Dee

    So glad that he is clean and sober. Keep it up Steve O 🙂

    June 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  27. charlie crack

    I'm sorry ........ But you should be more up and up on someone before pickin' a dumb arguement.....come on bro! No biggie. Cool....?

    June 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  28. charlie crack

    @....... You didn't whoop sh!t! Chump. What's your stance....? That someone that has been in rehab repeatedly is just now trying to get sober? He's tried over and over dumb @$$.... Eh?

    June 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      Um, I pretty sure that article makes it clear that it has been over 3 consecutive years sober...

      June 28, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  29. bbwest

    Congratz on 3+ years Sobriety Steve-o! Keep up the good work mayne!

    June 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  30. beantowndown

    Whoop whoop! Mad props steve-o

    June 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  31. nucking futs

    ........ boiled? .lol keep ur head in the sand...ur boyfriend left you

    June 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  32. It's wrong

    I need a drink

    June 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  33. chris

    Congrats on the sobriety Steve O. Keep it up! 2 years here and life keeps getting better!

    June 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  34. d falin

    Stevo if u read this i hope u know your storie is insperation to alot of us. keep it up your worth saving! and only you can do it!

    June 27, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  35. nucking futs

    I remember yelling at him as he walked by pasadena rehab....he cant remain sober if he does the butt beer chug again! damn fool is permafried anyway...

    June 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  36. lladavnoj

    Good for steve o im stil struglin and if he can do it any one can

    June 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Em

      Keep your head up lladavnoj. The struggle just means your getting stronger.

      June 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Cosby

      Stay strong anybody can do it. My life is so much better for it. I almost lost everything to addiction.

      June 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  37. sorry charlie.u r dumb.

    Dumba55 Charlie.

    June 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  38. charlie crack

    He's in the news now with it, and has been battling addiction for years. Right after he quit attending Barnum/Bailey Clown School. So, yeah i've read more than the article @.................

    June 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Slickidy

    I still cant get over the fact that Ryan Dunn was going 140 with a BAC of .196. To think I actually felt bad for him. Ha!

    June 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • darious

      So, someone remind me as to why alcohol is legal, and marijuana isn't...

      June 28, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • jdhuegel1

      At that level of intoxication, he likely had little clue what he was doing. You shouldn't feel sorry for him. You should feel sorry for those that didn't take his keys – or let him drive to a bar in the first place.

      June 28, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  40. San Jose

    Good for him. I watched the special on his drug use/getting sober and it was really intense. It's great to see a success story in the world of drugs and getting clean. I really hope he stays this way because I like Sober Steve better...

    June 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  41. charlie crack

    Yep. Having something like that happen to a friend will sober you up quick. Wish him the best. Memoir should be a interesting read for sure.

    June 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • .....

      did you even read the article? three years, 3 months. not 10 days, or because his buddy was a moron and got himself killed.

      June 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • bunghole

      His friend died a week ago and hes been sober 3 and a half years. Doubt Dunn's death made him sober unless Steve-o is psychic. In that case maybe Steve-o should have taken his keys.

      June 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Cosby

      You should read the article before commenting. He's been sober for over 3 years!

      June 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  42. The Måd Ræp3r

    Good to see him getting it together, might actually buy the book since I like doper memoirs.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  43. trix are for kids

    ray ray... judging by your comment, you can really relate to the "O," is that correct?

    June 27, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  44. jose'

    sober or drunk he is still a jacka$$

    June 27, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |

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