Former Jackass star has sobered up but still loves to shock

Stephen Glover. -- PHOTO: LA COMEDY LIVE
Stephen Glover. -- PHOTO: LA COMEDY LIVE

Expect brutally honest comedy from former Jackass member Steve Glover on Sunday

In many ways, Stephen Glover is a changed man.

Better known as Steve-O, Glover was a familiar face on MTV's reality shows Jackass and Wildboyz, which ran in the early 2000s.

The shows made stars out of Glover and fellow crew members such as Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera, who readily subjected themselves to stunts that often caused them serious physical injuries. Glover himself is famous for a certain stunt that involves his genitalia and a stapler.

But along with success came a life of drug and alcohol binges for him. The turning point came in 2008 when he sent an e-mail to his friends, including Knoxville, hinting that he might kill himself. He was immediately checked into a mental health facility.

Today, the 40-year-old is sober, drug- free and a vegan.

"I don't think life is easy for anyone. It's the difficult times which shape us into the person we become," he said in an e-mail inter- view with Life!.

On Sunday, he will be performing his first solo stand-up show here, Guilty As Charged.

Those who love his Steve-O persona need not fret about the lifestyle changes - the Britain-born comedian promises to present "shocking, filthy and brutally honest comedy". Ticketholders will also get to meet him after the show.

He will also be displaying tricks he picked up from his time at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Florida. He graduated from the college in 1997 before going into stunts full time.

And it looks like a sober Steve-O is still a crazy Steve-O - a recent stunt, found on his YouTube channel, involves him wearing a Peruvian jellyfish as a sombrero. In the video, his trademark laughter is mixed with shrieks as angry red welts appear on his back. And yet, he wades into the water and scoops up another jellyfish to do it all over again.

The daredevil, who started doing his solo stand-up acts in 2010, digs deep into his past when asked whether he had always wanted to be a performer.

"I suppose moving around so much and always being the new kid in school contributed to me being so eager to make a shocking first impression," says Glover, who has lived in five countries, including Brazil and Venezuela, following his father's career moves as a top executive in companies such as Nabisco and PepsiCo. He also holds citizenships in the United States, Canada and Britain. Indeed, even as a young boy, he was not afraid to shed some blood just to see other people's reactions.

"When I figured out that yanking out my baby teeth before they were quite ready to come out would cause lots of bleeding, I made sure I did that during class at school," he says.

Things have been looking up for Glover, who stopped taking drugs and drinking since March 2008.

"I have no doubt that I have changed for the better," says the bachelor, adding that his career, health and relationships have improved.

He readily admits that even Steve-O has his quiet moments, adding that people should differentiate between being crazy and being stupid.

"(People) are surprised to learn that I'm actually a very well-educated and quite intelligent person who happens to work really hard at being a professional crazy man," says Glover, who hints that he is planning his own movie. There has also been talk that the Jackass crew will reunite for a fourth film.

Now touring in Australia, Glover has released two videos in the past week documenting his escapades there: walking barefoot on live mousetraps and crashing a Lily Allen concert in Sydney.

But he is tight-lipped on what the audience can expect from him when he gets here this weekend.

"I've been making videos of all my travels lately, so you can count on my time in Singapore being memorable."

Singapore may not have poisonous Peruvian jellyfish, but you cannot rule out a dalliance with the chilli crab.

With Steve-O, it might just happen.