Steve-O's Bucket List tour: Jackass star on his Wild Ride, sobriety and 'double life' ahead of Hull and York shows

In the very early hours on the first day of his 50th year on the planet, Steve-O is laid casually across the seats in his campervan, smiling into the camera.

The man who shot to fame, along with plenty of notoriety, by appearing on the comedy stunt show Jackass clicks on to a Zoom call with The Yorkshire Post from outside his home in Los Angeles, California, accompanied by his rescue dog, Wendy.

Millions of his YouTube channels’ subscribers would immediately recognise the camper from his show Steve-O’s Wild Ride!

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He appears, ironically, almost angelic – lounging on his side, balancing his head in his hand – but of course it takes no time at all for him to launch into the first of numerous stories, which, inevitably, cannot be published.

Steve-O is coming to Yorkshire with The Bucket List, his latest tour.Steve-O is coming to Yorkshire with The Bucket List, his latest tour.
Steve-O is coming to Yorkshire with The Bucket List, his latest tour.

For those who do wish to submit their eyes and ears to his tales of extremity and cringe-inducing clips, they should know he is a man with something to promote – his Bucket List tour stops off at Hull City Hall on tonight (Monday), and York Barbican on Friday, before homecoming gigs in London later in the month.

The shows, which are for an 18+ audience, will be a mixture of comedy and footage from some of the most shocking stunts Steve-O has committed to film, featuring content which could not be used in more mainstream projects such as Jackass.

“I knew that by going through all of these things and filming everything, that the stories would be outrageous and all of this stuff would lend itself to a comedy act,” says Steve-O, real name Stephen Glover, talking on his 49th birthday.

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In the show, his routines are accompanied by videos showing what happened in bucket list items.

“The through line, which ties it all together, is the relationship with my fiancée [Lux Wright] and how it was impacted both negatively and sometimes positively by these things. Like there’s life-threatening ([stuff] going on and my poor fiancée had to suffer through it.”

Over the years, his stunts have been reckless, painful, scatological and sometimes life-threatening. Teasing sharks by flaunting himself as “bait”, for example.

He is pleased, though, with his development as a live performer.

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“There’s been a convergence of everything and I’ve now spent enough time doing it over the course of the last 13 years that I’ve actually got pretty good at storytelling and stand-up, you know, like finding the jokes and the material and performing it with confidence, where it’s not a cringe fest like my first one. So I'm just really proud of how far I’ve come.”

Steve-O was born in Wimbledon, London, on June 13, 1974, but lived in various places growing up – Brazil, Venezuela, the USA, England, Canada – and eventually settled in the States, but feels strongly about England.

“I think that in America, for the most part, one’s life does not really begin until they turn 16 years old and get a driver’s licence. I mean, I grew up in five different countries but my formative years were all spent in England. I moved back to England: I was born there, I left when I was six months old, and I returned to England when I was nine years old. And at the age of nine, I had all the freedom that kids in America wait until they’re 16 to get. I was bopping around all over London, England, you know, on the Tube, doing my thing, lacking parental supervision. I had all kinds of freedom, and I'm really grateful for that. I got a whole lot of life experience at a much younger age than people in the States would have.”

He went to the American School at St John’s Wood and spent his time skateboarding around the capital and Southsea in Portsmouth.

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Later, in the US, intent on performing stunts for a living, he signed up to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and, in 2000, gained early notoriety as one of the pranksters on the first season of MTV’s Jackass with co-stars including Johnny Knoxville.

In March, Steve-O celebrated 15 years of sobriety after a public struggle with drugs and alcohol. On Wild Ride, celebrities have even sought his advice about their own potential substance issues. “Twenty years ago, if you tried to bet me that I’d be alive, pushing 50 years old, I would struggle with that,” he says.

“I’m super-grateful for my sobriety. It’s made everything possible. Without me being sober and really working a programme of recovery, I would say all bets are off. So I take that super- seriously.

“People coming to me for advice – that's kind of how it works. They say: ‘We keep what we have by giving it away’.”

He is living something of a “double life,” though.

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“On one hand, I’m very serious about my spiritual practice – I have my meditation, my yoga, these are very important things to my recovery.

“And then on the other hand, I’m out here performing and promoting all of this, like, super self-destructive [stuff].

“These two sides of me are largely at odds a lot of the time.

“I would say there are a lot of things that are okay for Steve-O, that are not okay for Stephen Glover. It’s a weird dynamic where I put stuff out in the ether that I'm, like, morally conflicted with. And the further I go, the more that conflict intensifies.”

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Young people filming themselves performing comic skits and stunts is common now, but Jackass made it mainstream years before YouTube existed.

Steve-O adds: “The idea of reckless behaviour captured on video camera is something that was normalised and popularised by Jackass in the 90s. For that reason, perhaps even more than just that, I’d say that Jackass was, on some level, culturally significant.”