On the television show "Dancing with the Stars," daredevil stunt man Steve-O has proven he can be much more than a jackass, contrary to previous indications.
Born Stephen Gilchrist Glove on June 13, 1974 in Wimbledon, London, England, to an American father and a Canadian mother, Steve-O is best known for his stunts both onscreen and in his private life. He gained fame as one of the stunt performers on the television series "Jackass" and "Wildboyz." However, Steve-O has also gained notoriety for his out-of-control lifestyle. He was arrested in Los Angeles in 2002 on obscenity charges for performing the stunt where he stapled his scrotum to his leg at a nightclub in Houma, Louisiana. At the same incident, he was charged with assault for being involved in a second-degree battery. The following year, Steve-O was arrested and jailed on drug smuggling charges in Sweden. In 2003, Steve-O was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct for public urination at a Lollapalooza tour concert in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.
During 2005 and 2006, Steve-O was seen with marijuana, as well as seen urinating in public and stripping nude on more than one occasion. In 2005 Steve-O appeared drunk on "Too Late with Adam Carolla." These incidents and his ongoing drug and alcohol abuse led to Steve-O's friends, including Johnny Knoxville, forcing Steve-O to check into Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. However, Steve-O's problems have continued until recently with appearances where he has appeared drunk on radio programs, using foul language, and performing lewd stunts in front of the studio audience.
Steve-O is also an aspiring rapper with a couple of albums out with such dubious titles as Hard as a Rock and TheDumbest A**hole In Hip Hop.
However, a cleaner version of Steve-O has also been seen on television commercials more recently for products such as Orbit Mint Mojito where he has appeared in the Sand Chug commercial, as well as in ads for his own shoe company called Sneaux Shoes.
Everyone deserves a second chance. While it looks like Steve-O has spent the first part of his life proving he was indeed both a jackass and terrible role model for young people, recently he has done something that I think surprised a lot of people by appearing on "Dancing with the Stars." More than that, Steve-O seems to actually have taken the "Dancing with the Stars" competition seriously. Even after a painful back injury forced him to miss an appearance on the show, and he forgot part of his routine the following week, Steve-O was back on "Dancing with the Stars" with partner Lacey Schwimmer, proving he can not only dance, but look fairly classy in the process.
On the March 31 double-elimination show, before discovering he was safe for another week Steve-O commented, "I'm not used to dealing with high pressure without drugs and alcohol, and so far I've made it through without getting loaded." He added that this made him feel like a champion already, and I second that opinion. On the April 6 program, some of his "Jackass" buddies including Jason "Wee-Man" Acuna and Johnny Knoxville were on hand to support Steve-O both on the telecast of "Dancing with the Stars" and earlier as he practiced the Veinese waltz. In clips Steve-O again commented on his commitment to remaining sober prior to learning he was once again safe to dance another week following his best score yet. His dancing inspired judge Carrie Ann Inaba to voice the thoughts of many commenting on the "sweet innocence" which came across when Steve-O danced while Len Goodman said it was Steve-O's best dance so far.
However, on April 14 Steve-O was eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars" competition, and he celebrated his departure by letting partner Lacey Schwimmer kick him on the groin on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show that night.
I have no idea what his behavior has been like behind the scenes on the show, but the Steve-O the public has seen on "Dancing with the Stars" looks hard working, intelligent, graceful, gracious... and respectabe. Steve-O's performances on "Dancing with the Stars," have raised him more than a notch in my estimation, and I hope it has raised Steve-O more than a notch in his own estimation. Whatever his personal demons may be, Steve-O has proven that he can be much more than a jackass. He has shown us another side of his personality and another aspect of his talent - and this time it is a real talent, not just a stunt. The question is: will Stephen Glove use this as a step up to better things, or will Steve-O allow himself to sink back down to public urination, drug abuse and stapling his scrotum to his legs - the same legs he has used with such grace on "Dancing with the Stars?"
It doesn't matter that Steve-O didn't win the competition. If Steve-O remains sober and uses his story to inspire others, he is already a winner in my book.