A Day in the Life of a Jackass


Steve-O has bad table manners. Not surprising, considering this is a man who starred in a movie and television show called Jackass.

The incident in question took place somewhere between 4 and 6 a.m. at a bar in Hell’s Kitchen, which had illegally opened its doors to accommodate Steve-O after hours. A bubbly blonde bartender (is there any other kind?) was telling an utterly fascinating story about Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash and smoking weed. Or, at least Steve-O found her and her story so compelling that when he had the urge to pee, he grabbed a beer bottle and relieved himself. At the table. And then, when that bottle was full, he grabbed another and filled that one, too.

I made a mental note for the rest of the morning to remember exactly which beer bottles contained actual beer and which ones had been blessed with Steve-O’s bodily fluids.

In town for a 400-person gig in Farmingdale, Long Island, for the “Don’t Try This at Home” live tour, Steve-O and his Jackass compadres let it rip for a night on the town with Fly Life’s own posse, which included Ken Switzer, the Voice‘s Camp Kill Yourself cover writer who was on the job for

The first stop was, fittingly, a bar named after a mental hospital, Bellevue. The whole crew was there, beers in hand—Steve-O’s so-called butler, Corolla, “toy car man” Ryan Dunn, and their baby-sitters, Nick Dunlap and Jason Berk. (“We prefer ‘handlers,’ ” they cracked.)

At the bar, they were accosted by a Portland, Oregon, fan who was beside himself with joy: “My first fucking night in New York and I see fuckin’ Ryan Dunn and Steve-O! You guys are my fucking heroes! Can I buy you a fuckin’ shot?!” In general, Jackass fans tend to be a little . . . excitable.

I also discovered, after many rounds, that Steve-O isn’t the only one with bad table manners. At Lotus around 3 a.m., Dunn dropped his drawers and inquired about a zit on his butt in full view of one of the investment bankers that populate the club. It might have been the same investment banker who smirked, “Who the fuck are those faggots?” after we were whisked inside ahead of him.

Well, Dunn’s not a “faggot” but he definitely has a fascination with his derriere. Dunn and I discussed the “toy car” segment in Jackass (and if you are planning to see the movie, you may stop reading), where he shoves a toy car up his ass and then goes to see a doctor about the pain in his butt. In the funniest bit of the whole movie, the doctor says to Dunn—after an X-ray reveals he inexplicably has a small car up his rectum—”Don’t tell anyone about this. Already too many people know: You and me, and that’s too many.” The Camp Kill Yourself kid then gleefully related story after story of innocent people playing with the toy car—before, of course, they’d been warned where it’d been.

Again, I make a mental note: Do not play with any toy cars while hanging out with Ryan Dunn.

Later that night, after a Scarface amount of blow had been inhaled up Steve-O’s nostrils (hey, better than wasabi, which makes him puke), he performed the amazing trick of drinking a glass of beer without touching it. He starts with the glass on top of his head and, in a series of bodily contortions, rolls the glass onto the floor and takes a drink.

Hell, he had said earlier, “Everything I do is on the record.” OK, but everything I do is off the record.

At the show the next day (which we didn’t make since we were all out till 9 a.m.), Steve-O sliced open the webbing of his fingers while attempting to catch a knife that bounced from his nose to his hand. And that was in the first 10 minutes. He performed the rest of the show bleeding profusely while explaining to the all-ages crowd how “PCP changed his life.”

Afterward, Dunn knocked himself unconscious riding a tiny kid’s bike into a rope tied at neck’s length. He woke up to a crowd of screaming 12-year-olds, wondering where the fuck he was.

Backstage swelled with fans seeking autographs from their demented hero, Steve-O, the rich kid turned Barnum & Bailey-trained clown. He happily signed away, and then a dominatrix arrived and requested spankings. Did I mention the 12-year-olds? The youngsters merrily slapped away at her ass. Where were their parents? Two feet away, filming the entire proceedings.

Wild times for you and me, but it was just another day in the life of a jackass.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 7, 2003

Archive Highlights