The title of Steve-O’s new comedy special Gnarly, as expected, describes the stunt work peppered throughout the show as he raises the bar on his own shock factor with squeamish spectacles. However, the special should almost be titled Mea Culpa considering his stand-up routine, while off-the-wall, is holding his past destructive behaviour in contempt.
If you’ve been following Steve-O’s YouTube channel (something any Jackass fan should do), you should be familiar with how much of an open book Steve-O has become since his turn to sobriety. His standup career goes hand in hand, allowing the comedian to tell stories from his more reckless days and issuing closure to some open wounds (no pun intended).
Recorded in front of a live audience at the Gothic Theatre in Denver, Colorado and billed as “a multi-media journey”, Gnarly features more personal tell-alls from the Jackass star, including belligerent episodes leading to sobering up for good. His online vlogs and past press interviews seem to have been leading up to this showcase of his excellent storytelling skills. With a lack of reservation and a good attitude, Steve-O delivers on funny build-ups, punchlines, and wordplay. Fans who also remember Steve-O’s insane Don’t Try This at Home DVD series will be surprised by how much the stories in Gnarly weave in and out of those videos. If you thought 2003’s Out on Bail tour video gave you insight on Steve-O’s drug-smuggling arrest, just wait until you hear the comedian explain what happened after he was taken into custody.
The special isn’t a blatant apology from the daredevil, but underneath Gnarly’s surface is someone looking to make amends and happy to break the ice with their own brand of stupidity. Steve-O’s father, for instance, makes an appearance after he’s roped into a jaw-dropping gag involving a used condom (courtesy of fellow Jackass star Chris Pontius). In the middle of this stunt (right before it gets really gross), there’s actually a heartwarming connection suggesting that his father’s former disappointment has developed into a level of affectionate respect for his son.
As for the stunts, I want to stay tight-lipped on those. Viewers who are streaming Gnarly for strictly the stunts may be surprised by how far and few between they are but, man, does Steve-O deliver on those too. From a silly hidden camera prank involving phoney shorts, to an update on a staple in his jaw-dropping repertoire, to a fiery finale that marks the most painful injury Steve-O has ever experienced. The finale also features two mini stunts that, I think, can actually classify as cannibalism.
Steve-O: Mea Culpa Cannibalism – has a nice ring to it, don’cha think?
Steve-O: Gnarly is now available to stream exclusively on www.steveotv.com
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:
Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie