Jackass star Steve-O has the kind of nickname that begs the question of its origins, and in a new YouTube video posted to his channel today, the stuntman and podcast host finally obliged his fans with the backstory. As you probably could have guessed, the tale involves a combination of booze, bodily harm, and other youthful indiscretions.
Steve-O begins by acknowledging that most people assume, understandably, that his last name begins with O, but it’s not that simple—his last name is actually Glover. From an early age, Steve-O says, he started developing a reputation for getting into trouble—spray painting graffiti, skateboarding, and “being a psychedelic stoner.”
By the time he went to college at the University of Miami, his friends referred to him as “Hurricane Steve” because, as he puts it, “I was a complete buttnut, drunk off my ass and doing the dumbest shit ever all the time, and destroying everything.” That nickname, however, turned out to be too much of a mouthful for his (often highly inebriated) friends, who simply preferred to yell “Steve-OOOOO” while he performed stunts at parties. (And yes, there’s plenty of VHS-era archival footage included.)
And that’s more or less the story. “That’s where my name came from—drunk people screaming,” Steve-O says. He goes on to describe the moment he fully embraced the moniker, which followed a series of arrests and a 10-day stint in prison. During that time, Steve-O began to very literally sketch out his roadmap to stardom, sketches which included his now intentionally phallic signature. As the video concludes, Steve-O does note that he still uses his birth name in contexts where his stage name might seem inappropriate, such as during his sobriety meetings.
The moral of the story? “If you’re looking for name recognition, it helps to have a short, goofy, memorable name,” Steve-O says. “But don’t just have a goofy name. Make sure you act like such an outrageous derelict that your life story can be a book that gets five stars on Amazon.”
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