It’s tough getting up and singing in front of people, even if you’re not having to deal with getting lowered into a tank full of snakes. But that’s the type of challenge contestants face on truTV’s outrageous new competition series Killer Karaoke, which premieres 9pm Friday. The show could not have picked a more appropriate host than Jackass star Steve-O, who brought his usual candor to our “7 Questions.”
You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Maxim. I don’t know if you want me to qualify my answer, but I prefer [pleasuring myself] to scantily clad women rather than nude women. I’ll [pleasure myself] to Maxim before Playboy or Penthouse any day of the week. Then I’ll go with one crappy tabloid magazine, Us Weekly. And I’m going to finish it off with a surfing magazine, because that’s my new passion, my new hobby. Surfer.
Other than Killer Karaoke, if your TV only carried three shows, which three would you have to have?
Game of Thrones, Hardcore Pawn and The First 48.
What’s been your strangest fan encounter to date?
I was terrified for years that I would meet someone who got a life-size image of me tattooed on them [like this one], but what made this so great is that this guy I met understood the point of it all, and he got himself. His whole back was covered with a picture of himself. That’s touching. The distinction is really important, because what makes it funny is that everybody’s favorite topic of conversation is themselves. I like to consider myself readily willing to admit that. That was a fan encounter I was waiting for for years, so it was really fulfilling when I met the guy. It’s just about celebrating the humor in selfishness and self-centeredness.
When’s the first time you were starstruck?
I was 13 years old and I was a major Mötley Crüe fan, and they came to my town. I figured out the name of their manager and called every single hotel in the Yellow Pages until I got through to the hotel room of their manager. The guy was impressed and put me on the list for backstage passes. I got my photo taken with Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee on Oct. 25, 1987. Throughout my travels around the world, my phone somewhere regularly rings in my hotel room with people calling me, telling me they heard that story and did the exact same thing. I don’t like it when they wake me up, but I can’t get mad at those people.
What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
I’m a vegan nerd, so I’ll go with almond milk, Gardein brand fake chicken breasts, and plenty of raw fruits and veggies for my juicer.
You’re on a stamp now, with PETA sponsoring your inclusion in the famous vegetarians line. How does that feel?
I feel in one sense very, very honored. But in another sense — this is pretty funny — my dad told me he didn’t care about any of the other people on the sheet of stamps, and he asked me if I could get a special sheet of just my stamp. So I asked the people at PETA to make me one. They did, and when it showed up it had something that came with it that didn’t come with the original sheet, that had something from stamps.com, like, “Send in any picture and we’ll make you an official U.S. stamp.” It’s as special as having your photo on a mug.
Since your very visible process of getting clean and sober, people have joked that you’re not as funny now that you’re off drugs. Do those jokes bother you?
There are different kinds of jokes like that. There’s people who say, “Aw man, dude, you were cooler on drugs. Get high again.” Anybody who wants me to take drugs or drink alcohol ultimately wants me dead, whether they understand that or not. If I get drunk or high, I’m pretty much better off dead. As far as comedians joking around at the [Charlie Sheen] roast, I mean, I don’t like it, but that’s why I was so determined to really dive face-first into Mike Tyson’s fist, and why I was so happy that I broke my nose. I don’t want anybody to think that I’ve gone soft, and I imagine that’ll be something I’ll be out to prove for many years to come.
Photo: © 2011 truTV. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Credit: Jeremy Freeman