Steve-O is known for: puking, fire breathing, getting kicked in the nuts, eating the vilest things you can imagine, and overall hurting himself for our entertainment. Though for the man himself, one thing stands out.
The iconically raspy and goofy timbre of the Jackass star is actually a point of self-deprecation for the pain jockey. In a video published to his Youtube channel, Steve-O takes an interesting journey down Memory Lane, back on the early days to a time where his voice wasn’t…influenced…by decades of puking and enough drugs to kill an elephant ten times over.
Steve-O, responding to fans comments on how his voice has gotten even raspier over time, has a theory:
“I always thought that my world record for barfing the most on television might have something to do with it,” Steve-O said queuing up a very gnarly vomit compilation.
Looking back to 15-year-old Steve-O, before he had even shotgunned a beer according to him, his voice is still recognizable but not the one we know today.
After years and years of an insane drug cocktail of weed, cocaine, crystal meth, whippits, PCP, and the occasional chaser of crushed glass, Steve-O’s voice and notoriety on Jackass made his impression commonplace.
“By this point, my voice was clearly a thing. I mean, my voice was so easy to impersonate, people could do interviews for me,” he recalled. “What I thought did the most damage to my voice was the nitrous oxide. God I did so much of that stuff. I would go through like 600 cartridges at a time and that would only last me 24-36 hours! Sheesh.”
However, even after years of sobriety, the king of pain said that his voice actually got worse. This leads him to Dr. Randy Schnitman, the “voice doctor to the stars,” to try to finally get to the bottom of it.
Dr. Schnitman’s conclusion? Steve-O uses his throat wrong. Apparently, he uses his throat muscles instead of his vocal cords to form sounds in his throat.
“Really Doc? After everything I’ve been through you’re telling me I just suck at talking?” Steve-O chuckled to himself.
The doctor referred him to a vocal coach to try to relearn his “instrument” and try to reduce the raspy nature of him speaking tone. This part of the video by far is the most hilarious part. In almost a fake voice Steve-O recites the line, “very often people ask, ‘what happened to Steve-O’s voice?'” Though the attempt seemed earnest in the clip, the whole thing has to be one of the oddest journeys for a man who’s found himself being fired out of a cannonball.
In the end, it seems that he realized his voice is just a part of who he is and he’s not looking to change it. Good for you Steve-O.