MTV has been responsible for some of the greatest television of the last decade, producing such hit shows as Jersey Shore, Date My Mom, Downtown Girls, and MTV’s most recent success story, Aaron Carter’s Flaccid Jungle, in which the “Crazy Little Party Girl” singer has to navigate his way around a maze of windmilling naked men.
Personally, however, my favourite MTV programme in recent years has to be Dr. Steve-O, starring beloved Jackass star Steve-O, who since leaving the show that made him famous, has somehow managed to achieve a doctorate degree (presumably in partyology). Wearing a permanently baked expression, the recent graduate travels across Southern California in an animal-print ambulance with his face on the side, in the hope of finding unconfident, bullied nerds. With his drug and alcohol-fuelled advice, he plans to turn their lives around, seemingly by forcing them to inflict horrendous physical abuse on their own bodies.
Addressing the camera, Steve-O explains: “America is facing a terrifying new epidemic: wussyness, sissydom — whatever you want to call it, I decided to do something about it! So I became a doctor. Dr. Steve-O!”
Sure, his logic is flawed, but his heart seems to be in the right place. A montage helps further illustrate Steve-O’s anti-sissy agenda. Steve-O plans to help the bullied youth of America by letting them know that their misfortune can turn them into well-respected stunt performers, capable of stitching their own buttocks to their face in the name of entertainment.
It’s a stupid idea, obviously, but then again, it might just be stupid enough to work. Of course, the opposite could be true, destroying the little hope that these suicidal nerds have and providing them with countless material to tell their already alarmed therapists.
The programme opens with Steve-O watching submissions from a variety of emotionally (and physically) scarred youngsters, all of them asking for Dr. Steve-O’s educated opinion and assistance. Most medical practitioners operate under confidentiality, but considering Steve-O’s rudimentary practice takes place out the back of a painted animal-print van with his face on the side, confidentiality doesn’t seem to be one of Steve-O’s priorities.
“I’ve been afraid of bees all my life,” says one nerd, Jace, to the camera. “People see me and they judge me and they think I’m a nerd, they think that this is just someone to laugh at. I just need to be more gutsy like you are.”
“Aguuh-HUH!” garbles Steve-O, watching Jace’s tape from the back of an ambulance, a hired “babe” strategically balanced on his knee.
We cut back to Jace. “If I could just meet more people, if I could just get rid of this fear of bees, if I could just be (or bee, rather — get it?) less shy, I think it would make all the difference in the world.”
Here we have your basic nerd with a crippling fear of bees, apparently so afflicted with a fear of bees that it’s affecting his everyday life. Personally, I very rarely ever see bees, but Jace appears to come into regular contact with them, so much so that other people have found out about his beephobia. “Bee boy,” you can imagine his bullies saying to him, as they circle him whilst wearing homemade bee masks. “Hey, Buzzzz! I mean Jace. Did you just hear the BUZZZZer!? Huh!? Did you, bee boy!? Bzzzzzz.”
Something like that I imagine.
For such a delicate psychological issue, this is surely going to be a tricky one to treat. So, what will it be? Counseling perhaps? Maybe Jace could simply talk to Steve-O about where the problem might have stemmed from? Well, not exactly. Steve-O’s diagnosis: “Wax the crap out of him with beeswax!” Understandably, when Steve-O barges in on Jace in his place of work, Jace doesn’t seem particularly impressed with Steve-O’s solution to rid him of his deep-seated fear of bees, but eventually caves in under pressure.
As Steve-O parades around the open-plan office it soon becomes evident that Steve-O has a rather nasty crack-induced cough. Admittedly, I’m not a doctor, but judging from the glazed look on his face and his inability to stand in one place for longer than a second, that’s my diagnosis.
See, I can diagnose, too. I’m a doctor. Dr. Jack, crack doctor. I drive around in a vomit coloured van with my face on the side, telling people they look like they’ve been hitting the crack a bit too hard.
Under the influence, Steve-O passes on the responsibly of waxing Jace’s eyebrows to his babe sidekick. “How is this going to help me?” Jace asks, seconds before the wax strip is pulled back.
“I just think that messing around with bees wax is a step in the right direction,” replies Steve-O. And with that, Jace is left eyebrowless. Tears gather in Jace’s eyes.
At this point in the episode, I have to wonder what Steve-O wrote his thesis on. Could it be that waxing somebody’s eyebrow with beeswax is genuinely helpful in curing a patient’s fear of bees? I’m not actually a doctor, so I wouldn’t know, but I have to admit that I’m suspicious of Steve-O’s advice.
Oh, and If you’re starting to question Steve-O’s ethics, don’t worry, he wouldn’t do something to somebody that he wouldn’t be prepared to do to himself — which, considering this is Steve-O, probably doesn’t mean very much. To prove this, he dons a zebra-print thong and starts manically waxing his own bikini line with the help of Jace and his hired babe.
This reminds me of the time my doctor gave me an enema, and to prove that he was a fair, reliable GP, he proceeded to drop his own trousers and administer himself one as well.
Okay, you know what? Fuck Jace. If he refuses to accept bees into his life then it’s onto the next nerd. How about this guy?
Jordan seems to have a problem with eating meat off of the bone. The perfect job for Dr. Steve-O! Rather than simply acknowledging the fact that he doesn’t want to tear the dead, fatty flesh off a bird that’s lived it’s entire life in a 30 X 30cm2 cage with his teeth, Jordan’s requested Steve-O’s guidance to help him overcome his predicament.
A semi-conscious, drug-addled Steve-O turns up at the Jordan’s house with what looks like a half-cooked, grey chicken and requests that he bites its head off. After a touch of emotional blackmail, Jordan finally submits and clamps his molars down its cold, dead neck, barely managing not to gag. Once again, Steve-O agrees to do the same — this time, fortunately, without donning his trademark zebra-print thong.
Great, now the unfortunate basement-dweller will have no problem eating a dead thing in front of the judging eyes of his family and friends.
Meal times used to be troublesome times for poor Jordan. “Whatsa matter, son?” his Pa used to bark at him, disappointed in his son and his inability to eat meat from the bone. He saw him as a loser, a non-person. “Don’t you like the semi-cooked grey shit that Ma’s dumped on your plate?”
“Uh, no, pa, it’s not that. Jus–” lil’ Jimmy would reply.
“You a fag, boy? You been foolin’ around with that queer again?”
“No! Promise, Pa. I-I-I–”
“Then what’s ya problem, boy? You eat the dead bird. My darn tax dollars are paying for it.”
This will no longer be an issue, thanks to Dr. Steve-O, miracle worker — a man primarily known for stapling his own scrotum to his leg.
After biting a chicken’s head off, Jordan has a question: “So, what am I doing next, Steve-O?”
“It’s not all about you!” Steve-O grumbles, coming down from his crack binge. “We’re going to cure Jace of his fear of bees!”
Steve-O takes Jace to a bee farm and, with assistance, begins placing bees on Jace. As motivation, Steve orders his hired babe to strip down to her “beekini” (hahaha! Get it?) and stand next to Jace.
“Come on, man! Be manly,” Steve-O encourages.
“Nhmm-nhmm! Nm-nm-nm!” sobs Jace, as warm, fear-induced urine trickles down his shaking leg.
“You know what? You are officially cured. You are a raging badass, man.” Steve-O declares, as he watches Jace attempt to make his soul leave his body.
But there’s no sound from Jace, who’s petrified body is fixed inertly to the spot. Eventually, the bees are hosed off of Jace’s pee-stained pants and Steve-O takes him over to his make-shift party ambulance. Jace suddenly collapses in a pool of tears. Not knowing quite what to say about having just caused the psychological equivalent of stapling somebody’s scrotum to their leg, Steve-O stutters: “I, uh, cried, too, when I discovered how awesome I was.”
Focusing back on Jordan, Steve-O dreams up a ridiculous solution to rid him of his chronic meatphobia once and for all. Attaching two small turkeys to the hands of his hired babe and putting a very large turkey on Jordan’s head. The hired babe is then instructed to punch Jordan in his turkey face until he learns to enjoy the act of eating meat off of a bone.
Finally, Jordan and Jace prepare for one final challenge, a joint challenge in which they’re required to be towed around an ice rink on their behinds. And yes, this has no relation to either Jordan or Jace’s problems. At this point, having been forced to wear a turkey on his head, in the hot sun, as an attractive woman beats him with her turkey-covered fists, Jordan decides enough is enough and opts out of the final challenge. Jace is left to complete the challenge with Steve-O, and does so with gusto.
“This world just keeps getting better with every step I take,” claims Steve-O, after finishing the challenge. Jace is officially declared “Cured” and Jordan is labelled “Terminal” — presumably a terminal non-meat-off-the-bone-eater, or something. To seal the deal, Steve-O, now so loaded he can hardly stand, staples a piece of paper to Jordan’s chest, officially putting an end to all further teasing, taunting and torturing.
So was Steve-O at all helpful to these vulnerable nerds? Did they benefit from his highly unorthodox treatments?
When asked by MTV.com about his appearance on Dr. Steve-O back in 2009, Jordan said: “The bullying got much worse, that’s for sure. You know they call me turkey boy, right? I’ll just be waiting for the bus or something and suddenly — whack! Someone clocks me with a turkey boxing glove. ‘Hey, turkey boy! Eat meat off of a fuckin’ bone, you pussy! You turkey pussy!” It never ends. Last week, some guy literally basted me. I’m serious. He put me in a giant tray and fuckin’ basted me.”
Jace’s experience was more positive: “It is true that I have had a few very minor operations since appearing on Dr. Steve-O; in fact, Steve-O did my third breast augmentation. Of course, he was incredibly wasted at the time. I just knew what I had to do after the show, and that, of course, was to become an androgynous sex bee. I got the breasts, I got the wing transplant and I had my body tattooed yellow and black. Somehow, in my own private way, I feel much better about myself. I think I just needed Steve-O and his show to make me realise this is what I’ve always wanted.”
So that was Dr. Steve-O, a show that inexplicably only lasted a mere 7 episodes. Unfortunately, Steve-O didn’t continue his bizarre medical experiment, but his medical research has helped literally hundreds of neurotic nerds overcome their fears. By donning a leopard-print thong, Steve-O’s contribution to science is incomparable to that of all modern physicians. Today, students all across the globe, in schools, and in universities, watch these 7 episodes of MTV television, observing Steve-O’s methods and applying them to their own studies. The turkey boxing glove is now considered an integral tool in the treatment of phobias. For all this, and more, Dr. Steve-O will go down in history as one of the most important television programmes ever made.
“Be polite and ignite (your farts).” – O, Stephen. (2007a). F.A.R.T: The Book – A Study of the Unconscious Mind and its Influence on the Buttocks. Tits ‘N’ Ass Ltd.