|Single by Denis Leary|
|from the album No Cure for Cancer|
The chorus of the song is often used in The Howard Stern Show and was also utilized (along with the opening guitar riff) on The Morning Show with Ed Lover, Doctor Dré and Lisa G. on New York's WQHT Hot 97 for a brief period in the mid-1990s as the backdrop for a weekly segment called "The Jackass Wall". On the Australian TV show The Chaser's War on Everything, it was parodied with a song called "Ass Sol", making fun of Sol Trujillo, the controversial American then-CEO of Australian telecommunications provider Telstra.
The song made MuchMusic's "50 Most Controversial Videos of All Time" and reached spot #37 for its profanity, making fun of handicapped people, and threatening to destroy the environment. The word "asshole" is said at least 27 times, according to MuchMusic's Devon Soltendieck. The word "fuck" is said four times and also "piss" is used three times. "Goddamn" is also uttered. A censored video for the song was made, which bleeps out some words. However the word "asshole" is still present and uncensored.
In a 2008 appearance on The Opie and Anthony Show, comedian Louis CK claimed that Leary stole his "I'm an asshole" routine, which was then expanded upon and turned into a hit song by Leary. On a later episode of the same show, Leary challenged this assertion by claiming that he (Leary) co-wrote the song with Chris Phillips.
The song was adapted by Leary for use in a Holsten Pils advertisement on British TV which was against drunk driving. Leary appeared in the advert which is about a man who drinks and drives with his family in the car.
The song uses samples from Dolly Parton's "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You", so the complete writing list includes Leary himself, Chris Phillips, and Pebe Sebert and Hugh Moffatt, for the samples.
The song became a minor hit, with the music video gaining airplay on MTV and MuchMusic in a censored form. The song was also popular in Australia, and was voted No. 1 in a major Australian youth radio poll (the Triple J Hottest 100) as well as reaching No. 2 in the singles chart. In the end of year chart for 1994, the song was placed at No. 26. Its appearance in the Hottest 100 for 1993 is of particular significance, as this was the first year in the history of the annual poll that votes could only be cast for songs released during the relevant year.
On August 3, 2016, Leary appeared on the U.S. talk show The Late Late Show with James Corden during which he performed an updated version of the song in character as Bill Clinton, in duet with James Corden playing a caricature of US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and criticizing rival candidate Donald Trump. For broadcast, the "-hole" part of the title was bleeped, a fact that is discussed by Leary and Corden during the song.