Dalton Trumbo's Reluctant Cabaret
Dan Renton Skinner
Dara O Briain
Dead Cat Bounce
Deborah Frances White
Delete The Banjax
Dominic Elliot Spencer
Donnchadh O Conaill
Vs Dr Drew
Celebrity rehab expert
More Doug Stanhope videos
|Vs Dr Drew|
|On media spongers|
|This Generation Sucks|
|Fuck The French|
|The Fetus Photo|
|The Fetus Photo|
|Would You Believe|
|On Sarah Palin|
Stanhope says he was living off fraud telemarketing and the kindness of strippers in Las Vegas, when he first ventured onto the stage of an open mic comedy night at a seedy bar called the Escape Lounge II.
When all the strippers left for band guys, Doug traipsed down to Phoenix on the tail of a woman and landed a gig as a house MC at the Comedy Cove, a club as doomed to failure as the relationship. The girl left him nine months later for the lighting guy from Cheap Trick . The club shut down around the same time, but not before Doug had enough contacts to start a life on the road.
In December of 1992, Doug packed his few belongings in a 1981 Dodge Omni and spent the next three years living on the road like a pig, getting drunk, chasing women and spewing "dick jokes" across America like a crop duster until his break at the 1995 San Francisco comedy festival enabled him to move to Los Angeles.
Doug Stanhope in London
Ever insightful, Doug Stanhope knows the impotence of his trademark fury better than most. He’s come to accept that his big, if hugely controversial, ideas to solve all the world’s ills fall on the deaf ears of the drunkards and wastrels he considers his natural audience.
He also admits this all-too brief London run coincides with his annual crisis of confidence, when he becomes listless with his own material and convinced he’s not, nor never has been, funny. He’s hardly motivated by the news, feeling there aren’t too many ha-has in sub-prime mortgage lending, so what he really needs is a ‘better 9/11’ to inspire him anew
This – plus the fact he’s noticeably under the weather – doesn’t auger well for an hilarious 80 minutes. But thankfully, despite his protests, there’s no drought of ideas in what turns out to be another powerfully opinionated show. If global issues aren’t his concern, he is still left to focus his omnipresent frustrated rage in two opposing directions: outwards to the minutiae of existence, and inwards to his own numerous failings of a human being.
In a coruscating early routine about stand-up itself; he contrasts his attempts at observational comedy with the benign wit of Jerry Seinfeld. Both may comment upon the inadequacies of airline food – but where Seinfeld simply points it out, Stanhope wants to punch someone in the head for it. Comedy is all the funnier when it has anger management issues, and Stanhope brings plenty of those to the table.
When it comes to himself, he’s not so much angry as disappointed, especially at the state of his aging body, which he doesn’t even feel he can inflict upon comedy groupies any more. But he can still get laid: ‘I got hooker money,’ he declares.
It’s a line that is perfectly believable, coming from Stanhope. You know his debauched tales of drunken, drug-fuelled excess, of watching porn, and generally being on the fringes of society – although never the core thread of his act – are entirely authentic. That you know he’s the real deal gives added credence that the views he espouses are genuinely held beliefs, not concocted for the sake of a glib joke.
So even on the rare occasions when routines don’t really work – a muddled if well-intentioned derision of the Monarchy or some nonsense about humans being the result of aliens breeding with apes – you still want to listen to hear what he has to say.
Aside from the closing material about the relative lack of intimacy in sex, which Stanhope performed at his last UK visit, his most impressive routine considers the discrimination against the ugly as heinous as any other prejudice. This tessellates neatly with both his take on Barack Obama and racism, and his inspired thoughts on Susan Boyle, brutally spearing those who expected her to be unable to sing simply because she was aesthetically imperfect.
Elsewhere, Stanhope beautifully offensive take on why abortion is the environmentally sensible choice, and a thoughtfully logical, if comedically underpowered, manifesto makes a great case for how the state should have no power over what you do to your own body – from drugs to abortion to euthanasia.
Hang on, aren’t we back on to the big issues Stanhope said he wouldn’t tackle. But for a drunk wreck of a man with a tendency to rub people up the wrong way, he doesn’t half make some good points – and funny ones too.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 2nd Sep, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
Monday 19th Mar, '12- Salford Lowry
Friday 5th Aug, '11- Leicester Square Theatre
Doug Stanhope at Glasgow Comedy Festival
Wednesday 23rd Mar, '11- Glasgow King's Theatre
Wednesday 1st Sep, '10- Leicester Square Theatre
Tuesday 16th Sep, '08-
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2002 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - West End run -
Just a note from America: Doug Stanhope is the funniest and most intelligent person on the planet. Period. Hicks, Bruce, Carlin, and Kinison are all great, but Doug is totally original. And he very rarely has to make things up. See him at all costs.
Doug Stanhope at Eden Court Theatre Inverness 31st March,was a complete shock! not the content of the gig,but shock at the lack of material with any substance, cerebral or otherwise. Just a loud mouthy inebriated American who thinks he is some sort of intellectual/philosopher, come "know-all" he pandered to the lowest intellect in the audience, who whooped! and hollered! at nothing remotely interesting only encouraging him all the more. A case of the "doltish leading the doltish" no signs of a sagacious personality. They say "empty vessels make the most noise" he was living proof that night. Not comedy! a rant! People leaving in groups before the end, not ones and twos. Testament to how dire he really was.
Saw Doug last night, a Wednesday show, outstanding. The theater was only 30 per cent full, and he seemed pretty upset about it, and too many dudes! Even though, he was on for an hour and forty with little lag. Most of the material was topical, from the recent riots, to Amy Winehouse, to whatever he had seen that day you felt like you were going through the process of comedy, most bits were fresh and aggressively funny. You could feel him becoming more acerbic as the double and quadruple shots made their way to the stage, on top of the vodka and redbulls and beers...this man performs better wasted. Will be checking out a weekend show, I doubt that I'll hear a repeat bit.
He was great on Friday night at the Leicester Square Theatre (although I had seen some of that show at Hammersmith in the Spring). I hope the 5Live controversy doesn't adversely affect his run as he actually seemed to be enjoying himself this time.
Went and saw him on Saturday. Brilliant show but was very disappointed he was only on stage for 55 minutes. Didn't seem al lot for the £25 price tag
Definitely not one for the casual comedy-goer. We saw him at the Pimms Summerfest, where some of the more sensitive of the audience left (presumably in disgust at his more extreme material). His set was truly filthy/disgraceful in places, but with elements of gut-wrenchingly funny, insightful comedy.
I saw Doug a the Kilkenny Cat Laughs too...but I was there exclusively to see him and I have to say it was without doubt the funniest show I've ever seen, a lot of people were clearly shocked because the more beers he had the more obscene he became, but I thought it was hilarious, the man's a genius. Keep it up Doug.
He is wonderful as a has been.
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26/10/2012 Permanent link
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Disability campaigner joins Twitter row
18/03/2012 Permanent link
|Hey Doug, make some damn effort
Ted Shiress is disappointed with Stanhope's latest DVD
05/12/2011 Permanent link
|BBC apologises for mentioning comic's YouTube clip
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08/08/2011 Permanent link
Velvet Laugher Master Series
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Day With Doug
Misc live shows
West End run
Doug Stanhope, Soho Theatre