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.