There are comics revered for their intellect like Louis CK and Dave Chapelle, and comics that never seem to drag themselves out of the gutter (too many to name). Doug Stanhope is both, and neither. Described as a“visionary douchebag” by the Times of London, Stanhope is fueled by equal parts of anger, outrage and alcohol, railing against western civilization’s slide into apathy and stupidity. “Stanhope is a genius parading around the slums of failed ideology… he’s Charles Bukowski with dick jokes drunkenly fueled by Thomas Paine,” declared The San Antonio Current.
Stanhope has been compared to such fearless comic revolutionaries as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks. As Ricky Gervais tweeted, “Doug Stanhope might be the most important standup working today.”
Named after Hitler’s failed coup attempt, Doug Stanhope‘s new release Beer Hall Putsch brings you deeper into the acerbic comic’s twisted, clear-eyed view of the world. The special was recorded live in the intimate setting of Portland, Oregon’s legendary club Dante’s, where Stanhope got started booking his first shows. New Wave Dynamics will release the comedian’s new stand-up album on CD and digitally on September 17, 2013, with a DVD and video to follow in November.
Raw, agitated and unflinching, Stanhope holds forth on all manner of major injustices and petty annoyances, excoriating himself as much as any of his other targets. But Stanhope’s venomous bile is matched by his passion and conviction, as well as a fierce intellect that gives his work a level of substance and subtlety that belies his snarling exterior. His comedy is as corrosive as it is hilarious, and his righteous self-immolation is exhilarating and life-affirming in its cathartic honesty.
In recent years, Stanhope has won a large and rabidly devoted fan base both in the U.S. and abroad on his own uncompromising terms, bypassing the conventional comedy circuit and most forms of mainstream media exposure.
“When I started, I was just a know-nothing dick-joke guy with a mullet,” he recalls. “I was 24 years old, with no point of view and nothing to say, other than ‘Please fuck me.’ It wasn’t until ’95 or ’96 that I started doing something that felt more like an art form than a centerpiece for a bachelor party. That’s when I started to take true stories and craft them so they worked on stage, rather than just telling them in a bar. I stopped making stuff up and I stopped doing jokes that I didn’t really believe in, and started working on stuff that I meant.”
Along the way, Stanhope has had some uncomfortable brushes with mainstream show business, including a frustrating stint as co-host of the final season of Comedy Central’s The Man Show and his less-than-enthusiastic participation in an installment of home-video monstrosity Girls Gone Wild. “I never had any interest in being a TV guy, and those things were just piles of shit I accidentally stepped in,” he asserts. “Girls Gone Wild was just a lark, but I didn’t think I’d have to see the ads for it every ten minutes for the next year and a half. The Man Show was a huge letdown, but it was a great learning experience, and it was worth the shame and humiliation to learn how TV works and why I don’t want to be part of it.”
Stanhope is considerably more satisfied with his memorable performance as a suicidal comic in a 2011 episode of old friend Louis C.K.’s series Louie. Louie, as he wrote the character, had Stanhope in mind. But he still has no intention of succumbing to the same acting bug to which many standup comics enthusiastically submit, although the critics have praised Stanhope. Indeed, his experiences with mainstream Hollywood strengthened his resolve to focus his energies on his standup work.
Stanhope is committed to stand-up as an end in itself, perfecting his work and sharpening his scalpel to cut apart the world, and himself, piece by piece. His new CD, Beer Hall Putsch, Doug Stanhope proves that his commitment to the craft has made him one of the sharpest comics and social commentators around today.
Raves about Doug Stanhope:
“For a guy whose last name ends in ‘hope,’ he seems to have little for much of anything…he exudes an insightfully vulgar mix of bleakness, anger and despair – much of it laugh-out-loud funny, some of it wince-inducing, all of it genuine-sounding.” – The Chicago Sun-Times.
“Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realising how transparent the confidence trick of western propaganda can be made to seem. What he has in abundance is the charm, don’t-give-a-damn swagger and aggressive intelligence that make for important, exciting comedy,” – The Guardian (UK).
The Denver Post calls Stanhope “A truth-teller and astute (if messy) social critic…one of the most bracing live acts on the stand-up circuit…”
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