Having started his career in Las Vegas doing jack-off jokes for free drinks, Stanhope has since built an enormous fan base and wide-ranging television resume of dubious achievement. He hosted Comedy Central's”The Man Show” as well as the ubiquitous pseudo-porn for the sexually crippled, “Girls Gone Wild”, both solely and shamelessly for financial gain. With thirteen comedy albums under his belt, Stanhope proves that, sometimes, a little bit of vulgarity and controversy is just what the doctor ordered. Doug recently took the time to chat with the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner, and what ensued was an hilariously dark and lovely discussion.
BCSE: How's the Celebrity Death Pool going?
DS: Someone in our league got her eleventh kill today with Scott Carpenter. Eleven out of twenty.
BCSE: It's like that cat that can predict when you're going to die.
DS: Exactly. I'm going to tell her that. Yeah, she's scary. Last year, I think I had six or seven kills for the entire year to win. She has eleven.
BCSE: That's pretty creepy.
DS: Yeah. It's like the gypsy that just touches you and says 'Thinner'. She puts your name on a list you're going down. I'm sucking - I think I'm in eighth place out of forty-five. I need a lot of deaths and quick.
BCSE: Well, we've got two and a half months left so there's still time.
DS: Yeah. I check in with Ralphie May a lot to see how he's feeling.
BCSE: Now that might be a little insider trading; does that still count?
DS: Oh, yeah. I've got some insider trading. I got some last year - that's how I won. The death that put me over the top - New Year's Eve is when Joby and I reveal our picks but we didn't, we were too drunk. Before we did New Year's morning, I got an email from a comic friend asking if I'd do a benefit for a comedian with cancer. I started milking him for information - what kind of cancer is it? I looked it up, it's a very rare and lethal form. I kicked the Iron Sheik out of my list, and put that comic in and sure enough.
BCSE: I can't believe you have me laughing at cancer.
DS: I feel like I'm going to be one of those Mothers' Home Health guides because I learned so much about diseases just figuring out what's going to kill people. 'Well, he's got Lou Gehrig's Disease...how long do those guys usually last? Alright, the average of four years after diagnosis, when did he get it?' I'm kind of going to medical school in a way.
DS: Yes. Whatever doesn't kill you is worth nothing.
BCSE: I have to say, I love the new special. It is by far my favorite one that you've done.
DS: Thank you!
BCSE: I love it. It's just brilliant. Despite some of the dark material, I almost get the feeling that you're in a better place than some of your other specials.
DS: Yeah, I think maybe I am. Well, not now - not since that came out and I can't use that material anymore. Now I'm back to, 'I don't think anything's funny' or 'I'm not funny'. I go through that every year or two - I'm done, washed up, can't think of anything. I don't know how to write jokes; I don't have any strong opinions right now. And I can't force them like Bill Maher.
BCSE: It does seem like you need some strife.
DS: Yeah. But it comes; that's the great thing about life. Just wait a little while and it'll start to suck.
BCSE: Very true. There's always something waiting to go wrong.
DS: I wish I had more relatives to die in interesting ways.
BCSE: Now you've jinxed yourself, though.
DS: (laughs) Well, then it'd be my 'thing' if I had another one...I just had another fan who killed herself while I was on tour this last Sh*t Town Tour. Even if it was an interesting suicide, which it wasn't, I've got no more room for that in my act or I'm 'the suicide guy'. That's always the thing about comedy: anything bad is good for business. And that's why you've got to turn that frown upside down as you try to make it into a bit. Suicide - I think there's five different albums that cover suicide in different ways.
BCSE: But none quite as touching and personal.
DS: Yeah, that one was a nice one.
BCSE: You could tell how much you love your mom.
DS: Yeah, but she is kind of a pain in the ass, too.
Stanhope has appeared on “The Howard Stern Show”, “Comedy Central Presents”, “Premium Blend”, NBC’s “Late Friday”, “Spy TV” BBC’s “Floor Show Live” and wrote, produced and starred in Fox’s “Invasion of the Hidden Cameras”. In 2010, he was the Voice of America on the BBC’s “Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe”. He’s appeared at multiple major comedy festivals including Montreal Just For Laughs, Aspen US Comedy Arts, Chicago Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotland, where he won the Strathmore Press Award for Best Act of the Fringe in his debut year.
A two-time winner of Time Out New York’s “Best Comedy Performance of the Year”, Doug Stanhope offers a live performance you won't want to miss. Tickets are available now for his performance at The Wilbur Theatre this Saturday, October 19. The Wilbur is located at 246 Tremont Street in Boston.