Doug Stanhope

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Doug Stanhope
Doug Stanhope.jpg
Doug Stanhope
Birth name Douglas Gene Stanhope
Born (1967-03-25) March 25, 1967 (age 48)
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, Television
Nationality American
Years active 1990–present
Genres Black comedy, Blue comedy, Political satire, Insult comedy, Observational comedy
Subject(s) American culture, Current events, Recreational drug use, Human sexuality, Religion, Family, Libertarianism
Influenced Andy Andrist

Douglas Gene "Doug" Stanhope (born March 25, 1967) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and author known for his cynical, controversial comedy style and libertarian political views.

Life and career[edit]

He has made appearances at several major comedy festivals, including the Montreal Just For Laughs, US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, the Chicago Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where he won the Strathmore Press Award in 2002.[1]

Stanhope was the winner of the 1995 San Francisco International Comedy Competition where he edged out Dane Cook in a three-week contest.[2]

Stanhope had his own prank show on Fox called Invasion of Hidden Cameras in 2002. He also was one of the pranksters on Spy Tv In 2003 and 2004, Stanhope co-hosted the fifth and sixth seasons of The Man Show with Joe Rogan. He hosted his own radio show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio in 2005.[3] That year, Stanhope hosted Girls Gone Wild: America Uncovered. When asked what it was like working with Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, Stanhope admitted "He's pure, unadulterated evil",[4] and "The most awful human being I've ever met in all of my time in the entertainment business." [5]

He has established a group of touring comics known as "The Unbookables" featuring such artists as Andy Andrist, James Inman and Brendon Walsh, among others.[6] The Unbookables' first CD, Morbid Obscenity, also featuring Andrist, Rouse, Lynn Shawcroft, and Banjo Randy, released July 4, 2006, on Stand Up! Records.[citation needed]

Stanhope appeared in the film The Aristocrats, telling a caustic joke to a baby. He was the subject of an 8-page feature in British GQ under the title "Is This America's Most Depraved Man?" by Robert Chalmers in 2006. In summer 2006, he was booked to appear on several bills at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, Ireland; his extended bit saying that Irish men commit pedophilia because of the ugliness of Irish women earned a hostile reaction from the crowd, the press, and the festival organizers.[7]

He appeared alongside Rouse at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh on August 2006 to 5-star reviews from the press. On his opening night he took what was believed to be an ecstasy tablet that was handed to him by a member of the audience.[8][9] During his Edinburgh performance he included a segment that some regarded as anti-Semitic.[10] He responded in his 2007 Showtime special, No Refunds, by elaborating on the incident.[citation needed]

He self-published a book, Fun with Pedophiles: The Best of Baiting in October 2006, which includes several instances of his setting up a false Internet instant-messaging persona to offer sex, and then verbally abusing the "baitee" in a chat session that is logged to share with others. He discussed his self-published book and the philosophy behind it on Penn Jillette's radio show on San Diego's 97.1 FreeFM on November 22, 2006.

In 2007, Stanhope made two TV specials—one in the US for Showtime, recorded at The Gotham Comedy Club in New York City on March 12; and one for the UK's Channel 4 Comedy Lab, filmed at the Caves in Edinburgh, Scotland titled "Doug Stanhope: Go Home". The Showtime special, titled No Refunds, premiered August 3 and was released on DVD August 14. His live show was voted "Best Comedy Performance of the Year" by Time Out New York for both 2006 and 2008.

His live show was placed in the top 5 of the 20 Best Live Shows of 2009 by London's The Guardian newspaper.[11]

Stanhope's 7th album, From Across The Street, was released on November 24, 2009. In 2010, Stanhope aired a series of vignettes during Newswipe with Charlie Brooker in the UK. In 2013 he did the same during "Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe". On November 17, 2010, Stanhope signed to rock and metal label Roadrunner Records to launch their new comedy label, Roadrunner Comedy. On May 3, 2011, the album was released: Oslo: Burning The Bridge To Nowhere.[12][13]

In cooperation with the mayor of Reykjavík, comedian Jón Gnarr, Stanhope scheduled a performance in Iceland's only maximum security prison, Litla-Hraun, for September 25, 2011. Fans who wanted to watch the show would have to commit a crime; for them he invented the 'Stanhope defense'. He appeared on the FX television show Louie as Eddie, a fictional comedian that Louis C.K. knew 20 years earlier when they first started performing, in the season 2 episode entitled "Eddie," first aired on August 11, 2011.[citation needed]

Stanhope had a supporting role in the 2014 Chris Rock film Top Five, playing a police officer.[14]

On February 16, 2013, Stanhope debuted his eponymous podcast, recorded out of his home in Bisbee, Arizona. In 2014, his podcast was hosted by the All Things Comedy network.[15]

Stanhope is a vocal, outspoken critic of Dr. Drew Pinsky, calling him "the Joseph Goebbels propaganda minister of lies" because of Pinsky's views on drug addiction and drug abuse, and stated on his standup album "Before Turning The Gun On Himself" that Pinsky would "step over a dozen dying winos in the street to get to Lindsay Lohan's bedside" because of Pinsky's claim that he is a "celebrity rehab expert". On August 24, his new special, Beer Hall Putsch, was released exclusively to Netflix. The special was made available on CD on September 17, 2013, with a DVD set for November 26, 2013.[citation needed]

On May 5, 2014, Stanhope announced on the Howard Stern Show that he was working with Johnny Depp on a show. According to Stanhope, Depp befriended him in Europe and had an unknown project in mind for Stanhope.[16]

Doug appeared on Bar Rescue as Jon Taffer's guest to watch the recon of the Pomona bar Friar Tucks. In May 2015, he announced that he is writing a book about his life with his mother, an occasional subject in his comedy.[17] In 2008, Stanhope's 63-year-old mother Bonnie, who suffered from emphysema, killed herself with a heavy cocktail of Black Russians and prescription morphine. Stanhope was present at her death.[18]

2013 Moore Oklahoma Tornado[edit]

Stanhope started a fundraiser for a woman and her family after her home was destroyed by the 2013 Moore tornado on May 20, 2013. The survivor of the tornado, Rebecca Vitsmun, gained international attention by the viral media, as well as criticism by Christians, after declaring herself an atheist on live national television. Stanhope, along with Penn Jillette, Ricky Gervais, and others contributed and raised $125,760 for the woman and her family.[19][20] Stanhope stated, "If you think it didn't take balls, you've never been to Oklahoma. Saying 'I'm an atheist' in Oklahoma is like screaming jihad at airport security. That took some nuts. I didn't do it because I felt sympathy because she got all her shit destroyed by a tornado. I did it simply to be a prick to her Okie Christian neighbors, hoping they were all eating off their FEMA trucks when someone drove up and presented Rebecca with a giant cardboard check..."[21] "Charity feels good, even when you're doing it as a big 'Fuck You' to Christians who you've pre-judged, and not because you care about someone losing their shit. Realizing you've actually changed an individual's life. It was pretty goddamned thrilling."[22]

Comedic style[edit]

Stanhope is infamous for his abrasive and dangerous approach to comedy, which has been likened by his fans and contemporaries to the works of Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks and George Carlin. Stanhope mixes cringe comedy with political satire and grotesque imagery, the latter of which often leads to audience walkouts. Several of Stanhope's colleagues, including Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Joe Rogan, and Ricky Gervais have praised Stanhope as one of the best living comedians, citing that his fearlessness on stage is unrivaled.[23]


Stanhope is known as a libertarian comedian and a self-described anarchist.[24] In 2004, he endorsed the Free State Project, and was quoted as saying, "The Free State Project stands out as one of few ideas that could produce tangible change in our lifetime. The vision of Christian gun enthusiasts buying hand-painted targets from pot-smoking artists, laughing together while they give the tax man the finger, is beautiful enough to make the move."[25]

In 2012, Stanhope originally supported Ron Paul for U.S. president, but later endorsed Libertarian Gary Johnson.[26]


Title Year CD DVD Digital Bootleg
The Great White Stanhope 1998 X
Sicko 1999 X
Something to Take the Edge Off 2000 X
ACID Bootleg 2001 X
Die Laughing 2002 X
Word of Mouth 2003 X
Deadbeat Hero 2004 X X
Morbid Obscenity, The Unbookables 2006 X
No Refunds 2007 X (2008) X
From Across the Street 2009 X
Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere 2011 X X X
Before Turning the Gun on Himself 2012 X X
Beer Hall Putsch 2013 X X X


  1. ^ "Stanhope is critics' choice". August 22, 2002. 
  2. ^ Globie (2007-12-07). "Great Dane took a bite out of the Competition in 1995". San Francisco Comedy Competition. 
  3. ^ "Doug Stanhope Live at Leeds pt 2/2". YouTube. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Q&A with Doug Stanhope", The Courier Journal, March 8, 2009.
  5. ^ "Doug Stanhope Trashes "Girls Gone Wild" Joe Francis! Pt.1", 2 Men 1 Podcast
  6. ^ "Unbookables on IMDb". Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  7. ^ Logan, Brian (July 31, 2006). "If You're Offended, Then You're Not Listening". The Guardian (London, UK). Retrieved September 5, 2006. 
  8. ^ ""It'll Blow Your Mind", The Sunday Times, August 20, 2006; retrieved September 5, 2006.
  9. ^ "Boozy and Brilliant", The Independent, August 11, 2006; retrieved September 5, 2006.
  10. ^ Malvern, Jack. "Edinburgh learns that jokes about Jews are no laughing matter",, August 15, 2006.
  11. ^ Brian Logan (July 27, 2009). "20 best comedy live shows for summer/autumn 2009". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  12. ^ "Doug Stanhope To Release Roadrunner Records Comedy Debut!". March 8, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Doug Stanhope To Release Oslo: Burning The Bridge To Nowhere in May". March 8, 2011. 
  14. ^ "National comedian Stanhope sneaks into Tucson". Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ Procida, Billy. "Doug Stanhope’s Podcast joins Bill Burr, Al Madrigal's All Things Comedy podcast network". Laughspin. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ YouTube; retrieved May 13, 2015.
  17. ^ "I'm writing a book",, May 16, 2015.
  18. ^ [1],; accessed October 3, 2015.
  19. ^ "The problem with charity",, October 17, 2013.
  20. ^ Video on YouTube
  21. ^ "Atheist Comedian Lends Helping Hand 'As A Big F*ck You'". Huffington Post. December 31, 2013. 
  22. ^ Read "The Problem With Charity",; accessed October 3, 2015.
  23. ^ Joe Rogan (2014-11-20). "Joe Rogan AMA". 
  24. ^ Boyle, Niki. Interview: Doug Stanhope on politics,; accessed October 3, 2015.
  25. ^ "Doug Stanhope's endorsement of the Free State Project". Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  26. ^ "Presidents, Apocalypse, and Death". September 12, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]