Stanhope in 2010
March 25, 1967|
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, books, podcasts|
|Genres||Black comedy, blue comedy, political satire, insult comedy, character comedy|
|Subject(s)||American culture, American politics, current events, recreational drug use, human sexuality, religion, family|
Douglas Stanhope (born March 25, 1967) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, political activist, and podcast host.
Stanhope was born on March 25, 1967 in Worcester, Massachusetts to an upper middle class family. His father Russ was head of science at Stanhope's school, and died in 2000. His mother Bonnie (née Kirk) was a waitress. A recovering alcoholic, she quit drinking and left home for Florida when Stanhope was ten following their divorce. In 1998, he convinced her to live near him in West Hollywood. In her later life she suffered from emphysema. In 2008, at her request, she wished for Stanhope to be involved in an assisted suicide with a mixture of cocktails and prescription morphine. Stanhope waited until the statute of limitations had expired before telling the story in his stand-up act and his second book. Stanhope has an elder brother, Jeff.
At age 12, Stanhope's school psychiatrist wrote a letter to his mother detailing his concern with Stanhope's tendency to sketch gory images and adult themed cartoons, suggesting he was "in need of professional help". Stanhope quit school at fifteen. Among his early comedy influences were Monty Python and National Lampoon. Before he started comedy full time, Stanhope worked in telemarketing, "borderline legal stuff, trying to scam people basically".
Stanhope began his stand-up comedy career in 1990 at age 23, having moved to Las Vegas after six months in Los Angeles. He did his first routine at an open mic night at a local bar, where it made him "sit down and write jokes". He developed his act in Las Vegas before he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he landed a gig as a house MC at a comedy club. He also lived in Florida, Oceanside, California, Idaho, and at one point returned to Massachusetts. Stanhope lived out of his car for three years.
In 1995, he settled in West Hollywood which he "hated [...] so much" partly due to the slump in comedy acts at the time. Among his regular spots were the Hollywood Improv or The Comedy Store, before he became based in Playa del Rey and worked in clubs outside the city center. Around this time, he landed a development deal and "flirted" with the idea of producing a sitcom by co-writing a pilot episode with a writer of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He later described the script as a "piece of shit", and felt thankful it was never picked up. In 1995, Stanhope won the San Francisco International Comedy Competition against Dane Cook in a three-week contest.
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York City, Stanhope received some criticism from audiences over his comments regarding the event. This included protests outside of his gigs and attacks on stage.
In July 2002, Fox aired back-to-back episodes of Stanhope's hidden camera television show Invasion of the Hidden Cameras. The project began in 1999, with Stanhope writing and producing various pranks for it, before the network decided to withdraw its broadcast. Stanhope accused Spy TV of stealing half of his ideas and achieving good ratings as a result. He starred as one of the pranksters on Spy TV.
In August 2002, Stanhope won the Strathmore Press Award for his week-long run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as voted by 40 press critics. The prize was £1,000 and a feature in the British celebrity magazine OK!. Following the run, Stanhope signed with his longtime manager Brian Hennigan.
In 2003 and 2004, Stanhope co-hosted the fifth and sixth seasons of The Man Show with Joe Rogan. He agreed to the project in order to become more financially stable. Among the show's segments included Stanhope lasting five rounds in a boxing match with Tonya Harding, and his mother reviewing pornographic films. He hosted his own radio show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio in 2005. That year, Stanhope hosted Girls Gone Wild: America Uncovered.
Stanhope established a group of touring comics known as The Unbookables featuring such artists as Andy Andrist, James Inman, and Brendon Walsh, among others. The Unbookables' first CD, Morbid Obscenity.
He appeared in the film The Aristocrats, telling a caustic joke to a baby.
In June 2006, Stanhope was booked to perform several shows at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, Ireland. However, roughly ten minutes into his set, a joke about Irish men committing pedophilia because of the ugliness of Irish women for raping caused a hostile reaction from the audience. The incident led to the cancellation of Stanhope's remaining appearances at the festival. That August, he returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, agreeing to a full three-week residency. At one show, one of his routines sparked a violent affray with an angered audience member and the police were called in, causing Stanhope to leave the venue. He gained 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. At the 2008 Fringe, Stanhope announced A Day with Doug, an opportunity to spend an entire day with him for £7,349, the average amount that comedians lose when they are booked at one of the four biggest venues at the festival.
Stanhope announced his intention to seek election as the United States President in the 2008 election on the Libertarian Party ticket. He added: "It seemed like a funny thing to do [...] But people were either amused or horrified at the idea of me representing their party". His focus was for "individual freedom, self-government and making America fun again".
Stanhope's seventh album, From Across The Street, was released on November 24, 2009.
In 2010, Stanhope recorded a series of vignettes for the British news show Newswipe with Charlie Brooker. In 2013, he did the same during Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe as "the voice of America". 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. This was supported with an international tour, which included a 25-night residency at the Leicester Square Theatre in London. By this time, Stanhope had won Time Out New York's Best Comedy Performance award twice.
In 2011, in co-operation with the mayor of Reykjavík and comedian Jón Gnarr, Stanhope scheduled a performance in Iceland's only maximum security prison, Litla-Hraun. The show took place on September 25. Also in 2011, Stanhope appeared on the FX series Louie as Eddie Mack, a 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. He spoke of his role: "I tried to beg out of it. I said, I suck at acting. He had to talk me into trying", and auditioned online through Skype.
In 2012, Stanhope released his comedy special Before Turning the Gun on Himself, recorded in Salt Lake City. He named it after how commonplace the phrase was on online news articles. Also in 2012, he impersonated John Lydon in a pre-taped radio interview with Mike Ragogna after the studio mistakenly called his number thinking it was Lydon's.
In May 2013, a fundraiser initiated by Stanhope raised nearly $126,000 for a woman and her family whose home was destroyed by the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado. He said he did so in support of her declared atheism, saying he admired her courage in a predominantly Christian state.
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 him. He had a supporting role in the 2014 Chris Rock film Top Five, playing a police officer.
In May 2015, Stanhope announced that he was writing a book about his life with his mother, an occasional subject in his comedy. The book, entitled Digging Up Mother: A Love Story, was released on May 10, 2016 and includes a foreword by Johnny Depp.
Stanhope filmed his comedy special No Place Like Home on November 21, 2015 at the Bisbee Royale in Bisbee. The film was produced by Johnny Depp.
In June 2016, actress Amber Heard sued Stanhope for his "defamatory" claim that she was blackmailing her ex-husband Johnny Depp. Heard dropped the lawsuit in the aftermath of her and Depp's $7 million divorce settlement.
In 2017, Stanhope released his third book, This is Not Fame. It is a collection of stories about being an infamous comedian.
Although his views have led people to believe that he is a liberal, he does not accept this characterization. Stanhope says that libertarianism was a phase he went through, but he now describes himself as an anarchist.
In 2004, he endorsed the Free State Project, a proposed political migration of at least 20,000 libertarians to a single low-population state, in order to make the state a stronghold for libertarian ideas. According to Stanhope this is an idea "that could produce tangible change in our lifetime."
In 2002, Stanhope and his girlfriend Renee Morrison staged a marriage ceremony in Las Vegas. He later said that it was "mocking the institution of marriage", and that it was not legal. At one point, the two were expecting a child but opted for abortion, and Stanhope got a vasectomy. Stanhope dated comedian and former attorney Betsy Wise for 18 months. Around 2005 Stanhope met his current partner, Amy "Bingo" Bingaman who he has referred to as his girlfriend and wife. Stanhope is opposed to having children and cites overpopulation as a reason.
Stanhope is known for his heavy alcohol consumption and is a self-confessed drunk. In a 2011 interview, he said the last time he was sober on stage was in 2003. He is also known for dressing in thrift store clothing.
Doug's outlook on life was represented in summary, in the Audiobook version of This Is Not Fame: A 'From What I Re-Memoir' "When I die, there's gonna be a small chorus of comedians who will say it was sad that I was underappreciated and could or should have been so much more recognised, and if they die before me I will say it was sad that their own unquenchable desire to need more, get more, be more, might have made them miss out on that one night that you had to cling to the driveway, out of your brain on psychedelics to the point that you pissed your pants on purpose... leaving your wife to change you like a baby. You would have never taken the time to skip drunkenly into the ocean with Rosanne. You would have missed the time that the girls from the band Bird Cloud peed on you. And you would have slept through that vacuum salesman story in Alaska. It wouldn't have seemed believable even if you were awake. Some of the best nights in your life will never make it onto your Wikipedia page."
Discography and videography
|Title||Year||CD||DVD||Digital||Bootleg||Charted (US Billboard)|
|The Great White Stanhope||1998||X|
|Something to Take the Edge Off||2000||X|
|Word of Mouth||2002||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||Comedy Albums: #1|
|No Place Like Home||2016||X||X||Comedy Albums: #1|
|This Is Not Fame: A 'From What I Re-Memoir'||2018||X||X||Audiobook|
|2006||Fun With Pedophiles: The Best of Baiting|
|2016||Digging Up Mother: A Love Story||Foreword by Johnny Depp|
|2017||This Is Not Fame: A "From What I Re-Memoir"||Foreword by Drew Pinsky|
- Raab, Scott (1 November 2013). "Doug Stanhope: Scott Raab Talks to the Most Fearless Man in Comedy about Louis C.K., Meth, Charity, Jerry Seinfeld, Dr. Drew, the Desert, and Lies". Esquire. Retrieved 20 July 2018 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- Chalmers, Robert (28 March 2004). "Doug Stanhope: On the offensive". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Wedel, Mark (23 September 2018). "Comedian Doug Stanhope roasted his dying mother, but is not a Hitler fan: Dark comedian coming to District Square". Michigan Live. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Stanhope tells how he saved a man from jumping off Edinburgh bridge and discusses the death of his own emphysema-stricken mother, who killed herself , heraldscotland.com; accessed October 3, 2015.
- B, Asim (May 9, 2018). "Preview: Doug Stanhope at Ottawa Little Theatre—05.15.18". Apt613. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Jonze, Tim (9 September 2011). "Doug Stanhope: pro-choice, pro-drugs, but defiantly anti-Guardian". the Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Wilstein, Matt (2 April 2017). "'You're All F*cking Industry Tools': The Ballad of Doug Stanhope, a Stand-Up Scumbag". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Globie (2007-12-07). "Great Dane took a bite out of the Competition in 1995". San Francisco Comedy Competition. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014.
- "Off the shelf at last". The Boston Globe. July 12, 2002. Retrieved July 18, 2018 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Stanhope is critics' choice". Chortle.co.uk. August 22, 2002.
- Wade, Mike (26 November 2002). "Fringe stars opt for local management talent". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 July 2018 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- Logan, Brian (July 31, 2006). "If You're Offended, Then You're Not Listening". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved September 5, 2006.
- "Doug Stanhope Live at Leeds pt 2/2". YouTube. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- Doug Stanhope Trashes 'Girls Gone Wild' Joe Francis! Pt. 1", youtube.com; accessed November 29, 2015.
- "Unbookables on IMDb". Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Logan, Brian (2 October 2006). "The heir to Bill Hicks". New Statesman. Retrieved 18 July 2018 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- ""It'll Blow Your Mind", The Sunday Times, August 20, 2006; retrieved September 5, 2006.
- "Boozy and Brilliant" Archived August 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., The Independent, August 11, 2006; retrieved September 5, 2006.
- Cornwell, Tim (18 August 2008). "Cheaper laughs from Stanhope". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 July 2018 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- Brian Logan (July 27, 2009). "20 best comedy live shows for summer/autumn 2009". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- "Doug Stanhope To Release Roadrunner Records Comedy Debut!". March 8, 2011.
- "Doug Stanhope To Release Oslo: Burning The Bridge To Nowhere in May". March 8, 2011.
- "Comedy news: Doug Stanhope interview: "Guardian people? Fuck them"". Such Small Portions. 6 July 2011. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Defending Charlie Sheen". Reason. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2018 – via Highbeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- Doug Stanhope on IMDb
- Bernardo, Rick (September 17, 2016). "Not a Party Member: Doug Stanhope Interview". The Inept Owl. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Paul, Aubin. "Doug Stanhope impersonates John Lydon for Huffington Post interview". Punk News. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Ragogna, Mike (October 23, 2012). "Chatting With PiL's John Lydon, Bad Books' Kevin Devine, and Lord Huron's Ben Schneider, Plus New Unknown Component Video". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- Procida, Billy. "Doug Stanhope's Podcast joins Bill Burr, Al Madrigal's All Things Comedy podcast network". Laughspin.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- Hendley, Matthew (29 May 2013). "Doug Stanhope Raising Thousands for Tornado Survior Who Told Wolf Blitzer She's an Atheist". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Stanhope, Doug (October 17, 2013). "The Problem with Charity". Vice.
- Lulppold, Ross (December 31, 2013). "Atheist Comedian Lends Helping Hand 'As A Big F*ck You'". The Huffington Post.
- YouTube; retrieved May 13, 2015.
- "National comedian Stanhope sneaks into Tucson". Retrieved October 3, 2015.
- "I'm writing a book", dougstanhope.com, May 16, 2015.
- "Doug Stanhope's Johnny Depp-Produced Stand-up Special Gets Seeso Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. August 23, 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
- Stanhope, Doug (2016). Digging Up Mother: A Love Story. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306824395.
- Meera Jagannathan (June 3, 2016). "Amber Heard sues Doug Stanhope for defamation, alleges Johnny Depp 'suffocated' her once". Daily News. New York City. Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- Boyle, Niki (February 16, 2012). "Interview: Doug Stanhope on politics". List.co.uk. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
- Doug Stanhope [@DougStanhope] (November 23, 2017). "Libertarian was a phase I went through" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Doug Stanhope's endorsement of the Free State Project". Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- "Presidents, Apocalypse, and Death". DougStanhope.com. September 12, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
- "Doug Stanhope: Out of Darkness Comes Comedy". Punchline Magazine. 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "Burning Bridges: An Interview with Doug Stanhope". TheLaughButton.com. April 29, 2011. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Doug Stanhope; Chad Shank; full cast; Audible Studios, This Is Not Fame: A"From What I Re-Memoir", Audible Studios, retrieved 2018-09-25
- "Doug Stanhope Chart History". Comedy Albums. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Doug Stanhope Chart History". Heatseekers Albums. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
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