Doug Stanhope

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Doug Stanhope
Doug Stanhope.jpg
Stanhope in 2010
Born (1967-03-25) March 25, 1967 (age 50)
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

Douglas Stanhope (born March 25, 1967)[2][3] is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author known for his cynical and controversial comedy style.


Stanhope began in standup comedy in 1990,[4] and went on to perform at such comedy festivals as Montreal's Just For Laughs, the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, the Chicago Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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.[5] That year, Stanhope hosted Girls Gone Wild: America Uncovered.[6]

Stanhope established a group of touring comics known as "The Unbookables" featuring such artists as Andy Andrist, James Inman, and Brendon Walsh, among others.[7] 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]

He appeared in the film The Aristocrats, telling a caustic joke to a baby. In summer 2006, he was booked to appear on several bills at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, Ireland; the segment in which he said 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.[8]

He appeared alongside Rouse at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland 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.[9][10] During his Edinburgh performance he included a segment that some regarded as anti-Semitic.[11] He responded in his 2007 Showtime special, No Refunds, by elaborating on the incident. He self-published 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.[citation needed]

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 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.[citation needed]

His live show was placed in the top 5 of the 20 Best Live Shows of 2009 by London's The Guardian newspaper.[12]

Stanhope's seventh 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.[13][14]

In cooperation with the mayor of Reykjavík and 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.[15] He had a supporting role in the 2014 Chris Rock film Top Five, playing a police officer.[15][16]

On February 16, 2013, Stanhope debuted his eponymous podcast, recorded out of his home in Bisbee, Arizona. In 2014, "the Doug Stanhope Podcast" was hosted by the All Things Comedy network.[17]

Stanhope is an outspoken critic of Drew Pinsky, saying "if there is a war on drugs, then he's 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 actor Johnny Depp on a show. According to Stanhope, Depp befriended him in Europe and had an unknown project in mind for Stanhope.[18]

Doug appeared on Bar Rescue as Jon Taffer's guest to watch the recon of the Pomona, California bar Friar Tucks in an episode called "Storming the Castle".

In May 2015, Doug announced that he was writing a book about his life with his mother, an occasional subject in his comedy.[19] The book, entitled Digging Up Mother: A Love Story, was released on May 10, 2016.[20] In 2008, Stanhope's 63-year-old mother Bonnie, who suffered from emphysema, killed herself with a heavy cocktail of White Russians and prescription morphine. Stanhope was present at her death.[21]

He shot the special No Place Like Home on November 21, 2015, at the Bisbee Royale in Bisbee, Arizona.[22]

In June 2016, actress Amber Heard sued Stanhope for his “defamatory” claim that she was blackmailing her ex-husband Johnny Depp.[23] The lawsuit was later dropped.[24]


At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Stanhope won the Strathmore Press Award in 2002.[25]

Stanhope was the winner of the 1995 San Francisco International Comedy Competition where he won against Dane Cook in a three-week contest.[26]


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.[27][28] 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."[29] In 2012, Stanhope originally supported republican Ron Paul for the 2012 presidential election, but later endorsed libertarian Gary Johnson.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Stanhope has no children and is opposed to having any, a position he mentions in his stand-up sets. His most frequently cited reason is overpopulation.[31]

In 2013, a fundraiser initiated by Stanhope raised nearly $126,000 for a woman and her family whose home was destroyed by the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado. He said he did so in support of her declared atheism, saying he admired her courage in a predominantly Christian state.[32][33]


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 2002 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
No Place Like Home[34] 2016 X


Year Title Notes
2016 Digging Up Mother: A Love Story Foreword by Johnny Depp


  1. ^ "And bingo was her name-o – The Howard Stern Show". 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  2. ^ Stanhope, Jeff (March 25, 2016). "Doug Stanhope and I hate having our birthdays publicly acknowledged. His is today". Retweet on Doug Stanhope verified Twitter page. Archived from the original on May 30, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ "About". Doug Stanhope verified Facebook page. Archived from the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bio". -Doug Stanhope official site. Retrieved May 30, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Doug Stanhope Live at Leeds pt 2/2". YouTube. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  6. ^ Doug Stanhope Trashes 'Girls Gone Wild' Joe Francis! Pt. 1",; accessed November 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "Unbookables on IMDb". Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  8. ^ Logan, Brian (July 31, 2006). "If You're Offended, Then You're Not Listening". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved September 5, 2006. 
  9. ^ ""It'll Blow Your Mind", The Sunday Times, August 20, 2006; retrieved September 5, 2006.
  10. ^ "Boozy and Brilliant" Archived August 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., The Independent, August 11, 2006; retrieved September 5, 2006.
  11. ^ Malvern, Jack. "Edinburgh learns that jokes about Jews are no laughing matter",, August 15, 2006.
  12. ^ Brian Logan (July 27, 2009). "20 best comedy live shows for summer/autumn 2009". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  13. ^ "Doug Stanhope To Release Roadrunner Records Comedy Debut!". March 8, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Doug Stanhope To Release Oslo: Burning The Bridge To Nowhere in May". March 8, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Doug Stanhope on IMDb
  16. ^ "National comedian Stanhope sneaks into Tucson". Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  17. ^ Procida, Billy. "Doug Stanhope's Podcast joins Bill Burr, Al Madrigal's All Things Comedy podcast network". Laughspin. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ YouTube; retrieved May 13, 2015.
  19. ^ "I'm writing a book",, May 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Stanhope, Doug (2016). Digging Up Mother: A Love Story. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306824395.
  21. ^ 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 ,; accessed October 3, 2015.
  22. ^ No Place Like Home filming,; accessed November 29, 2015.
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ Adam S. Levy (September 6, 2016). "Amber Heard drops defamation lawsuit against Johnny Depp confidante Doug Stanhope". Daily Mail. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Stanhope is critics' choice". August 22, 2002. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ Boyle, Niki (February 16, 2012). "Interview: Doug Stanhope on politics". The List. Retrieved November 23, 2017. 
  28. ^ Doug Stanhope [@DougStanhope] (November 23, 2017). "Libertarian was a phase I went through" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  29. ^ "Doug Stanhope's endorsement of the Free State Project". Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  30. ^ "Presidents, Apocalypse, and Death". September 12, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Burning Bridges: An Interview with Doug Stanhope". April 29, 2011. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017. 
  32. ^ Stanhope, Doug (October 17, 2013). "The Problem with Charity". Vice. 
  33. ^ Lulppold, Ross (December 31, 2013). "Atheist Comedian Lends Helping Hand 'As A Big F*ck You'". The Huffington Post. 
  34. ^ "Doug Stanhope's Johnny Depp-Produced Stand-up Special Gets Seeso Premiere Date". August 23, 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 

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