Go see Doug Stanhope
One thing that I don’t get to do enough lately is to watch other comics. I got into comedy because I was a fan of the art form, and it’s very inspirational to me to see a great stand up comic perform. It always makes me want to go home and write. Most of the time when I do stand up on the road, it’s just me and my friends, and although they’re very funny and they inspire me as well, there’s always something extra exciting about seeing someone else perform, especially when you’ve got the night off and can really enjoy it.
Thursday night we went to see one of my favorite humans on the planet: my pal, The Great Doug Stanhope. I really love what Doug is doing, not just onstage (which, if you haven’t seen him and you’re a fan of comedy, you’re really fucking yourself over) but even the way he’s promoting and handling himself.
Doug has pulled himself completely off the standard comedy grid, and is now out on the road living by his own promotion and his personal connection to his fans. No more big comedy clubs chains that most comics require to keep their books filled – Doug does mostly rock clubs. He makes a deal with the venue, sends out an email to the freaks on his mailing list, and Thursday night at King King in Hollywood there was a fucking line out the door to get in.
No politics, no house MC, no 3 shows a night – just a calendar, Doug, his crazy girlfriend, and a fucking unstoppable wave of sold out shows, jaeger bombs, beer, mushroom trips and coke dick.
He’s not pretending to be some connect the dots rebel, or pushing some carefully constructed image, he’s just being 100% Doug Stanhope.
He’s out there like a fucking comedy life raft shredding his liver and blowing out his consciousness – deconstructing the world, over and over again in the name of entertainment. It’s the purest form of Gonzo comedy out there right now.
I appreciate the fuck out of what he’s doing, and Thursday night I watched him stutter, spit and bellow out some of the best fucking comedy being put out today.
He’s not spreading himself thin with any dopey sitcom he’s trying to produce, he’s just out there doing his stand up. He’s completely free of any part of the Hollywood system, only putting out shit that resonates with the way he’s living and seeing the world. I’ve been doing comedy for over 20 years, and I can’t tell you how fucking rare that approach is.
That’s what it’s all about, people. That’s the real shit. He’s out there untethered to the machine, and he’s never done better.
Go out there and support him. Go see him while he’s alive, because when he’s gone you’re gonna miss him. I sure as fuck know I will.