Stand-Up Comedy by Doug Stanhope


   

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This section is for stand-up comedy by Doug Stanhope. By default the stand-up sets are presented starting with those ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.

About Doug

( wikipedia | imdb )
Doug Stanhope No Refunds In the stand-up world, Doug stands out as one of the few comics who are extremely lucid about our world. He knows few people have the critical thinking skill (or honesty) to look at things as he does, so it often feels like he is hoping to educate some of the members of the audience at the same time he makes them laugh.

Doug also has an inclination for gross-out and adult themes—I'm not sure if that enlarges or reduces his audience. That side of his shows often doesn't appeal to me, and I complain about it in the reviews, but I still have a soft spot for him.

Bootlegs
Besides the official releases reviewed lower on this page (and a few that I haven't reviewed), there are several bootlegs floating around the internet. If you've seen No Refunds, you definitely don't need to go through the trouble of getting the tape known as the Edinburgh Bootleg, which I found in small segments on YouTube. The tape known as The Incident in Austin has some of the same material, but it's well worth watching once for its segments about war, marriage and Doug's health care plan for the 2008 presidential election. I can second Doug's ideas about DMT or heroin, but I won't vouch for his views about two-headed babies…

If you like Doug, you may want to check out Jim Jefferies, who recently has done a good job of tackling some of he same themes while managing to appeal to a wider audience.

Doug Stanhope is said to have been born on Saturday 25 March 1967, which would make him 51 years, 4 months and 22 days old (if this date is accurate and he is alive today).


Stand-Up Comedy by Doug Stanhope sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending)


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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 40 years old.
Doug Stanhope: No Refunds DVDDoug Stanhope: No Refunds
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 8.8 | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia

A social commentary that makes you laugh from relief at hearing someone else than the voice in your head bring out the ignorance, hypocrisy and complacency embedded in our society. One of those rare times when you can see someone on a TV screen use his brain to think about the world he's in. To enjoy Stanhope a threshold capacity for critical thinking is required, so he's not for everyone.But if you love him… you'll love him. (Last viewed: August 2010)

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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 46 years old.
Doug Stanhope: Beer Hall Putsch posterDoug Stanhope: Beer Hall Putsch
      2013 | USA | Laughs: 7.8 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 7.6
      

Doug Stanhope is still one of the brightest stand-up comedians. Doug has the best logic and critical thinking abilities of just about anyone I've seen on a screen. For the ageing INTP typing these worrds (only look that up if you have nothing better to do), that shred of sanity is comforting.

In my view, Beer Hall Putsch is Doug's best show in a while. Not that it matters, but Doug showed that he could deliver a great set without smoking or consuming alcohol. The show has plenty of new material, and old themes as well, but these are welcome. The segment about how his mom chose to die and how Doug and his partner handled it is a new theme—one more theme where it's good to hear a lucid voice in the midst of the general hysteria. It made me wonder if Doug has heard of The Peaceful Pill.

Throughout the show, there are good laughs and lots of grinning.

The segment where Doug made fun of an old boxing champion seemed needlessly mean and did nothing for us. Neither did the gross-out segment about a football player, although it led into good points and a strong ending.

Watching this set should be a no-brainer, but if you're still not sure, this might tip you over the edge: Doug shares definite proof that there is an after-life.

This reminds me of two more proofs that Doug has never mentioned: (i) at one stage, the popular rating of George W. Bush was 98%; (ii) at another stage, 99 senators bleated One Nation Under God on camera to protest against a court that had ruled to strike deities from the famous pledge (the hundredth senator was ill that day). I won't tell you what these two stats prove, that's homework for the kids.

Sorry about the digression. It's a great show. I hope you enjoy it. (Last viewed: September 2013)

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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 44 years old.
Doug Stanhope: Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere DVDDoug Stanhope: Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere
      2011 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 7.5
      wikipedia

At the beginning of the DVD, Doug apologizes that the show was filmed at the inspiration of his producer without much notice and issues a number of disclaimers. Nevertheless, I found the first half to be the best of his that I'd seen in a while. Comparing it with his other releases, much of the material was fresh, and Doug didn't dwell much in the gross-out or obscene departments. Sure, the set didn't feel nearly as tuned or polished as that of an Eddie Izzard show, but that didn't matter. It was nice to hear Doug share his thoughts in front of a non-Anglo audience, outside of the US context. It sounds like Doug has reached the "give up and just live" stage of his life, and that produces a different voice, perhaps as valuable, one that isn't as angry, one that is resigned to the overall scarcity of critical thinking among the human animal.

What about the second half? Apart from the boring encore, it was good too. This is when Doug rolled out the "adult" material. Once again, the material was fresh, and when graphic language was used, it usually felt like there was a point—unlike the gratuitously obscene rampage in the more drunken sections on some of his other sets.

Not laugh-out-loud comedy, but a very good show for fans of Doug's and probably also for a good many people who haven't come across him yet. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 37 years old.
Doug Stanhope: Deadbeat Hero DVDDoug Stanhope: Deadbeat Hero
      2004 | USA | Laughs: 5.5 | imdb: 8.4
      wikipedia

This show starts out poorly: for about fifteen minutes, Doug seems bent on breaking some kind of gross-out record—for no good reason that I can think of. Beyond that, it's a fine show, less for the laughs than for the rare display of lucidity, and perhaps to enjoy hearing Doug voice out things you have been thinking all along. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 35 years old.
Doug Stanhope: Word of Mouth DVDDoug Stanhope: Word of Mouth
      2002 | USA | Laughs: 4.5 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia

The first half of this show features Doug's trademark brand of comical lucid rave about the world we live in. It's funny, and the set may be worth watching if you hit stop around the one-hour mark. The last half-hour ruins it. Doug seems to challenge himself to see how gross he can get. He succeeds, and in so doing probably loses half his audience and most of the goodwill accrued earlier. (Last viewed: August 2010)

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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 45 years old.
Doug Stanhope: Before Turning the Gun on Himself DVDDoug Stanhope: Before Turning the Gun on Himself
      2012 | USA | Laughs: 3.5 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.1
      

If you've enjoyed one of Doug Stanhope's older sets, then you may want to watch this show, not so much for the laughs (which are not that frequent or intense) than in the same spirit you'd visit an old friend with whom you'd like to catch up, a friend who has moved on a bit. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Doug Stanhope was credited as writer and actor in the following stand-up comedy set.
At the time, he would have been about 40 years old.
Doug Stanhope: Go HomeDoug Stanhope: Go Home
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 1.0 (Just Awful) | imdb: 8.2
      

A mix of stand-up comedy and interviews set in Edinburgh and focusing on immigration. Doug, who is usually clear-thinking, is surprizingly narrow-minded on this issue, essentially telling people who cannot compete with the low wages of recent immigrants that they're idiots if they can't make themselves competitive by improving their skills. That's the standard elitist attitude of someone of above-average skills, someone who indeed is able to cut a slice for himself. Wake up, Doug, not everyone has your abilities—and no one chooses to be an idiot, just like no one chooses to be deaf. If someone truly is an idiot, does that mean the rest of the world has the right to step over him, does that mean you can laugh at his plight, that his country should treat him like garbage? A fine philosophy if you want to create a super-race. Oh, wait, that's been tried before. It's good that Doug can empathize with immigrants, but he has an empathy blind spot when it comes to the local underclass. Doug has it right on nationalism, of course, but there's a screaming lack of subtlety in his stance of blaming the victim. (Last viewed: January 2013)

More About Doug Stanhope: Go Home:
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