Telling it like it is

Doug Stanhope doesn’t care what you think


Doug Stanhope

More in: Rock / Pop

Comedian Doug Stanhope is a loudmouth asshole. That’s not an insult, it’s what he’s going for. His standup is raw, unflinching, swear-laden and raunchy. So, fuck you if you don’t like it.

He’s a former host of The Man Show, a standup comic, the Voice of America correspondent for satirical British TV show Newswipe and was even a one-time host for a Girls Gone Wild video. The last one, he’s not so proud of.

“It was fucking awful. Aside from [founder] Joe Francis being the filthiest human being I’ve ever met anywhere in show business, including the darkest corners of porn or anywhere — he’s the most awful, evil person,” says Stanhope over the phone. “That made it suck. But just dealing with idiots. Just ask any bouncer at a popular nightclub how much fun it is to deal with drunken sorority douchebags at two o’clock the morning. Add that they’re empowered with a slut of a trucker hat prize for showing their tits and they’re even more unruly and unreasonable. I’ve seen enough titties. I’ve got hooker money at this age. It wasn’t titillating to me.”

Geez, tell us what you really think.

Needless to say, Stanhope isn’t a family-friendly, traditional-values kind of guy. He likes to rant and rave about society and doesn’t mind layering offence upon offence. If you want to push people’s buttons, you could learn a thing or two from this comic.

During the 2008 presidential campaign he started a website called, which sought to raise funds so that Sarah Palin’s daughter could have an abortion (I hope you’re reading this you little anti-abortion bastards standing on the corner of 17th Avenue with your posters). He was going to run as a libertarian presidential candidate as a lark, but the paperwork killed any of the fun in that.

So is he political? Kind of. Disillusioned is a better way to put it. Despite his hard exterior, he cops to long-lost idealistic tendencies about being able to change the world. Those are gone. Now he just tries not to be too bitter.

Beyond politics, another thing that bothers him — and there are a lot of things that bother him — is doing television in the U.S.

“Doing TV over there [in the U.K.] is so much different than here because there’s no censorship bullshit and you don’t have to try to reword things so they’re family-friendly, which I’m not,” he says.

“Here they go: ‘Yeah, we love what you do, we want you to do it completely different and be a different guy.’”

On the first day of taping The Man Show, which he co-hosted with Joe Rogan, Stanhope got a taste of that American-TV style.

“The fucking director stops us on the set and goes ‘Doug, can you sit up straight and smile more? Act like you’re happy to be here?’ I go: “I’m, no…. Who did you fucking hire?’”

“I slouch, I have the posture of a sea horse and I’m fucking cranky.”

It’s that crankiness, and the concurrent venom he’ll spew onstage that people come to see. It’s also the reason Stanhope prefers rock ’n’ roll clubs as opposed to comedy clubs. There’s more chaos and angst, he says. As for his fans? Aside from being a rowdy bunch, he’s not sure what to make of them.

“The diversity of my crowd ranges from middle-aged-lawyer types and disgruntled Wall Street people to lonely fat school shooters in trench coats,” he says. “To look at my audience, you go: ‘What the fuck are you all doing in the same room?’”


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