The Olympia Theatre; This Thursday, 14th June. Click here to view available tickets.
Once you do standup, it spoils you for everything else,” says Doug Stanhope. “There’re no censors, there’re no sponsors to get offended, there’re no standards and practices. It’s just you, and it’s immediate gratification. You say it, and drifts off into thin air, and you can say it a different way the next day.”
Stanhope’s confrontational rants, who’s live show was twice named Best Stand-Up Show of the year by Time Out New York, encompasses caustic social commentary, outlandish first-person narratives, graphic sex and perversion, sometimes within the same sentence. Fueled by equal amounts of anger, outrage and alcohol, Stanhope rails against western civilization’s slide into apathy and stupidity, always on the edge of implosion yet fully in control and never afraid to risk pissing off his audiences.
“Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realising how transparent the confidence trick of western propaganda can be made to seem. What he has in abundance is the charm, don’t-give-a-damn swagger and aggressive intelligence that make for important, exciting comedy,” says The Guardian (UK).
Stanhope has been compared to such fearless comic revolutionaries as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks. But his work makes it abundantly clear that he’s a complete original. As Ricky Gervais tweeted, “Doug Stanhope might be the most important standup working today.”
In recent years, Stanhope has won a large and rabidly devoted fan base both in the U.S. and abroad on his own uncompromising terms, bypassing the conventional comedy circuit and most forms of mainstream media exposure. The Denver Post calls Stanhope “A truth-teller and astute (if messy) social critic…one of the most bracing live acts on the stand-up circuit…”