We spoke to controversial comedian Doug Stanhope recently to get his take on the world of touring and much much more, and we certainly weren’t disappointed! See how it went below:
You’re in the middle of a new UK tour – were you excited to come over here?
Excited??? I practically crapped my trousers!Who would have thought that I’d be able to make a living traveling the world making people laugh! I owe it all to a vengeful God!
Is there anywhere you were particularly looking forward to visiting? Do you enjoy coming to the UK?
I love every second that I’m here! There can’t be enough hours in a day to take in everything I want to see! Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Easter Island, downtown Scotland, the Fawlty Towers, Sainsburys – I want to drink it all in!
How do you find that audiences in the UK and USA differ? It’s often said that Americans don’t get British humour and vice versa – do you think that’s true?
The main difference is that UK audiences tend to sit in seats facing forward and look you in the eye. American audiences generally sit straddling trolleys facing the wall to the right and crane their necks to the left to watch you but mostly look at your feet. But laughter is a universal language we both share.
Why do you think people should come and see you perform, and what can people expect from a Doug Stanhope show? What is different about this tour from the others ones you have done?
I think that in what we can all agree is that in this – the craziest time to be alive – we have some major hurdles to overcome if we are ever going to come together as one people. And we can’t do that until everybody comes to my show. That’s rather obvious. All you can expect is a life-affirming, cataclysmic and exalting experience that nothing else in life will ever come close to besting. And that’s what makes this show different from my others.
You’ve got a bit of a reputation for being controversial – was that something that was planned or did it just come naturally to you? Have you always been a fan of those sort of jokes?
If I have ever said anything controversial, I’ve made amends in a timely fashion. If I ever went a step too far, I apologized and did a lot of soul-searching. If I ever offended a single person, I took time to imagine life in that person’s shoes and found that I grew as a human being. So I find that controversy has been nothing but a great back-door to self-help for me. So many have had to suffer for me to be this well-rounded.
You’ve written a couple of books, with the latest one titled From What I Re-Memoir. How did you get into writing? Is it something you had wanted to do for a while, or was it an idea that came about later on?
I remember starting to write when I wanted to communicate with classmates without the teacher yelling at me. I learned that if I wrote down what I wanted to say, folded the paper and passed it silently to my chum, he could read it and write back a response. I guess it kinda took off from there.
Do you have any plans to release any other books in the future? Are you still writing?
I’m not writing currently as I have no teachers yelling at me anymore. But that could change on a dime. You know, with Trump and all.
You’ve also released some comedy albums – that seems to be quite a rarity, especially in the UK. What made you decide to release comedy in that format, and do you have any further releases planned?
My latest special Popov Vodka Presents An Evening with Doug Stanhope is about to be released on VHS in a limited run.
Who would you say are your favourite comedians at the moment, and who do you recommend our readers check out if they like your style of comedy?
What people sometimes don’t understand is that stand-up comedy is more sport than art-form. Arsenal doesn’t say “Oh, if you like watching us play, you’ll also love Liverpool!” No, not at all. You pick one comedian and all others can go jump in a lake! You’re either with me or against me!
Any last words for the fans?
Go Wolverhampton Wanderers FC!
By Jane Howkins