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TOUR DATES

 

August 13

Hotel Congress
Tucson, AZ

 

August 15

Highline Ballroom
New York, NY

 

August 16

Highline Ballroom
New York, NY

 

August 17

Highline Ballroom
New York, NY

 

August 21

Comedy Store
Los Angeles, CA

 

August 22

Comedy Store
Los Angeles, CA

 

August 27

Cobb's Comedy Club
San Francisco, CA

 

August 28

Cobb's Comedy Club
San Francisco, CA

 

September 12

The Trocadero
Philadelphia, PA

 

September 13

State Theatre
Falls Church, VA
Cheapest tickets are at the Venue Box Office

 

September 18

San Jose Improv
San Jose, CA

 

September 19

The Mohawk
Austin, TX

 

September 27

Plaza Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV

 

October 8

El Paso Comic Strip Comedy Club
El Paso, TX

 

October 9

Launchpad
Albuquerque, NM

 

October 13

Outland Ballroom
Springfield, MO

 

October 14

Deja Vu Comedy Club
Columbia, MO

 

October 15

Jukebox Comedy Club
Peoria, IL

 

October 16

Rock Island Brewing Company
Rock Island, IL

 

November 11

The Greek Club
Brisbane, AU

 

November 12

Venue TBA
Canberra, AU

 

November 14

UNSW Roundhouse
Sydney, AU

 

November 16

Capri Theatre
Adelaide, AU

 

November 18

Fly By Night Club
Perth, AU

 

November 22

Dallas Brooks Centre
Melbourne, AU

 

Friday
Jan072011

Road Stories

 

I have a 90 minute drive to the Tucson airport so I'll usually stay at a hotel the night before if I have an early flight. There are a half-dozen within walking distance to the airport and all of 'em are pretty decent and fairly cheap. It's probably the best small airport in the country.

This night I stayed at the one closest - by a matter of feet - to the airport. I checked in, dropped my shit in the room, went immediately to the bar and after a few sips off my drink, went outside for a smoke.

There was a guy dressed in biker attire - tall, beefy, bearded and menacing with a large knife sheathed on his belt. He was wearing a tie-dyed bandana and pacing back and forth uncomfortably beside the only ash-tray. It was difficult not to make eye contact and avoid conversation as we were the only ones outside. He had been there when I initially pulled up and I was pissed off that he was still there, squatting on my smoking territory.

Drinks go by and every time I go to smoke, he's still out there pacing back and forth, seemingly angrier each time. Occasionally he'd come in, get a drink, slam it and go back out to the ashtray. I made conversation with the khaki pants at the bar and watched basketball, all the while hating this fucking guy for being scary and always in my spot.

I tried to time my smokes with the brief moments he came inside. Finally he caught me outside in a moment of small talk.

"Hey. How's it going?"

Then an avalanche of notes from a shitty day poured out of him. He flew in early that day and was supposed to have a ride but the guy didn't show and then his back up ride was out of town and on and on. It all sounded like all the set-up for asking for money.

I asked him where he was going and he said "Bisbee."

When I told him I was from Bisbee myself he almost came off the bench asking if he could get a ride. I told him I was on my way out. He asked about any other way to get to Bisbee but there really aren't any. There's no bus and a taxi will cost you at least 150 bucks. And hitch-hiking at 9:30 pm would be futile - especially when you look like a deranged, escaped convict with a Bowie knife on your hip.

This news of course made him more dis-heartened and I went back inside to my cocktail. As I continued to get drunk and try to chat with business douches, I felt more and more like a dick for blindly hating this guy who was just stranded and needed a ride to a place I live, a place you can't really get to from there.

And in the course of one drink, went from despising this man's existence into deciding that I would simply trust him to take my car to Bisbee on the condition that he pick me up at the airport when I flew home in a few days. What's the worst that could happen? I didn't much like that car anyway.

I tell him he can take my car if he can pick me back up on Sunday but he says he'll already be gone by then - he's just picking up his van in Bisbee to drive it to California before heading back to Washington. I feel better that I made the offer and now don't have to worry about bad judgement in the morning. He says he found a shuttle to Douglas that will drop him off in Bisbee on the way for cheap but it doesn't leave til 9 in the morning. He's happy to have at least that.

Then I see he's walking to the front desk to get a room and I stop him and tell him he's welcome stay in my room - i have two beds and I have to leave at 5 am anyway.

We got a couple drinks and shots and started talking.

He lived in Bisbee but now lived in Spokane. Somehow Alaska came into the conversation and I asked if he knew Chilkoot Charlies - a bar in Anchorage that my bestest of friends run.

Shit yes, he knew it. "I even bought a Girls Gone Wild video just because they filmed it there."

I looked at him for a second to see if he was fucking with me but it was obvious he wasn't.

"Um...  Yeah. That was me."

And after a beat... "I hosted that video."

All of a sudden he remembered me with "holy shit" and it is the only time I have ever been happy to be associated with that shit-burger franchise.

We went back and sat and drank next to the traveling dullards who I had - hours before found comfort in and now hated - seeing myself on the cusp of becoming one with them.

He gave me his name and number when I dragged ass out of the room in the morning and I'll never have a reason to call but it surely twisted my consciousness on what direction I'm going and who the fuck I could turn into on this road.

******************************



I don't have local comedy scene in a town of 6000 people. I'm lucky to have a few friends here that get the jokes. the closest I have to a local scene is 100 miles away in Tucson and I don't really know what the fuck goes on there. I play there once a year and half the crowd is Bisbee folks - thanks for making the trip.

This time when I played there a couple weeks ago I got some local comic to play. Kevin Lee and Aaron Panther opened the show it turned drunk quick and relentlessly. If I didn't tell you then, I'll tell you now - Thanks and keep me informed of anything fun and brewing up there. I should get up there and get involved more often but I'm lazy as fuck.

After the show there was another local comic - John Tullar - hanging around that the other locals were raving about. It was too late to have him on stage so we invited him down to the house and he performed on Bingo's bed for the football crowd after the game.  It went swimmingly and the Youtube link is HERE.

Oh.. and apologies to the Club Congress where we play in Tucson for my friends that stole your Christmas tree and gifts. It seemed funny at the time evidently and how they got it through your lobby full of over-zealous security is fodder for the next in the Ocean's 11 series. I had nothing to do with it that I remember and I don't remember a thing.



Sunday
Jan022011

Well, that's over...

 

 

The Year in Review is Blurry.

It's amazing the things that will fail to stand out if you get used to them.

Becker and I were in Costa Rica two years back and went to visit a friend of his south of Tamarindo who'd opened a resort somewhere in the area of where the jungle meets the beach just like everywhere else. A dozen bungalows scattered about the property, a perfect pool next to the outdoor bar with the sun pouring under the Pacific just as we pulled in.

The owner was a Costa Rican - about our age or a little younger - who'd been living in London for several years prior working in finance. He opened the bar thinking he'd get all the UK suits to fill the place in the high season.

It was the highest point of the high season now and his occupancy was zero.

Paradise bust.

He sat alone at the bar with his cheeks in his hands staring at the television and said hello to Becker without moving his head. "Two and a Half Men" was on - an American feed in English. His eyes stayed fixed on it while he got up to get us beers and never wavered with the small talk. Business was bad, his birthday was coming up and was going to be a big party, on and on. But he never looked anything less than worn and depressed.

Then, as the conversation lulled, a good-sized dog came running over with its head smeared in what seemed to be dried blood. Becker asked about it.

"Jesus - is that blood on your dog's head?"

The owner - still transfixed by Charlie Sheen's goofball antics and without blinking - muttered that the dog had grabbed a monkey off of a low-lying branch and killed it.

He said it as though he was explaining a gravy stain on his shirt. And never missed a second of Two and a Half Men. The conversation kind of died after that and all three of us just stared at the screen.

I hadn't watched a network sit-com that I can remember in over 15 years and now we were treated to back-to-back episodes of the worst of it in a remote tropical Valhalla where giant iguanas, postcard sunsets and monkey-eating dogs go unnoticed.

It's amazing what you can become bored with.

******************************

Bingo sends her love.

She hasn't been drinking for the last few months and that is a good thing. As you can imagine, she feels like she's boring now. But she's actually more fun than she's been in a while.

She was getting to places where the stories were only funny from a distance. One night this fall when I was on the road she decided to march down in her marching band outfit to the high school football field at the end of a game in a half-blackout, grab the trombone from the kid in the band on the sideline and start playing it poorly with the expectation that the rest of the band and cheerleaders would follow her lead. The band teacher was kind enough to walk her home and the town has been kind enough to not bring it up again when we go out in public.

*****************************


A lot of times I'll give out our address for you to send shit to Bingo because Bingo is child-like in her dumbstruck and authentic elation and receiving gifts - even if it's chewed gum on a baseball card. Just seeing her name makes her dance around saying "I have packages!" When our friend Father Luke first made her a website a few years back and showed her the homepage she screamed "OhMyGod I'm on TV!"

You might call her retarded. I do regularly. But she's the most adorable retard you'll ever see and I'll put her up against any adorable retard you might have for money. Any Place, Any Time.

If you have weird shit and too much time with a stamp and an envelope - please send shit to

Bingo (or Amy Bingaman if you wanna be all proper)
212 van Dyke St.
Bisbee, AZ 85603

I've done this several times before and always get a bunch of people asking why I'd give my address out and how many crazies have just shown up at my door because of it. My concern and my answer have been both "zero." We live way the fuck out of the way to anywhere. Nobody is going to show up here. The mailman hates coming here and he lives here.

But now it looks like the first crazy is coming. I ignored his first few emails around Christmas that he was going to drive down from Canada 3000 miles for a very necessary interview for some documentary he was making. Then he emailed saying he was about to leave, regardless of not hearing back from me.

Now he emailed saying he's only about 12 hours away.

I'll let you know how it goes.

*********************************************************

Not to ruin your New Year but we die at the end of all this. So start having fun.

See you on the road.

I love you

stanhope



Sunday
Nov212010

T.S.A.

 

 

Picture this, Dear Reader -

You are traveling through airport security for the holidays with your 5 year-old when all of a sudden you are told that your kid needs to go through the new TSA body-scanner which will subject him to allegedly "low doses" of radiation which will allow a complete stranger to view his or her naked body privately - or if you refuse will allow a complete stranger to do a full body pat-down including breasts and genitals?

Which do you choose?

What thought is more disturbing?

Some Job Corps airport chump watching the x-ray images, getting a weeping erection staring at the images of your naked youngster? The idea that over a course of time these screenings could make your child look like a bullfrog with his new neck cancer? Or simply settle for the out-right humiliation of watching him be molested right in front of you while the other TSA goons shove you in the chest and direct you where to stand?

I can't believe this shit is going on right in front of my eyes, every fucking week I'm on the road. I can't believe that people sit there and take it.

Personally, I don't care if someone sees me naked - I've forced the image on more than should have had to see it. Nor do I give a fuck about radiation. I smoke enough that folks in Chernobyl would ask me to take it outside.

I don't even mind subjugating some dunce in a uniform to get down on his knees and pat at my asshole and sweating bag while pretending to control my libido.


I care that so many people don't care that it doesn't matter if I care or not. But that shit is turning around, at least for the moment. Ever since TSA has started the full-naked body scans with your choice of full body/genital pat-down, the public seems to show that it still has a nerve that can be struck. Some empty-chested filth at the airport with rubber gloves grappling between your grandmother's tits and colostomy bag made the idea of the lottery-odds of an underpants bomber seem insufficient to justify.

The "Let's roll" guy on 9/11 - fictional or not - would have a hard time choosing between watching his crying child look helplessly at him during a rough groping from some low-rung government flunkie or to just man-up and go down with the plane.

There are a million organizations now calling for people to opt-out of the body scanner and force TSA to either do pat-downs or allow them to go thru regular metal detectors or to not fly at all.

Opting out is one way to go. First of all, the number of people who would decide to not fly would be minimal and actually beneficial for TSA because there would be less of an evident problem. The scanners themselves are adding so much useless time to flying that throwing lengthy security rub-n-tugs on top of that would cripple air travel and be far more effective.

But don't just opt out for the holidays. Opt out every time you have the option. Opt out with a smile and a leer and groan when they slide over your sensitive parts.

Your other option is to play the part of the willing maroon who is happy to go through the scanner but can't get it right. This form of protest could be far more effective since it can prove the machinery itself to be too difficult to be useful. The body scanner requires far more nonsense to get through than normal metal detectors. Every single piece of metal has to be removed from rings to belts to random coins in your pocket. The thing will detect mercury in your stool from last night's sushi.

So all you need to do is dress the part of the turtle-necked first-time-flier with a dullard's grin and happily get into the scanner with as much metal paraphernalia on your person as possible. They will scan you and then chastise you for still having metal. Apologize earnestly, go back, remove SOME of the metal and try again. Keep Aw-shucksing, apologizing and fucking it up so that in the meantime they will divert the rest of the people through the regular security.

If people start missing their flights because of a handful of idiots, pressure will come down like a hammer from airlines and passengers alike.

Either way, remember - and remember this clearly - that to quietly accept the current TSA rules without protest is exactly the same as saying "It's perfectly okay with me for the government to ogle or fondle my child's sexual organs as well as rape my grandmother."

 

Exactly the same.

Now get to the airport early with a bleeding erection in thin white pants and show them how much you mean it when you scream "Freedom!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

I signed a deal with RoadRunner Records to begin their foray into
comedy. If you've never heard of RoadRunner - that's probably because nobody really hears about record companies since their was the center label of a 45 rpm spinning in the center of your turntable in 1981. But evidently they have a lot of huge bands and their check cleared so at this point it all looks good. I should have a new DVD out before your diabetes takes your legs.

********************************

Brendon Walsh is on Conan on Thanksgiving. He might be the only guy that would get me to watch a late night talk show. If you haven't seen the pic where Walsh bought a Fathead of himself, climbed a billboard in LA and added himself to the cast of some Top Chef show - well, then Google it. Or maybe I can find a link.

********************************

I'll get some kind of X-mas merch special going shortly. I mean, it's kind of a no-brainer. I don't give a fuck about Christmas either but evidently other folk have friends that require purchases so here I'll be - pulling open my raincoat to show you my latest wares. Come back soon or just do the easy thing and get on the mailing list.

********************************

Bisbee folks - Thanks for everyone who came together for Bingo's
surprise party. She's still talking about it and you guys are fucking
great. See you over the holidays.

********************************

2011 dates are starting to roll in. Get tix immediately or go stand in the corner and ponder on what you've done wrong.

Here's to a little closer to dead.

Cheers!