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April 20

Zanies
Nashville, TN

 

April 22

Comedy Caravan
Louisville, KY

 

April 23

2720 Cherokee
St. Louis, MO

 

April 24

Improv Kansas City
Kansas City, MO

 

April 25

Mermaids
Fayetteville, AR

 

April 26

Juanitas
Little Rock, AR

 

April 27

Phoenix Underground
Shreveport, LA

 

April 29

Addison Improv
Dallas, TX

 

April 30

Addison Improv
Dallas, TX

 

May 1

Backstage Lubbock
Lubbock, TX

 

June 10

Irvine Improv
Irvine, CA

 

June 11

Ontario Improv
Ontario, CA

 

June 12

M15 Concerts Bar & Grill
Corona, CA

 

June 18

Punchline
Sacramento, CA

 

June 25

Star Theatre
Portland, OR

 

August 21

Comedy Store
Los Angeles, CA

 

Saturday
May042002

Amarillo Comedy Club, Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1, read the May 2 update.

 

Steve Marmel is a genius. After receiving the original email from the Amarillo Comedy Club, I forwarded it around to a few people who might take exception to it. Marmel was one of those people, for obvious reasons. He put it into the form of a press release and sent it out on the wire to every newspaper, radio and television station in the country. How spotting a racist in West Texas might be considered newsworthy, I had no idea until I read the press release:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 2, 2002

Comedians call for boycott of Amarillo Comedy club due to racist and anti-semitic booking policy.

There's something very unfunny in Amarillo Texas, and it's happening at the Amarillo Comedy Club. In a scathingly racist and anti-semetic E-mail sent to LA based Comedian Doug Stanhope, the Amarillo Comedy Club informed Mr. Stanhope they wouldn't be needing his services because they don't work with "Heebs" and "C**ts."

Stanhope, who has performed in his own Comedy Central special and is a recurring guest on the Howard Stern Show was not surprised. He had alreadyexperienced their negative attitude on minorities. "In 2001, one club owner made references to the "n***ers" around those parts," Mr. Stanhope recalls. "He sensed my immediate disgust, and then told me he wasn't racist, saying 'that's just the way folks talk around here.' "

A highly popular comic on the nation's comedy club circuit, Mr. Stanhope was negotiating to perform in Amarillo through his agents at the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) when he received an E-mail on April 25th abruptly canceling a July performance.

The E-mail stated "We don't want to deal with the Jews," and that "Your gig, originally scheduled for July 11, 12 and 13th is invalid because of the Jews. We want to deal with you and only you.......Comedy Club to performer....NO MIDDLE HEEBS OR C*NTS!"

The date, which Stanhope had on the books, was then pulled from his calendar.

Reaction in the comedy world has been swift. Late Night Talk Show Host Steve Marmel (TNN) is calling for a nationwide comedian boycott of the Amarillo Comedy Club. "If you work this room, then you are supporting the kind of racist, discriminatory garbage these people spew," Marmel said. "In any business, it's unacceptable." Marmel and other comedians will be reaching out to performers, asking they cancel their date until the club either changes their policy, or changes hands.

Doug, in the meantime, has no intention of returning to the Amarillo Comedy Club anytime soon. "I'll never need their money that bad," Stanhope says.

For further information on this story, please E-mail Doug at

 

Now it sounds like news! Not big news, mind you, but on a day where Britney Spears makes front page for smoking a cigarette it was certainly news in Amarillo. I immediately get a call from the NBC affiliate in Amarillo who want me to do a satellite remote interview from the CNN station here in Los Angeles, which I did gladly. From what I have heard, news crews from all over were in front of the club that night, television and radio and Kevin Moran was going apeshit, calling everyone in the world trying to get hold of me or Marmel.

Then I get an email from Kelly Moran, the comic & co-owner of the club, whom I assumed was the innocent bystander in the whole thing. He wrote:

 

Doug,

This is from me.........Kelly Moran. I should have signed the e-mail Kelly Moran. Then maybe you would have taken it as a joke, you know tongue in cheek.The fraternity of comics I realize is as sacred as many close friends you may have.If I would have signed my name maybe you would have taken this as a joke. In defense of the Comedy Club and the e-mail our walls are plastered with pictures of all racial persuasions and sexual preferences alike. I am sorry if you took any of Kevin's racial epithets in a serious way. I informed him before your arrival that you were one of the coolest yet vile and disgusting comics I know.I dig your stuff. After hearing one of your CD's people would probably have a few choice things to say negatively about them. I however am a great fan and a friend, I thought.You should have taken it up with me. I would have settled any conflict. It is creating some negative publicity for the club. As you know! that can go either way. I hope that you reconsider coming back to the club and plan to be treated with the utmost respect.I will most certainly be present during your next visit if you so choose. I am upset that you jumped to conclusions as to who wrote the e-mail. For someone who is so concerned with hatred I was surprised that you didn't investigate this any further. Hopefully we can discuss this thing personally. Please call the club and they will give you my personal cell phone number. This is between you and I now. I want to clear this up ASAP! I am sorry if this Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin type of shock humor on the e-mail was misinterpreted as a serious post. Thanks, your shanty irish beer drinking whiskey lush lucky charm eating the english depise my ancestry friend and fellow comic, Kelly

 

Immediately followed by one from Kevin Moran -

 

Doug, I need you call me emergency !!!! I didn't write that email, I've been promoting you coming here. *** ***-****

 

Now, I re-read the original email trying to see where Kelly, who I never really knew very well and haven't spoken with in many years, may have sent it as a "joke". I couldn' find the funny. All I can see is "We cancelled your date because of the Jews". An hour later, I get this email from Kelly:

 

Doug,

You have no proof who sent the e-mail.It could be a number of comics who have access to our club computer. A privilege to say the least. Kevin did not write it and we don't know who did.So his lawyer has informed us to let you know to pull the front page of your website or he will take you personally to court for slander, since there is no proof who wrote the crap. The last slander suit this lawyer handled won a $60,000 settlement for the same type of suit. He is the Gerry Spence of Texas. So let's don't let this grow into some big ugly thing because some smartass bitter comic took liberty to stir up a little shit.Thanks again, Kelly

 

Gee, is it the same lawyer who helped the cattle folks sue Oprah down your way? Heh. Maybe his lawyer should have told him not to write the "I wrote you that email" email before you wrote the "I didn't

write that email" email. Absolutely brilliant, these guys.

Now they keep coming, from Kevin now:

 

Please remove my name from your site. Someone else wrote that email and you are slandering me Why ?????? Pick up the phone !!!!!!!!!

and

Can you of all people not have the guts to pick-up the phone and call. ***-***-**** Kelly & I are coming to your next gig to meet you in person.for you to hear our side. You are slandering me on a lie. I never sent you that email. Pick up the phone and at least hear the truth. We let all the comics use our email, we let you use it when you were here. Your contract was sitting on my desk. Give me a date and i'll find out who sent this email. I did not send that and don't even know some of those words. Just pick-up the phone ***-***-****

 

Maybe I would have called him but how am I supposed to know these emails are really coming from him???

Now Kelly:

 

Doug,

I really don't have that much to do with the club. Please, let me give you fair warning.....you are dealing with honest to goodness badass shitkickers. I have been on my cell phone with them all night. They are wickedly pissed and like bounty hunters they will track you down. So, I don't want to see your life turn in to Richard Kimball's, fugitive on the run. They are putting fear in me. For your sake and safety please call me or e-mail me soon. I am telling you please don't let this go ay

 

It ends short like that, as though he just slammed send in exasperation. Kelly and Kevin really should have got on the same page at some point because shortly after the "badass shitkickers will hunt you down" email from Kelly, Kevin writes:

I expect you to fulfill you original contract. You are coming to Amarillo no matter what. I am a private person and you slandered me Over fifty times. I will be filling charges on Monday morning in Federal court. So you are coming after all. I also demand a public apology from you on your website. You don't know me or what I have done in Amarillo. If you don't call me I will take action on Monday morning. Be a man and call me.

Kevin Moran

 

I guess he doesn't realize I was cancelled because of the Jews and that there is no contract, never was, because the Jews asked for

too much money. Kevin again:

 

Have the guts to call me I never wrote that Email and I don't even know these people in That email. Anyone can sign an email !!! Call ***-***-****

 

I guess he meant "I don't even know any HEEBS or CUNTS!"

They keep coming, from one or the other. It's getting ridiculous. So maybe Kelly wrote it or maybe Kevin did and Kelly was trying to cover for him or maybe evil trolls broke into the club and sent out one tarnishing email to make possibly the most racist person I have met in person seem like a racist over the internet, as they

suggest is the case. Maybe those same trolls have sent every single one of these emails and both Kevin and Kelly are sitting home wearing yamulkes and tit-feeding black babies, completely unaware of any

goings-on whatsoever.

Now that you have both sides of the story, you can make up your own minds, even if their side of the story has many sides of it's own.

stanhope

Thursday
May022002

Amarillo Comedy Club, Part 1

Last year sometime I did a gig at the Amarillo Comedy Club. If you asked me about it last week, all I would be able to remember clearly is what a racist stupid fuck the owner was. I remember that it was a shitty looking venue in an abandoned downtown area. I know the hotel I was put up in was on the 'dry' side of town, i.e, no liquor. I remember I had started smoking again. But mostly I remember the racist shitpile that ran the joint.

Let me clarify that there are two owners, one being a comic that I knew briefly a long time ago, Kelly Moran, who was a cool guy and the reason I did the gig in the first place. He is not the shitpile to which I refer. He was out of town that week. His brother Kevin, the other owner, was there.

The first night he made references to the "niggers" around those parts. Sensing my immediate disgust he backpeddled, saying he wasn't racist, "thats just the way folks talk around here", as though he'd just picked up the local flavor. I didn't respond and as the weekend went on he talked about "niggers" more than waitresses talked about bad tips while cashing out. Bragged to me that there were no niggers on his line-up and the only nigger he'd had was Jimmie Walker and if he had his way that'd be the last. Nigger, nigger, nigger.

I like the word "nigger". It's the one word left that you can say in a carload of your most vulgar and hardened friends and still give someone the creeps. I use it a lot in circles of people who know I use it for shock value and without hate. Like any word, it's just a sound you can make with your mouth. You may get upset when someone says "cunt". That's because you were trained when you were young to react negatively when you heard that sound come out of your mouth. You are Pavlov's dog, trained to bark at certain sounds. Ruff ruff. It's the intent that is important. This pinhead in Amarillo would still be as vulgar if he'd said he'd never book an African-American in his room. What would the difference be? Fuck, he could call black people "the superior master race" and it wouldn't make it any less racist in context with his views.

So I worked for this guy and didn't say shit, took the low money and went on my way. I ignored his subsequent emails asking me to come back and he finally went thru my agent and booked me for an upcoming week in July. I didn't cancel it immediately though I had no desire to go back. Apparently the contracts went over to my managers and then I get this email from the Amarillo Comedy Club -

 

Dearest Doug,

First of all we, as a Comedy Club, as people love you. We, as a Comedy Club, as a people want to deal directly with you as a people when it comes to booking you. We don't want to deal with the Jews or your little waste of cum manager either. Your gig, originally scheduled for July 11, 12 and 13th is invalid because of the Jews mostly. They agreed to a certain price over the phone and when receiving the contract it was more money than agreed to over the phone. We want to deal with you and only you.......Comedy Club to performer....NO MIDDLE HEEBS OR CUNTS! We want you back. We want your comedy, we want your personality, we want your love. We want you to walk our customers, we want the world to know about Doug Stanhope. We want you to make all the money. We don't want you to share with dumpy little fucks....I guess that includes everybody that you work with. We hate them. Do not forget.....WE LOVE YOU! Please call us soon. We will work something out with you and only you! With great love and admiration......Amarillo Comedy Club

 

Feel the love? You'll notice that he used the word "love" four times, one time in CAPS! Yet somehow the love missed me. That's because "love", like "nigger", "heeb" or "cunt" is simply sounds you can make with your mouth. All the words in the world wouldn't get me to go back to that cesspool of comedy.

Or maybe you'd like to go see a show there to support your Aryan brother. If so, that's perfect because I have been told that there is a nigger working there next week. And I bet 100 bucks and a blow job that Kevin Moran tells him he loves him.

Wednesday
Apr172002

After The Wedding

So the wedding thing took up most of the journal space over the last month and I am sure you’ve heard enough. Here’s what else went on.

 

Aspen

The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen was pretty much a blur, not in the usual drunken way but just in the sense that it’s a madhouse of shows and catching up with comics that you never see otherwise. I could have given a fuck less if I was going to get a deal or not. Truly not giving a fuck is a beautiful freedom that you can’t fake. It’s nice when it comes and it came in Aspen. Renee was there and we had a great time, snapping pictures of the famous types like tourists and playing whiffle ball in the snow.

I didn’t spend a hell of a lot of time worrying about what sets to do, just did what I felt like at the time. Fuck trying to impress industry. I feel sorry anymore for most industry types. They are an unusually sad breed of human being, motivated solely by money and status, and stand out in character even less than movie extras in a stadium scene. I boarded a 7 am flight out of LA to get there, 3 hours sleep and a bloated head full of last night's beer when some agent type stopped me in the aisle to say hello. I felt the familiar guilt for not remembering exactly who he was and felt worse when I realized it may be one of my managers. I still am not quite sure who he was. The rest of the festival went on the same way. Renee was perfect in spotting that look of non-recognition on my face when saying heartfelt hellos with people who I should remember but didn’t and she’d introduce herself before I could embarrass myself. Still it’s fun sometimes just to be honest and tell em you have no fucking idea who they are, especially when they walk around with the air that everyone should be kissing their ass.

It’s such a bullshit business, Hollywood. I was named one of the top ten talents to watch at Aspen by the Hollywood Reporter and was presented with an award at a party there that had less pomp and circumstance than a karaoke contest. I wanted to ask how I was selected. I’d spent the previous weeks in Toledo, Ocean Township, NJ and Midvale, Utah. I never spotted any Hollywood Reporter people in the room scrutinizing my material so as to judge against the other comics who would be in the festival. I should have asked when accepting my award exactly what material of mine caught their eye when they made the decision, just so I could stew in the glorious dead air. They have never seen a thing I have done. I got the award through hearsay or good representation. To take credit for it would be blowing smoke up my own ass but I’ll still hang the certificate on my wall next to the painting of Yakov Smirnoff that I heisted from the Boise FunnyBone.

 

Tampa

After Aspen I went straight to Tampa to play SideSplitters, another strip mall comedy club in a shitty strip mall highway town. But the shows were fun and the staff rocked. Renee flew down for her father’s surprise 50th birthday party and boy was he surprised when later in the day she told him that we were getting married in a couple weeks. The whole party stopped short at the announcement. I don’t think he’d ever heard of me before that day, much less considered a marriage in the offing. He’s a military guy, Black Hawk chopper pilot but not the stereotype you’d think. He took it ok but his best friend Jeff, more the bonehead you’d expect for career military, took it upon himself to give me the “you’d better not fuck her over or I’ll kill you” speech that I hadn’t heard since adolescence.

“You know, we know special-ops guys who kill people for a living - so I’m just saying - if you go knock her up and leave her…”

“Oh, you won’t have to worry about that, sir,” I say with an Eddie Haskell reverence, “We practice strictly sodomy so there won’t be any children.”

What an asshole. Renee told me that after I left, he got really drunk and walked into a plate glass door and broke his nose.

 

The Couch

Back in LA I did a pilot for Comedy Central called “The Couch," where people come on with their problems and three comics on a couch tell them what they should do. Sounds pretty dull but it was a shitload of fun. Henry Winkler produced it and he may very well be the coolest guy in Los Angeles. Nothing better in life than The Fonz telling you how cool you are. Best cheap thrill in America. Sue Murphy was the host and I think she’ll still be hot when she’s 93. The couch consisted of me, Kathleen Madigan, who is funny and I really enjoy, and Mario Joiner who is an un-fun, un-funny, self-absorbed half a prick. But the show wouldn’t work without that kind of tension. Hopefully he’s enough of a douche bag that the show gets picked up. I could use the scratch.

 

Omaha

Omaha is always a good time no matter how much the town may suck. The staff at Jokers is consistently about the best staff in any comedy club that I work. Dr. John, my smut shop friend from the “Grim Final Appearance” story was in town that week and loaded me up yet again with a dangerous cache of sexual amplifiers. Last time I was in town he had let me use the Dr. Johns construction van with the sign “Dr. Johns - If We Build It , You Will Come” along the side. It draws quite a bit of attention in Omaha, as Dr. John made front page news quite often in that town where aiding and abetting clitoral stimulation can amount to a sizable prison sentence (Dr. John is still facing 15 months for selling porn). This time he’d got his hand on a big square-backed ambulance with working sirens, lights and screaming PA system. “Dr. John’s Love Unit #1” in bright red on the sides. He gave me the keys for the week along with two overstuffed bags of smut toys to hand out after the shows. I set the bags in the step well of the side door on the way to the show that night and headed off. About a mile from the club, a ‘door’ light on the control panel lit up and a buzzer sounded. I realized that the side door had opened and just as I started to hit the brake I heard the bags hit the street. I stopped, got out and frantically started running up and down the street picking up butt plugs, dildos, and other sodomy-enhancing funions and threw them into the back of the ambulance parked sideways across the street. The visual had to be startling.

At the club I met a guy named Nels who happened to be running the sound for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that Saturday. He used his influence to get me into the parade in the Dr. John’s ambulance. I got up early that morning and headed for his house where I passed an anti-abortion protester standing with his signs and crucifixes like a target waiting for abuse. I circled him several times, spewing advertisements over the PA for my “Abort-O-Van”, offering semi-professional abortions in the back of the ambulance.

I never thought I’d actually be let into the parade, everyone in this town knowing exactly who Dr. John is, but sure enough we snuck right in between the Vietnam Vets and the Midland South High School Band. Parents with green-faced children stared gape-jawed as I went by, speakers blaring,

“Come to Dr. John’s Smut Emporium - 72nd and Pacific - because those kids didn’t come from Immaculate Conception!”

“The Midland South High School Has been drinking since 6 am, ladies and gentleman. I watched the tuba player puke green beer through his instrument not one hour ago!”

“Look! It’s the Grand Marshall of the Omaha St Patrick’s Day Parade, a regular customer of Dr. Johns Smut Emporium - 72nd and Pacific.”

“Oh shit, there’s a cop - hide your beer.”

Tame stuff but it was still funny as hell to see their faces.

Dr. John loaded me up with more deviant fuck toys and I had them loaded on the top of my carry-on again for the flight home. Got searched three times - everything but the bag with the toys - before being flagged at the gate. This weasel cocksucker was trying to be cute and chatty in that “Talk to them to see if the act nervous” hokey cop way. Every question he asked me was met with absolute silence and a death stare. I reek of alcohol and zero tolerance.

“Hows it goin today?”

No response.

“Guess you’re a little put off at the inconvenience but it’ll be quick.”

I sneer at him and say nothing.

“Out partying last night?”

Nothing but a evil gaze. “I’m just doing my job” went out with the Nazis. If your job is bullshit then get another job.

He went thru every pocket of my laptop bag, took off my shoes, wanded my feet and patted me down before he got to the bag o’ shame.

He opens the lid and sees a strap-on clitoral stimulator, three porno DVD’s, anal beads, liquid latex, nipple clamps, and a vibrating cock ring/anal probe combo unit that should come with health insurance. I smiled real big and he just said “Very interesting” and he shut the fucking bag.

He just shut the fucking bag.

Tell me these shitheads are doing anything worthwhile. Fucking zeros.

I’ve been driving the last four weeks and it’s beautiful. Taking as many of the two-lanes as possible and seen some great shit. Towns like Bisbee, AZ, Alpine, TX, Cameron, LA where we saw more alligators on the side of the road than we saw traffic. Saw one get hit by a truck. You don’t see dick if you stay on the interstates. Always take the back roads when you can.

A little while ago I get a call on my cell phone that comes up a blocked number. Almost every time I get a blocked call it’s my buddy Henry Phillips so I answer the phone “HEN-RYYYYY!”.

There’s a short pause, then a voice - “How did you know?”

It was Henry Winkler. Telling me the show turned out great. I never told him how I knew. Maybe if that show doesn’t fly he’ll make me the new Ms Clio.