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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.


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.



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.



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 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.


The Wedding, Part 2

I can't think of many things more vulgar than a wedding. Nor can I see any real purpose for marriage - it has to be one of the most pointless endeavors that mankind invented and continues to involve itself in unquestioningly. Unlike breeding, marriage is certainly not a natural instinct or even - arguably - a natural state.

The only reason that marriage exists is that 'love', or that initial giddiness and euphoria, is the most powerful intoxicant known to man and, as Hunter S. said in 'Fear and Loathing', "When you get locked into a serious drug binge, your tendency is to push it as far as it will go." So somebody invented 'marriage' as a way to push it further and it became a societal norm.

Doug presents Renee with a symbol of his love and commitment- a platinum card

People in love are like drunk chicks at Mardi Gras who expose their tits to proudly show everyone how embarrassingly drunk they are. Weddings are the terri-cloth tube top of love, waiting to be yanked down in front all your closest friends who now have to act amused. 

Weddings are like having to watch two people make out on a bus all day, only now you have to dress up, bring gifts and pretend you're not bored and disgusted.

It is a gross, ego-fueled imposition on your friends and is everything I am against.

I got married three days ago, March 26th, 2002.

I had scheduled a show at Tommy Rockers for my birthday (which is the 25th but Tommy always likes to do the shows on Tuesday for some reason). A few weeks before, I saw my friend Father Luke online and thought it would be fun to fly him out to marry us after the show. He is a former priest who left the church once he actually took a look at the whole thing logically and now does what he can to get by.

I asked Renee if she really wanted to do it and she said she did. She knew I was already legally married to a girl I'd known 14 years prior. I'd known her for a couple weeks when I was working phone rooms in Vegas in '87. We got drunk and got married one night just cuz it sounded like a funny thing to do. A year and a half later we moved to Idaho because I thought it sounded like a funny place to move. Then she left me for my best friend which wasn't nearly as funny but at least she went away. Sometimes the people who go along with what I think is funny are just insane people.

I bought Father Luke a ticket to Vegas immediately and told Renee it was on.

"It won't be legal, though, will it?" she asked.

"Baby," I said ( I too often begin sentences with 'Baby" and should try to avoid that), "We'll be doing drugs in Alaska on New Years. That won't be legal either but we're still gonna be high."

I didn't need to say anything else. She gets it. That's why we're together.

The only thing more pointless than marriage is "legal' marriage. (Remember, when I write "legal" to read it with a sarcastic, mocking tone that drags it out to sound 'leeegal' with a sneer.) What is the benefit in bringing law and government into your love life? What is it any business of theirs? When have you ever had to go to a courthouse and it was good? And when a relationship goes bad (no, it couldn't possibly happen to us), do you really need a lawyer to make it official? Good fuck, think about it.

The institution of marriage is a fictional union, like joining a gang or a fraternity. It is what you want from it personally, but unlike a corporation or the military, it holds no obligations to those outside the agreement. As much as a marriage might mean to you, the simple fact is that you cannot commit to an emotion. You can't force yourself to love someone as much as you can't force yourself to be sad or afraid. "Legally" marrying someone is like signing a contract promising to be 'lucky'. Forever.

"So it's not a 'real' marriage" I am told, over and over. 

But it is real. Far more real than anything 'legal'.

A 'legal' marriage is necessary when you are marrying someone to get them citizenship. It is necessary when you are marrying an 80 year old terminal cancer patient for his money. It's certainly necessary for the Appalachian hillbilly who takes a 14-year-old wife he'd have gone to jail for fucking without the arbitrary title, one word and a 10 dollar license the difference between husband and child molester. It is necessary for tax breaks and insurance or if you just want to join a club where homos aren't allowed.

If your marriage is legal, your motives should be suspect. If you believe marriage to be strictly about love and commitment then the law shouldn't be invited to the party. Besides, marriage is simply a word.


Extreme Elvis and Doug

So why would I involve myself in something that I seem so violently against? Because we are in love and wanted everyone to watch us make out on a bus all day. But instead of gifts and your nicest clothes, we had comedy, booze, drugs and a mad rocking band with a fat, naked Elvis impersonator who ran most of the people out before they could even see him swill a warm glass of his own urine.

If we are going to impose on our friends, we'll try like hell to make it worth their while, not act like it's very important for them to share in a 'celebration of our love'. We are simply stealing your word and taking the piss out of it. We left most of the gunky sentiment out of it. It's boring and gross to listen to people pine on in public about what their love means to each other. If I'm going to privy to the most intimate and personal details of someones relationship, frankly I'd rather just watch you fuck.

The Wedding

Fortunately someone had the good common sense to give Renee $10 says this picture was taken 20 minutes after Doug promised he was starting his closing bitsome ecstasy halfway thru the comedy show so she could stand up under the weight of the champagne she'd been drinking since noon. I'd suggested earlier that she drop a hit when she was staggering but she got a bit surly and told me that it was her wedding day and she didnt want to be all fucked up. She then stumbled again as the waitress brought her another bottle of Cook's.

Friends, family and fans were there from New York, New Jersey, Colorado Oregon, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Florida and from under rocks and highway underpasses. Vegas is the only city where you can make these events work comfortably since everyone has shit to do, rather than hanging around waiting for you to find time to socialize. They have hookers to find, wagers to lay, shit to pawn. 

The Extreme Elvis band kicked off the show at 8:15 or so, sans EE himself, and jammed for a bit before the comedy. This band absolutely rocks. I was a bit fucked up myself and trying to keep it chaotic while also attempting to make normal with the in-laws. Grandma was a no-show but the Mom/Step-Dad, Dad/Step-Mom contingents were there and seemed to be able to hang with everything ok. 


Andy Andrist

I started the show, rambling on and dealing with hecklers, before bringing up the line-up of Ralphie May, Sean RouseHenry Phillips and Andy Andrist. They all killed anyone who was listening, which wasn't as many as the night went on and people were getting twisted. Renee's bride's maid faculty was full of liquor and ecstasy and went from loud to outright obnoxious heckling. Good thing Rogan wasn't there was all I could think, or too bad he wasn't, depending on how you look at it.

As the crowd got shitty, so did I and I really couldn't tell you half of what i did for a set. My friends Erica and Steve came out with their sound guy Kelly and filmed it documentary-style so one day I'll be able to see how sloppy it all was.

Father Luke came up after the comedy to do the ceremony and I remember it dragged on loud with hecklers and Father Luke taking his beautiful, sweet-ass time. Chaos. We were married and the hard parts were over. Joe Vernon, my number one fan won the high-hand best man poker competition with a king-high flush earlier and gave a great toast while Renee heaved her wedding bouquet at a table, knocking their drink over in their laps. 


Extreme Elvis

But the night was far from over. Let's face it, this night, for al the stories that will be told, was about Extreme Elvis. The seven-piece band drove down nine hours from San Francisco and absolutely ruined the place. I will always be indebted to Tommy Rocker, and hopefully not in a 'legal' way. He didn't have any idea what to expect and I didn't know how far it would go so I just opted to say nothing. By the time the shit hit the fan, I was too drunk to say anything anyway. 

Most of the later recollections of the night are in still-photo memories or simply from re-tellings of more sober witnesses. I remember that around the third song, EE was already naked and pissing in a 16 ounce beer glass. He then swilled it, slobbering half of it down his sweating, death-white, bloated torso and passed it to Ann, a singer in the band. She took a swig herself and it was around then that Renee's parents decided that maybe it was time to head out. In fact I was surprised at how many of the younger, more bent members of the audience left with them. Pussies. No appreciation for art.

I also remember EE having two fingers jammed in his pock-marked ass but didn't notice when he sauntered thru the crowd afterwards fingering things on peoples tables with the same hand, at one point picking up someones cell phone and using it like a bar of soap in his steamy armpit. I heard all of that second-hand and not always in a tone of gushing adoration like I would have.

I was out saying my goodbyes to the parents when it got ugly. Evidently EE was up naked on the bar hurling cocktail olives and whatnot at the crowd. The whole band was naked when I walked back in and Tommy was shitting his pants wondering how to pull the plug on the whole thing. EE had evidently pulled Ann's tampon out with his teeth, paraded it around all blood n crusty like a dead mouse before chewing it up and spitting it out. Not the regular fare for Tommy Rockers, a usually stayed place for 30 somethings who like Jimmy Buffet and the occasional one-drink-too-many.

Tanyalee, (how could I call it a wedding if I didn't have a midget there) cruised passed at some point and I tossed her on the stage where she fit quite perfectly under EE's hairy egg-bag. Again, still-photo memories, nothing streaming.

He played "Suspicious Minds" as the last song of the evening and I felt obligated to get naked myself, I often do regardless. I disrobed, leaving the suit that I'd be wearing the rest of the night and into the next day in a large puddle of urine and danced around in socks on a floor now littered in broken glass. I vaguely remember Father Luke dropping his pants and dancing with me. Then I'm with Renee, rolling in piss, beer and splintered glass on the floor as the show, to Tommy's relief, brought us a perfect ending.

I was hustled off into a waiting stretch limo that already had some 15 people in it, leaving the rest behind, unable to even try at goodbyes and thank you's. It felt like the scene from Pink Floyd's "The Wall" at the end of "Comfortably Numb", save for I couldn't find any drugs. Erica had drummed up the limo from somewhere and we headed for the Venetian. Joe Vernon and his friends Jaime and Mike (or was it Jim? oh fuck) had scored a 3,000 square foot suite on the 34th floor, complete with seperate bedrooms, jacuzzis, a gym and one hell of a view of Las Vegas. Only rule for partying there was - No Extreme Elvis. Elvis was on his way, however, as I tried to play the middle without luck and EE & Co never got past the lobby. They instead began doing guerilla performances in the casino, getting tossed out of a few on the strip and having an outrageous time that i would have liked to join up with were it not my wedding night and if I were 15 drinks less blotto. Instead, Renee and I took a long, hot jacuzzi and fell quickly asleep in the master bedroom as the party drove on and died out.

Whover had to sleep on the couch for giving up that bedroom, I am indebted to you as well. In fact, all of you. It was quite a time. 

I apologize that I am not more succinct on most of the details, for obvious reasons, and that I am surely leaving out many of the funnier details. So, for those who attended and spot any glaring omissions from the night - PLEASE - email and add your two cents from the wedding, whatever they may be, and I will put them on the site. Photos would be great as well, since we didn't think to bring a camera. Thanks.

Renee and I got to Phoenix last night. Did a seedy barroom show, drank little or nothing and went back to the hotel and crashed. We were tired. Today I worked on catching up with bills and emails while she went out and found a grocery store. She bought lots of fresh vegetables, cheese, juice and some roasted turkey and we had a picnic out by the hotel pool. She was wearing a sheer floral top and worn Levi's and was more beautiful than anything I'd ever seen. We read the paper and made quiet plans for the day, the weekend and for down the road. We smiled a lot. She brought flowers to the room and bought us vitamins. 

I tell you this so that you see why I never tell you this. It really has no business on the site. It's of little or no entertainment value. Just didn't want you to think my whole life is drunk and rolling in other people's piss.

Check out all the wedding pictures. Read an online review of the wedding at