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TOUR DATES

 

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

 

Thursday
Oct272011

At the request of Mayor Gnarr...

 

 

The Mayor of Reykjavik - The Honorable Jon Gnarr - met us coming off the plane at arrivals in Iceland. He was with his elder son Frosti and they wore monkey masks and held a sign with our name.
I started a random correspondence with His Highness Jon Gnarr earlier in the year. He has a brilliant story. After the 2008 economic crash in Iceland, he decided to start his own political party - The Best Party - and ran for office, along with a handful of other rogues and artists. At the time he was a well known comedian there and star of the Night Shift seriesLong story, the joke back-fired and he is now the mayor and his party holds 6 of the 15 seats on the city council.

There's a documentary titled "Gnarr" chronicling the entire run and it's hilarious and inspiring. I don't know when it's going to be released but look for it. As I mentioned in a previous update, we made arrangements to play Iceland's only maximum security prison and did just that hours after landing and a couple of breakfast cocktails, a shower and a beer on the hour-long drive. Thank fuck Frosti lets you smoke in his car. That might be why I fell in love with him but more on that later.

 

The Litla-Hraun prison only houses 80 prisoners, out in the middle of some endless, rolling lava-tundra and seems more like a summer camp for underprivileged teens. Some of the gates that were opened for us couldn't hold my dog Henry if she saw a rabbit on the other side. 


Before the show we got a guided tour from an amicable young man who seemed like a volunteer museum docent - not until later did we find out that our guide was a prisoner himself - and got to hang out with a lot of the guys in one of the cell-blocks.

When I say cells and cell blocks, think dorm and dorm room. I just played the new Mayne Stage Theater in Chicago - great fucking venue - and put myself up at the closest place I could find called the Heart O' Chicago Motel. The half-dozen amenities listed on Expedia included "alarm clock," "microwave in lobby," and my favorite "windows that open." And they didn't really have an alarm clock. The cell-block at Litla-Hraun was the W Hotel in comparison. You walk in and there's a rec room of some sort with a small Asian kid on a couch playing video soccer on a Play-Station or some such gaming system and a full kitchen to the left where the inmates make their own food from scratch, just like Mama used to make when she did time in Iceland.

There's a metal culinary table in the middle of the kitchen where large knives stick magnetically to the edges. The knives are on cords like a bank pen so that if you want to stab someone, you have to wait until he's rolling out the fresh pasta. At the Heart O Chicago, the remote control was tethered to the same type of cord.

Everyone was cool as shit. I'm a shit-head and I'm talking to a prisoner and we were both so overly polite that you'd think we were new lovers meeting the in-laws for the first time. One guy saw me fumbling with a cigarette, looking for a door to go outside to smoke.

"You want to smoke? Come with me!" and we went into his cell - you can't smoke in the common area but you can smoke in your room. And all the doors to the dozen or so rooms on the wing were open. He showed me his stuff (I didn't notice if there was an alarm clock) and his books and told me how he as well as many others were working on university degrees online. A few more smokers came in and we shot the shit while Bingo made best friends of everyone.

Then I had to do the show. Keep in mind - the first sober show I'd done in years. A few drinks over breakfast and lunch might lose you your AA chip but that doesn't count as being drunk enough to perform. The last time I'd done a show sober that I can remember was at Ohio University in 03 or 04 where I had roughly 1/3 of a theater walk out on me. I was listed as a "Family Friendly" act on Parents weekend. If I've been sober for a show since, it's because I was on drugs.This show was in a small, half-court gymnasium with folding chairs - again better than a lot of the venues I choose to play - with I'd guess 30 or 40 inmates. His Noble Mr Jon Gnarr opened in Icelandic for 10 or 15 minutes while I waited in the wings wishing I'd actually put some thought into what the fuck I was going to say.

I'll say this... If you saw the show, you'd say it sucked shit and you'd be right. I say I sucked shit. But it didn't seem to bother anyone there but me. I figured I could just riff every easily-consumed dick joke I'd ever written but turns out I forgot how most of go, so there was a lot of me staring at my shoes in between bits or ending them mid-way when I couldn't remember the payoff. You know... that place I get to when I'd usually scream at the bar for large shots of vodka and Red Bull.

Didn't matter. They were really fucking fantastic and I can go back anytime to redeem myself. And I will.

Afterwards while Bingo was getting everyone's email addresses, they  presented us with gift including t-shirts - the prison has their own t-shirt which is cool as fuck - and a large card hand-written in perfect calligraphy that says...

"Dear Doug Stanhope


Our initial idea of showing you our gratitude for you visiting us prisoners at Litla -Hraun was to give you a t-shirt with the inscription "I went to prison in Iceland and all they gave me was this lousy t-shirt which they gagged me with while f***ing me in the a**." This was deemed inappropriate so you get this nice card instead."

I'm having it framed.

I wish I'd had more time to hang out and find out more about the guys and how the whole system works. Prison on any level sucks shit but they seem to have a way to make it rehabilitative instead of just cruel and even more damaging to society at large. Next time maybe I'll stay a while, have some pasta and fuck the Asian kid with the X-Box.



******


We left and went back to Reykjavik to His Majesty Jon Gnarr's home for sushi with his lovely wife Joga and family, including his small red-headed child who - although he's only about 6 years old - I expect will see Litla-Hraun himself one day in Hannibal Lecter restraints. We ate and went through most of the vodka we'd brought though customs before we'd even taken a nap. I probably said the wrong thing more than once but hoped it would be chalked up to the very-slight language barrier. Thank goodness we could smoke in the house.


The next day we met up at city hall and were given the full tour and were introduced to some of the other members of the Best Party including Einar Benediktsson, formerly of the Sugarcubes who thankfully smoked cigarettes and thankfully was with the Sugarcubes so I could Google his name. I forget everybody's name anyway but when they have Icelandic names I never really got em to begin with.  


 

Now we go for our Official Meeting at the Hofdi House where 25 years previously Reagan and Gorbachev held their famous summit meeting in 1986.

 The woman who ran the place greeted us and commented on how much she liked Bingo's shoes - a pair of knee-high black Chuck Taylor Converse. Of course Bingo immediately insisted that she have them. She took them off, put them on her and went home in a pair of plastic shoe-condoms that are given out to tourists so they dont muddy up the carpet. In return, the woman gave Bingo a gift basket of things from the house to take home with her, one that kinda took us both off guard. Wrapped in tin foil, Bingo opened to large, dried mushroom stems.   

"You know what this is?" asks the woman.

"Ooooh yeah!" says Bingo.

And with a wink and a nod we were off.

It was mushroom season in Iceland. On the drive to the prison they pointed out people on the side of the road and in the medium, picking mushrooms like dandelions. We could get psilocybin anywhere, they told us like they were bored with it. But to be given it here during an Official Meeting at the Hofdi House... fuck, it's too bad Reagan and Gorbachev didn't shroom during their failed attempt at working shit out.

We spent the next few days just hitting bars and meeting folks in town. Everything in Reykjavik is in walking distance, a beautiful village of a city with great sushi and unassuming folks and lots of things on menus that I didn't dare to eat. We also spent a lot of time curled up in bed the way a vacation is supposed to be.

But on the last night we still had the mushrooms and still had to meet up with Frosti and his friends. We weren't really in the mood to trip but sometimes you have to push yourself. How often will we have this chance?

Bingo crushed them up and wrapped them into moist bread-balls for some reason - saying we could just swallow them like a pill, as though you could eat a pill the size of your thumb. I chewed it down gagging the whole way like I was eating a cricket on a dare and then we waited for Frosti and the mushroom shivers.

When Frosti showed up, there was a bit more crushed up on a plate and Bingo offer it to him.

"There's not much left but if you want some mushrooms..."

Frosti looks at it oddly, touches it, smells it.

"That's sage."

"What?"

"That is sage, not mushrooms."

"What the fuck is sage?" I ask.

"Sage. It's like uh... incense."

We had just choked down bread-balls full of incense thinking that the mayor's office had given us hallucinogens as an Official Welcome Gift.

You can go ahead and make all the "your shit doesn't stink" jokes you like. They did.

We had a fantastic night. Frosti and I fell in love. People might not accept it as he is 20 years my junior but true love sees beyond that. Ask Hef. 

We'll have to finish that part of the story down the road.

In the meantime, go to Iceland the first chance you get. I'd like to make it my second home. I'd really love duel-citizenship there. And did I mention gay marriage is legal in Iceland?

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

My favorite new band is Molotov Jukebox. Mishka Shubaly and the Mattoid will have to fight it out for silver and bronze because my new gold is Molotov Jukebox. Now we have to figure out how to get them to the States. You faggots figure that out. I'm not good at producer work. We met them on the radio in London. The lead singer Nat is one of the most stunning people we've ever met. She and the band are I guess what you'd call "bohemian" which means the probably don't shave or wash their genitals for months but to see them live is amazing. Strings and horns and accordion and fucking amazing.

Here's one - find more. 


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


After my "Eddie" episode of "Louie" of FX, I've just sat back waiting for offers to pour in so I could happily refuse them. So far, there have been exactly zero offers. So now I'm a bit miffed and am changing my tune. I will court acting offers so long as they are the same character of Eddie like Richard Belzer did with Detective Munch - same character in 5 different shows. It doesn't matter to me what the show is so long as I can still be the suicidal, washed-up alcoholic I already played. Eddie on Breaking Bad. Eddie on Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Eddie on Two and a Half Men. Even better if I can do the exact same dialogue. I don't like to learn new things or try. 

But it bothers me when nobody asks. 

 

Wednesday
Sep072011

Not Good Enough


 

Here's a first - I'm re-calling my own merch.

We thought it would be fun to put out a "Sausage Army" high-end football jersey. Well, we rushed the thing before I left for 5 weeks of London.

Turns out that the finished product was nothing like the sample I was shown before I approved it and got on the plane. I guess I'm no Puff Fucky and my merch will never go global. 

I just got home and now realize why every picture my web-guy sent me of the jersey looked like shit. That's because it is like shit. It was supposed to be the quality of something you'd buy at a pro game. Instead they put it on a shitty, cheap and too-short lightweight football jersey that - ironically - is most fitting for chicks.

Bottom line is I'm embarrassed that I've had it for sale for too much money for three weeks before I got home to find out I hate it. Selling merch seems creepy on some level anyway but I won't sell over-priced garbage that I *know* is shit unless it's my actual live show, then I'll rip you off blind.

So I pulled them immediately.

If you want your money back I completely understand and agree. Email me at doug@dougstanhope.com with "jersey" in the subject and we'll take care of it. Or you can just wait til I come to your town and we'll trade out. 

I'll look for a better jersey, or just a better idea. And then I'll drag this huge bulk of jerseys on the road and dump them on drunks or chicks for cost - at least then you can see what they really look like before you get the wrong idea of what they look like the same way I did.

Some things fuck up but I make 'em right. Maybe I'm over-reacting since I havent got an actual complaint but they aren't what I was sold so I ain't puttin 'em on my website.

Ok, that's all - I'll get another update that might be entertaining in a couple days.

Ooops.

stanhope  

Monday
Aug222011

Dying For Football

 

 

Another night, another Stanhope Sausage Army Hate-Fest Comedy Show.

My Facebook page shows my demographics as being nearly 82 percent male. I think if there were a Facebook Fan Page for Rape it would have more chicks "like" it. 

Granted, the 18 percent of ladies that do show up are pretty fucking cool, intelligent and probably do ass sex but it's still confusing to me why there is probably a higher percentage women in combat roles in the military than among my audience.

No sense in fighting it. I'll just have to accept it for what it is.

It's football season anyway and I need to talk point-spreads and over/unders and survivor pool picks without any interruption. Not that it's only women who find football to be stupid by any stretch. There's plenty of guys and Europeans who remind me of that on every NFL-related Facebook post.

I know it's stupid. It's just as stupid as any number of other pointless endeavors that waste away the hours. You have yours, I have mine. Mine is football season.

This year I didn't book Saturdays on the road so I wouldn't have to travel on Sundays. I'll be at the house from the first Bloody Mary at kick-off Sunday morning until the last beer on Monday Night.

But this year won't be as much fun without Russ Dunn. Russ was my friend and one of the regulars at the house every weekend for the games. He and I happily admitted that we were the gayest football fans in the world because we were both fixated on the uniforms. We'd talk about them like we were flaming fashion critics. We were really hoping for a Jets/Packers because the colors would compliment each other so well. We got giddy as school-girls when the Patriots or the Bucs wore their throwbacks.

Yep. Gay as shit. Russ died of a massive brain aneurysm in March, leaving a massive hole in Bisbee and it's going to be that much more apparent once the season kicks off... when I'm the only guy with a boner on the weekend that the Titans break out their old Oilers uniforms.

It'd be nice if the rest of you stopped dying for a while except for the ones I have in my celebrity death pool and those people really need to step up. I've dropped to fifth place in the pool after so many others scored big on Amy Winehouse.

 

 

WTF

This Thursday Marc Maron will be airing my second appearance on his WTF podcast. It's the hip thing to do and we don't talk about football at all from what I remember. Set your clocks for it. 

Available HERE on Thursday.