Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Doug Stanhope - No Refunds|
Actor: Doug Stanhope
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Not all stand-up comedy is spot-cleaned and pre-packaged for the masses. Like the legends who were born out of smokey, booze-soaked nightclubs of decades past, Doug Stanhope spews his own brand of moral outrage in an unmat... more »
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He Crosses the Line
Lleu Christopher | Hudson Valley, NY | 10/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In fact, he crosses many lines. Listening to him, you realize how seldom the boundaries of free speech are tested by public personalities. It's not so much a question of censorship as self-censorship; people mostly remain within certain, unspoken limits. When someone does not respect these limits, they stand out, especially if they do it in a creative and entertaining way, as Doug Stanhope does. I have to admit I had never even heard of him until I happened to see the DVD in the video store. The only comics I can think of comparing him to are Bill Hicks and maybe George Carlin at his edgiest (I know he's been compared to Lenny Bruce, but, unfortunately, so far I've never had the chance to see any footage of his material).
This concert video really illustrates how comedy can be far more than a mere diversion, but a potent weapon with which to attack various sacred cows of polite society. Stanhope wears a t-shirt that says "Libertarian" -this is actually an understatement; he is an unapologetic hedonist, bordering on nihilist. He conducts the show while chain smoking and chugging beer. Describing this, it may sound a little like adolescent style rebellion, but combined with his material it fits perfectly. I recall another comic who smoked onstage, Andrew Dice Clay, but in my opinion he only succeeded in being obnoxious and offensive without being very funny or insightful.
Stanhope says things that many people would be afraid to say out loud, or maybe never even thought of. Among other things, he explains why he is pro-abortion, why the dangers of child pornography are exaggerated, the evils of anti-smoking laws, the virtues of drugs and alcohol and the many flaws of traditional religions like Christianity and Judaism. Concerning the latter, he describes why he has been called anti-semitic for some of his comments about Jews. True to his unapologetic persona, he does little to try to disprove this charge in his spiel on the topic. I truly don't think he is anti-Semitic, racist or anything like that. He is simply committed to testing the boundaries of political correctness, even if it means alienating people who don't take the trouble to consider his comments in their full context --the full context being attacks on just about everything and everybody who holds anything sacred. He dismisses all traditions as being worthless and obsolete (my paraphrasing; he says it in a much more entertaining way).
The point is not whether you agree with everything Stanhope says. As much as I admire many of his anti-authoritarian positions, I can't say I would endorse his commitment to a lifestyle that borders on the self-destructive. As I write this, I think of someone who might be the best comparison to Stanhope, though not a comic per se -Hunter S. Thompson. Both possess (ed) an anarchic spirit and a disdain for limits of any kind. When this is combined with a gift for language and a bizarre sense of humor, you have something rare and educational.
Truly a Gifted Genius
William Holmes | New York | 08/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the surface, one might see Stanhope's act and peg him as self-depricating, disheveled, dark, fairly buzzed and either spontaneously vulgar or a possible Tourette's sufferer. Most of that is probably true. But within (and beyond) that persona is absolute master of pacing, timing, inflection, volume and gesture. Add caustic wit into the mix, also fearless social critic, and oh yeah - brilliant and imaginative writer.
Absolutely not for everyone - but then neither was Hicks, Kinison, Bruce or any of the great ones. Savor the ability to watch a comedy genius in his prime, even if you might be the only one on your block who's clued in. And if your only exposure to Stanhope is from GGW or The Man Show, hose out your head and start fresh - this is completely different - the real guy with no training wheels or seat belt. Seek out his other DVDs and his CDs, especially Something To Take The Edge Off and Die Laughing.
Stanhope takes no prisoners. Likewise, you don't have to settle for pablum comics."
The best of the best
Tyler Lavigne | western wisconsin | 09/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Doug Stanhope is easily the best working comic doing what he does. Thought provoking, smart, and at times flinch inducing. Truly not for the timid or people who are easily offended his comedy will leave you mentaly exhausted and your stomach aching from guilty laughter.
Buy his cds and seek out the live shows. Cause the live shows are where its at."
Jeff L. | 06/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This dvd is pure blasphemy and I love it! Doug rips into religion, corporate America and the lameness of today's youth. There were some slow moments, however, due to his beer drinking and cigarette smoking, but a majority of this delightful look at the darker side of human nature was laugh out loud funny."