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Morphius Records Newsletter
Co-founded in 1978 by Chris Cutler, London-based ReR Megacorp remains a musician-led independent label after almost 40 years. Blithely disregarding market wisdom, it continues to release titles across a wide spectrum of genres.
ReR is home to cult bands This Heat, Henry Cow, Faust, Art Bears, The Necks...
Doug Stanhope grew up Worcester, MA. His parents separated when he was
young and shared custody of Doug and his brother, during which time his mother let him read adult publications like Hustler Magazine. Its tasteless cartoons are
among some of Doug’s early influences. A high school dropout, he took a train to
LA at 18, in hopes of becoming an actor. Six months later, he returned home
briefly but soon moved to Las Vegas, attracted by the fun the city promises. He
had quite of bit of it, one night coming home to his girlfriend after marrying
another woman during a late night booze-filled adventure. In 1990, while working in telemarketing, Stanhope began performing stand-up, attending open mics
at Escape Lounge II. His first material has been self-described as “jack-off jokes.”
Stanhope’s material is marked by an almost unflinching honesty, touching upon
his own drug and sexual habits. His social and political views and commentary
are contrarian, but always sincere–twisted beliefs he’s arrived at via his own dark
logic, which sometimes gets visceral responses from audiences “not ready for the
truth,” as Stanhope sees it.
Doug Stanhope taped a Comedy Central Presents special in 2001 and often
describes the process of making the special as frustrating because of the censors
and lawyers. One of his bits about a suicidal fan was cut due to fears of a lawsuit
(if the viewer actually followed through afterwards), and he was also dissatisfied
with the network’s stance that drugs could only be talked about negatively. 2002
was a big year for Stanhope. He was named one of the Top Ten Comics To Watch
by both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. And at the Edinburgh Fringe
Festival in Scotland, he was awarded the Strathmore Press Award.
Though Stanhope is a committed stand-up, he’s strayed into TV and other gigs,
mostly just to have the experience (and the paycheck, of course). Among these are
“The Man Show” with his friend Joe Rogan & hosting the flashing festivities of “Girls
Gone Wild”. He once appeared on Jerry Springer with a completely fictitious story.
Frustrated by the current political situation but not quite ready to defect to Costa
Rica, Doug Stanhope announced he was running for President in July 2006, as a
Libertarian. It wasn’t meant as a joke, but after researching campaign law he
withdrew his candidacy in May ‘07 after realizing that current election laws wouldn’t
allow him to collect money as a stand-up comic while campaigning for office.
As Stanhope has grown in reputation, he has taken to performing in more rock
and roll venues rather than comedy clubs, due to his outspoken distaste for how
most comedy clubs package their shows for mass audiences. He’s described
them as “Adult Chuck E. Cheeses.” In 2007, Showtime aired his stand-up special
“No Refunds.”The show was shot at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York, a city
that Stanhope dislikes and rarely performs in. Stanhope often draws comparisons
to Bill Hicks & Lenny Bruce, because of his willingness to take on difficult social and
political topics, but in other respects his style is quite unique. From Across The Street was released by Stand Up! Records on November 24th, 2009.