Doug Stanhope

Great White Stanhope

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Stanhope's an angry guy -- angry at Hertz, angry about non-smoking sections, angry about tandem skydiving. And if you're a truck driver, skip over track four. But while he's an irrepressible churl, Stanhope at least tries to universalize his plight as an everyguy caught up in pop culture's toilet bowl tidal wave. A rant about the elderly points out that seniors are only senile or needy when they get taken; the rest of the time they're lording their age over the rest of us. Though "Topless Bar/Ugly Drunk" begins as a tired bit about crappy strip clubs, the second part is better, as Stanhope casts himself as the ugly portion of a drunken one night stand. The self-deprecating reversal nudges his comedy off its sturdy, vice-ridden pedestal as jokes for guys who like jokes. It puts Stanhope in his own place, a place where self-loathing vies for mic time with the usual bouts of cultural cynicism. Great White Stanhope has its share of R-Rated comedy generica -- jokes about Aspen? Yeah, the place sucks, but do we need to hear about it again? -- but it's still a solid debut, since it establishes what Stanhope as a comic with his own kind of angry.

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