published Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Doug Stanhope brings fresh comedy act to town

IF YOU GO

What: Big Stink Tour featuring comedian Doug Stanhope with Carlos Valencia and Junior Stopka.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Lindsay Street Performance Hall, 901 Lindsay St.

Admission: $25.

Phone: 755-9111.

Fans who see Doug Stanhope at Lindsay Street Hall on Tuesday will be getting a rested comic. His stop here will be the first on his latest tour and comes after a self-imposed hiatus, something he does on a regular basis to cleanse himself mentally and physically.

"I have to take several weeks off," he said. "You can't do the amount of drinking we do on the road and not take time off."

From anyone else, it might be a throwaway line, but Stanhope is known as much for what goes into his mouth as for what comes out. He's rarely onstage without a drink and almost never at a loss for something to say, much of it considered rude in at least a few circles.

A professional comic since 1990, he dropped out of high school after his freshman year. His own online biography describes his shows as "vulgar, opinionated, brutally honest and shockingly uninhibited and is certainly not for everybody."

His latest Showtime special, which premieres tonight at 10 on Showtime, is called "Before Turning the Gun on Himself."

When we spoke for this interview, he said he had no idea what material he might do on Tuesday and that he probably wouldn't start working on it until this weekend.

"You guys are getting me as fresh as they come," he said. "Anything I try to put together now I'd forget within days. I'll cram for it like an exam."

His best shows, he said, happen on the fly and are based on his observations or something he's heard about or something an audience member does or says.

"I don't watch the news, or I rarely do," he said. "Unless someone is close to death. We have a death pool that is a passion.

"Occasionally, I have those nights where I walk offstage and and realize I only did three of my [planned] jokes"

Stanhope's resume is fairly extensive. He hosted "The Man Show" on Comedy Central and "Girls Gone Wild." He's made regular appearances on "The Howard Stern Show," "Comedy Central Presents," "Premium Blend" and NBC's "Late Friday," and he wrote, produced and starred in Fox's "Invasion of the Hidden Cameras."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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