Doug Stanhope (3 stars)

  • 8 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

Whether Doug Stanhope will be the next President of the USA remains to be seen. I think I know where my chips will be placed on that one. More pressing is if he is capable of keeping his comedy pecker up. With veins bulging against his red neck (literally not spiritually, of course), he seems simultaneously furious and jaded with his world, admitting that now nearly 40, he is bored out of his tiny mind. Not the best reason for trying to breach the Oval Office, you’d think, but it’s certainly a novel one.

Maybe he is worn down by the mantel others have thrust upon him of being the next Bill Hicks; he looks almost guilty when having a pop at King Bill, suggesting that had he not died in 1994 even he might have sold himself down the river with yet another series of Everybody Loves Hicks. Maybe Stanhope has just had it performing to table-thumping guys who whoop and holler (are they just trying to make him feel at home) at material about neanderthals and on hearing buzzwords like ‘thalidomide’ or ‘child pornography’. Like every second or third comic on the Fringe this year, Stanhope has his tuppenceworth to chuck in about paedophilia but his is among the most astute in nailing the myth that there are as many paedophiles stalking the streets as there are comedians talking about them.

No one could ever accuse Doug Stanhope of selling out. He just seems to have been struck by a heavy bout of inertia. (Brian Donaldson)

Edinburgh Comedy Room, the Tron, 226 0000, until 10 Aug, 11.55pm, £11; George Square Theatre, 662 8740, 11-27 Aug (not 14, 21), 10.40pm, £10.50-£12.

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