Stand-up News
November 5, 2023

Is Doug Stanhope the Hunter S. Thompson of Stand-Up?

November 5, 2023

Mike Binder

By Lizzy Buehl – Standupworld staff writer

Maybe, maybe not.  Yet Stanhope is a renowned stand-up comedian who has been performing for over 20 years and has built a reputation for being one of the best in the industry. Known for his sharp, unfiltered style, Doug’s career began in the Boston and New York stand-up comedy scene, where he quickly made a name for himself with his unique approach and comedic timing.

Growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, Stanhope discovered his passion for comedy at a young age.Inspired by the likes of George Carlin and Richard Pryor, he began performing at local open mic nights while still in his teens. Stanhope’s early performances were raw and unpolished, but he quickly developed a loyal following with dark and edgy humor.

Comedy Style and Influences

Stanhope’s comedic style is conversational and improvisational, often coming up with ideas on stage and riffing off of them. He incorporates social commentary into his performances, using his platform to passionately rant and scream about things that bother him. Stanhope’s comedic style is heavily influenced by alcohol, often performing with a drink in hand.

One of the defining aspects of Stanhope’s comedy is his ability to take controversial topics and make them hilarious. He fearlessly delves into subjects such as politics, religion, and social issues, challenging societal norms and pushing boundaries. Stanhope’s influences extend beyond stand-up comedy, drawing inspiration from the works of writers like Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Bukowski. Like those literary heroes, he embraces a no-holds-barred approach unafraid to express his opinions, no matter how provocative they may be.

Controversial Topics and Unfiltered Comedy

Stanhope is known for his fearlessness in tackling controversial topics, not holding back in his comedy. His comedy covers a wide range of subjects, including mental illness, corruption in journalism, and social issues [2]. Stanhope’s willingness to address taboo subjects and push boundaries contributes to his reputation as a brutally honest and self-deprecating comedian.

In one of his most famous routines, Stanhope takes on the issue of mental illness, using his own struggles with depression and anxiety as material. By sharing his personal experiences in a humorous and relatable way, he helps break down the stigma surrounding mental health and encourages open conversations about the topic.

Collaborations and Notable Projects

Doug Stanhope collaborated with Johnny Depp as an executive producer for his hour-long special titled “No Place Like Home” on Seeso. Seeso, a streaming platform, has featured popular comedians such as Matt Besser, Rory Scovel, and Cameron Esposito in their stand-up specials. Stanhope’s special “No Place Like Home” explores poverty in America, mental illness, and the corruption of journalism, demonstrating his commitment to thought-provoking comedy.

Stanhope’s collaboration with Johnny Depp not only showcased his comedic talent but also introduced him to a wider audience. The special received critical acclaim for its unfiltered and thought-provoking content, solidifying Stanhope’s reputation as a fearless and boundary-pushing comedian. His ability to address social issues with humor and wit sets him apart from other comedians and makes his collaborations and projects stand out.

“This is Not Fame” Audiobook and Memoir

Stanhope released an audiobook version of his memoir, titled “This is Not Fame,” which offers unfiltered and hilarious tales from his experiences in the comedy circuit. The audiobook, over 11 hours long, includes bonus content and conversations with guests, providing a comprehensive and entertaining experience. “This is Not Fame” showcases Stanhope’s brash, self-righteous, and always funny voice, capturing his unique perspective on life and comedy.

In “This is Not Fame,” Stanhope shares intimate stories from his life, including the highs and lows of his career, his struggles with addiction, and his unconventional lifestyle. The audiobook format adds an extra layer of immersion, as listeners can hear Stanhope’s delivery and comedic timing firsthand. With his trademark blend of humor and honesty, Stanhope offers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of stand-up comedy and the unconventional life of a comedian.


Doug Stanhope has cultivated a cult following and is considered a cult hero in the comedy world. His ability to turn tragedy into comedy and his celebration of a life of excess and reckless buffoonery have made a lasting impact. Stanhope’s uncompromising approach to comedy challenges societal norms and encourages authenticity, making him a significant influence on emerging comedians.

Stanhope’s legacy lies not only in his unique comedic style but also in his fearlessness in addressing taboo topics and pushing boundaries. He has paved the way for other comedians to tackle controversial subjects and has inspired a new generation of performers to embrace their authentic voices. His influence can be seen in the work of comedians who strive to challenge the status quo and use comedy as a tool for social commentary.


Doug Stanhope’s caustic and hilarious style has solidified his place as one of the top stand-up comedians of his generation. From his early career to his collaborations and thought-provoking specials, Stanhope continues to push boundaries and captivate audiences. With his audiobook memoir “This is Not Fame,” he offers an intimate and unfiltered glimpse into his comedic journey. Doug Stanhope’s legacy and impact extend beyond his stand-up performances, leaving an indelible mark on the comedy world. His fearlessness in addressing controversial topics and his unwavering commitment to authenticity have made him a true icon in the comedy industry.


Enjoy Doug’s appearance on Standupworld Ep. 45



Visit Doug’s website for interest, mailing list, to make a mind boggling donation, or to sign up for his Patreon, which we at Standupworld happen to love.