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What do you think about Exclusive Interview with Acclaimed US Comedian Doug Stanhope Before His Debut Asia Tour?

If I get home without any prison time, that'll be great. 

One of the most interesting and respected comedians of this generation, Doug Stanhope comes to Singapore on March 10 as part of The Magners International Comedy Festival. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with him.

So you will be performing at the Shanghai Dolly in Clarke Quay on March 10. I gather that you actually flew to Singapore last year, but you never made it out of the airport...

Yeah. I do that quite a bit just to get top status on the airline. 

Do you enjoy flying?

Oh I love it. The longer the better. I take xanax and I have cocktails and I sleep like a baby. I never sleep better than in a moving vehicle of any kind. It gives me some false sense of progress. Like you did something while you were drunk and on downers and slept and all of a sudden you're on the other side of the world. Feels like you accomplished something in your sleep.

Singapore is like few other places in Asia. It's clean, it's organised, it has many laws that are actually upheld. Is it the kind of place that you would never see yourself living in?

I have no idea. I have no idea what to expect. Although I did figure that from Singapore, that it was going to be the cleanest one [out of the places on my Asian tour]. The other ones I'm worried about. Little things, like do I have to squat over a hole? Do all these countries have plumbing? Do they have toilet paper? Those are the things that terrify me.

In Asia, they have a device called the Bum Gun, which is kind of like a bidet but in your hand. It helps avoid the need for toilet paper. You spray your asshole with that to keep it clean, so you never actually need toilet paper. But there's plenty of Western-style toilets in Asia.

Alright good, I'll try to find some sort of Lonely Planet guide for people that want to wipe their ass with toilet paper. 

So is there anything you are expecting from your trip to Singapore?

No, I'm not a guy that has a lot of interest. I don't need to see temples or anything. I just usually try to find a bar that has good ice and a stool. And that's pretty much all I need.   

Raw, caustic, uncompromising, cynical, controversial... these are just some of the words that people on the internet have described you with. Will you be living up to this kind of reputation on your Asian tour?

I don't think I have anything that falls into a different category. I don't have like a Plan B cruise ship act if it all falls apart. So, yeah I'll pretty much be coming with what I can remember, and it all fits under the same umbrella. I'm looking forward to the material that I get out of [my trip] rather as much as anything I'm going to say pre-planned. And having never been there, it's obviously going to be different than what I'm used to. The only time I've been [to Asia] was '94. I did some military bases in Korea and Japan, but that's the same as playing a military town in the States. Those people aren't allowed to do anything. That was back in an age when just seeing a MacDonald's in a foreign language was exciting to you. "Hey, it's 9 bucks for a Big Mac, fuck this!" 

What kind of themes can people expect from your show this year?

I don' t have the slightest idea, and if I knew I wouldn't tell ya. Sometimes the theme doesn't match up with why it's funny. I had an old bit about the economy. The title of the track was 'Keynesian Economics As Applied To The....' er... I forget. It had some lofty title. But if I said, yeah I'm gonna talk about economics, you'd go "Well that sounds boring, I'm not going." And you wouldn't know that it's about how hookers have to drop their prices so low and start taking it in the ass because of economics. But if I told you that part, you'd go "Oh that sounds funny" but then I already gave away the funny part. Do you see? If you look at a bunch of YouTube clips of me, it's gonna be in that same wheelhouse.

What has made you the angriest and what has made you the happiest in the last year?

Oh jeez. I'd have to remember what I did this year... The Trump stuff I couldn't care less about. It's entertaining, but there's enough people talking about it. It don't have any unique take on it. It just is what it is. And I'm 50 years old and I don't have children or family, so I probably have a far shorter life expectancy than other people. So I don't give a shit. That's young people's problems, they have to live with the future. I dunno... everything makes me angry. I'm a bitter man. I've been pretending to been cranky for so long, to the point where my face stuck like that. So I'm setting off on this adventure with all the zest of a Karl Pilkington having to go to Machu Picchu. I don't know if you've ever seen an idiot abroad, but I watch that and go "That's what I'm really like. I don't need to go see this, I can look at a picture of this. It's fucking cold out, I'm not walking that far. Fuck you!"

Well it wont be cold in Singapore, that's for sure. 

I'm sure of that. I'm sure this whole tour will serve as a stark contrast to the polyester suits that I wear. I might have to make some fashion changes.

You've been quoted as saying that you won't perform at a place where the audience can't drink. This won't be a problem in Singapore, but do you kind of thrive with a drunken audience, is that the kind of crowd you like?

Yes, absolutely. I think on most levels, I perform assuming the person in crowd is me. If I do an hour and a half and I still have some more material, I would be thinking I never want to sit for more than an hour an 10 minutes of comedy, they have to be bored. Even if all signs go against that. If I have to sit through a fucking comedy show without a cocktail, I would be edgy and angry. So I just assume everyone in the seats feel like I do behind the microphone. And of course I like chaos. I don't want a bunch of people sitting there like its a fucking theatre production. I want to be the destination event. I don't want to be something that people are gonna go watch before they go out and have fun and party. 

What do you have going on in 2018? I hear you are just about to record an audiobook...

Yeah, we're doing that this week and then time off to promote the book some more. Then we do Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe... and then after that, I always say, then I'll retire. But I never do. Everything that I've ever done, I didn't have plans for, it just appears. All of a sudden, "Ah shit, yeah I'll do that. Fuck it". And every time you think you're done for a while, you go "Oh, you know what, I'm gonna go on vacation for a month". That's when, all of a sudden, you gotta write a book, you gotta film this, you gotta whatever. So yeah, I'm gonna plan on doing nothing, having a great time with my life and that's when a project that I can't say no to will come along.

Are you someone that likes to go on holiday, or do you like to stay where you are in Arizona? 

I'm good with a beach close to a bar and a stack of books, where I can't get cellphone reception. 

Is there anything you'd like to ask about Asia?

No, the toilet question was the most important one, and everything else will be a problem once it arises. I love to complain. If I'm not bitching about something then I've nothing to say at all. I know there's a lot of different rules in a lot of countries. I'm just going to have to remember which country I'm in and what that rule was. I'm old enough to remember, I can't remember the kid's name, there was that huge national news in the 80's. I think he spray painted graffiti, some rich kid that was going to get caned. So I'm going to leave my spray paint at home. And prescription drugs. I take Xanax to fly, that's what makes flying enjoyable for me. But I'm afraid my prescription will hold no water at some customs gate. So I'll look into all that. If I get home without any prison time, that'll be great. 

Hopefully Doug will not end up in prison, at least not before he does the show at the beautiful venue, Shanghai Dolly in Clark Quay on March 10 2018. Tickets are selling fast but they can be still (for now) be bought here 

Interview by Dan Riley for Expat Choice.

Comments

Rated
8
Non Member
2 February 2018
Excellent read

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Rated
8
Non Member
30 January 2018
Awesome interview and great comedian

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Rated
8
Non Member
30 January 2018
I vouch

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Rated
8
Non Member
29 January 2018
Great interview with one of the all time great comics. Thank you.

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