10 Doug Stanhope Jokes for the Hall of Fame
The brilliance of Doug Stanhope is that he manages to pull off what every internet troll wants to be: Completely free to say whatever the hell they want, other people’s opinions be damned. Nothing is sacred. Stanhope knows where “the line” is, he just believes his insight provides sufficient enough license to obliterate it (and he’s mostly right). And while others deliberately traverse that minefield desperately trying to make everyone think they’re edgy, Stanhope just casually strolls past them, drinking a beer and lighting another cigarette from their burning corpses.
He’s a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, thrift-store-suit-wearing comedy genius who embodies the spirit of every drunk loudmouth at the end of the bar that the bartender knows they should probably cut off, but meh, screw it, he’s on a roll.
It’s that anarchistic spirit — mixed with a healthy dollop of self-awareness (which is crucial to his success) — we honor today, by inducting these 10 Doug Stanhope jokes into the Hall of Fame. Just be forewarned, plenty of darkness follows.
On the Afterlife
“Proof of the afterlife is this: If there were no afterlife, how could my mother have bought me and my friends so many nice things from the SkyMall catalog on her credit card four days after she passed from this Earth?
“‘Answer me that, your honor! In fact, I’d like to enter these credit-card receipts into evidence against the advice of my attorney. Look at that — four days! I had to swear on your Bible just to testify in my defense. Your silly fake Jesus only lasted three days before he ran out of that cave like a p—y! My mother, four days relaxing up there, and she’s drunk eBaying like I do.’
“That last piece of the story has special meaning to me, because in my entire career, that’s the only chunk of material I’ve ever had that had a statute of limitations before I could comfortably tell it on stage. Three-year statute for credit-card fraud, after that — fuck you.”
“Nationalism does nothing but teach you how to hate people that you’ve never met. And all of a sudden, you take pride in accomplishments you had no part in whatsoever, and you brag about it. Americans will go, ‘Fuck the French! If we hadn’t saved their ass in two World Wars, they'd be speaking German right now!’
“And you go, ‘Oh, was that us? Was that me and you, Tommy? We saved the French? I know I blacked out a little bit after that fourth shot of Jägermeister last night, but I do know we went through the Wendy’s drive-thru to get one of them freschetta sandwiches that looked so alluring in the commercial. Then we ordered it and realized we had no money. We had to ditch out before the second window, and those douchebags in line behind us with the bass music probably got our order and we laughed about that. But I don’t remember saving the French at all. I went through the last 10 calls on my cell phone, and there’s nothing incoming or outgoing to the French lookin’ for muscle on a project. I checked my pants — there’s no mud stains on the knees from where we were garroting Krauts in the trenches at Verdun. I think we didn’t do anything but watch sports bloopers while we got hammered. I think we should shut the fuck up!’”
On How to Sell Drugs
“I would like to believe that if I were a drug kingpin, if I had little kids selling crack cocaine on street corners, I’d make them dress up like little Mormon kids in khaki shorts and a clip-on black tie and a big thick stack of Jesus pamphlets in their back pocket, visible from a distance. So even if cops thought they might be dirty, they’d go, ‘Hang on, Raymond. Look at those pamphlets. If we’re wrong, that’s a long lecture to sit through. Maybe just let them go.’”
“If marriage didn’t exist, would you invent it? Would you go, ‘Baby, this shit we got together, it’s so good we gotta get the government in on this shit. We can’t just share this commitment between us. We need judges and lawyers involved in this shit, baby. It’s hot!’”
“‘But at least he’s in a better place now. He’s with Jesus.’ Then why are you crying? If the depth of your soul believes that your loved one is dancing around on a fluffy cloud in an everlasting paradise for all of eternity without a care in the world, happier than pig worms and a baby’s stool, why are you crying? You should be ecstatic! If you really believe it, you should be calling all your friends on the phone, ‘Did you hear the great news? Lightning struck my baby! Yeah, he’s in a better place. God picked him. I told you he was adorable.’ If you really believe that death leads to eternal bliss, then why are you wearing a seat belt?”
On Peace and Quiet
“I sometimes wonder if necrophiliacs are really into dead people or if they just enjoy the quiet.”
On the Real Night Terrors
“Have you ever tried to sleep sober? You ever try to do that? That’s completely impossible. I tried in July in Tucson, Arizona, and failed miserably. I had a flight to L.A. at 6:30 in the morning for a meeting, so I was trying to be responsible. And I was just laying there in the hotel, no people or conversation, no distractions, sober and no television. Just my head on a pillow — 1 a.m., 2 a.m…
“Because that’s when the carnival kicks into high gear: ‘You’re almost 40 years old you fucking loser. How long are you gonna do this? How are you just gonna get drunk and amuse shitheads for a living?’
“Music is playing in there, and it always sucks — ‘WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE…’
“‘Shut the fuck up, I gotta go to bed! Three more hours, I’ve got to sleep!’
“My ex-wife is in there: ‘You never took me to the botanical garden. It was always about you, you fucking megalomaniac. You never cared I was dying of loneliness.’
“‘IT WAS ALWAYS BURNING SINCE THE WORLD’S BEEN TURNING…’
“‘Shut the fuck up! I gotta sleep!’”
“In Canada, the drinking age is 18. That’s unnecessary. Nobody wants to get loaded around people who have hope and their whole lives still ahead of them.”
“The key to life is excess in moderation. They’ll tell you that moderation is a key to life, but the people who tell you that are those full-of-shit people who think buying drugs is easier than buying a newspaper, and they’ve never done shit with their lives. You have to stretch it out every now and then if you’re gonna have any fun at all. Don’t drink a couple of beers every night after work. Pick one night out of the week, like tonight, and drink all the fucking beers at once! Get completely shitty. Find your range. Tell the person you’re sitting next to what you’ve really been thinking about them for the last six days, then apologize for the next six days and start over.”
On His Mother... and Subway Breakfast
This six-minute bit is one of Stanhope’s best rants. Transcribing it does it no justice; you have to hear it to believe it: