If you’re a regular reader of the comedy section you’ll probably already be guessing how we feel about this latest release. Stanhope is always a treat to listen to, but this album, like everything he releases, challenges as much as it entertains. With various jabs at everything from art to Alcoholics Anonymous (and more specifically Dr. Drew Pinsky) Stanhope hasn’t lost his talent for skewering sacred cows.
As his career progressed Stanhope has developed his fan base into an audience more and more accustomed to longer spans between the punchlines of his jokes, and this CD’s audience is no exception, with teasing build up to some jokes that leave you breathlessly waiting to find out what choice words he has for whichever target is currently in this sights. Alternately, some of his jokes are such a long string of punchlines after punchlines after punchlines that it can be hard to catch your breath. One track (#7) which is entitled the mouthful “Keynesian Economic Theory As Applied to Private Sector Independent Contracting” is so funny it might even be dangerous.
Lets face it, every comedian wanted to do this shot.
The album’s title “Before Turning The Gun On Himself” holds more meaning than Stanhope’s typical fatalism. While the subject of the man himself is on the table throughout the album, it’s the final track where Stanhope dissects himself and his career with the same ferocity he tends to reserve to others. His exploration of the burden of the intellectual comedian, and his annoyance with the lack of social impact of some of his jokes is both hilarious and telling. A joke I won’t spoil here, but that references “nachos” is perhaps the best portrayal of what comedians do I have ever heard.
We here at CraveOnline highly recommend this album even though we know it may offend some people. (However, if you are the kind of person offended by any kind of stand-up comedy, why are you even ON this site? Check out www.PuppiesAndKittens.com instead!) In fact, Stanhope has choice words for those offended by words or concepts already prepared on the album itself.
Here’s a clip of Stanhope going after Drew Pinksky:
Speaking of turning the gun on himself, here’s an episode of the award winning TV Show “Louie” featuring Stanhope that shows both dark humor and high drama:
In summary, it should come as no surprise that Doug Stanhope is brilliant and this album is well worth your money on iTunes or Amazon or wherever you purchase your comedy CDs.