Not one of his better acts, but probably the most interesting.
Doug Stanhope is one of comedy's underdogs. I was recommended one of his albums based on my appreciation for Bill Hicks, and, if anything, he's even more scathing and self-loathing than Hicks was. He lacks some of the political insight, and has a more everyman approach (he simply hates politics for what it represents, unlike Hicks, who usually had a utopian view beneath it all).
Anyway, Stanhope is best known to the layman as the host who took over The Man Show after the original hosts left. I think it lasted about one season with him as the host and he said in his previous stand-up, "From Across the Street," that he still gets death threats from fans.
Stanhope is known for drinking on-stage, but "Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere" catches him in a rare moment where you can really tell he's quite drunk and it's not just part of his act. He talks at length about how he thinks he's past his prime as a comedian and that he just doesn't care anymore, and that he's kind of lost his passion for his job. It's kind of sad but refreshingly honest.
The crowd isn't too great and his act is more scattershot and rambling than it typically is, and thus, this is probably one of his least-funny recordings; it is, conversely, one of the more interesting. The approach is sort of similar to Andrew Dice Clay's "Day the Laughter Died" (the infamous routine where he went onstage without jokes and simply berated his audience for over an hour), but Clay ended up being a phony and Stanhope has already established himself. Here you can witness the fall of a great comedian who has lost concern for anything. Hopefully he bounces back on his next stand-up recording, but this was worth a listen.
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