"Life is like a movie, if you've sat through more than half of it and its sucked every second so far, it probably isn't gonna get great right at the end and make it all worthwhile. None should blame you for walking out early."
With this sort of quote Stanhope thrusts you into his twisted, brutally funny world. In a performance (Sicko) that serves up everything from graphic perversion to stinging social criticism, Stanhope proves himself to be one of the few comedians around with a gift for making the ugly truths of modern life downright hilarious. Topics like abortion, liberty, war and vasectomies get filtered through his raw comedy, and the result is an unforgettable show guaranteed to entertain, offend and enlighten. Stanhope is one of the most talented and outrageous comedians working stand-up today. A gifted storyteller and writer, Stanhope mines his prodigious libido and colorful life as sources for his comedy.
Stanhope is often compared to the late, great Bill Hicks, and that is in some ways an apt comparison. Both men were enemies of the forces of hypocrisy and reaction, clever satirists of the human condition, and razor-sharp storytellers and comedians. Hicks' comedy, however, though often dark and aggressive, was leavened by his belief in human evolutionary potential. By contrast, Stanhope's material is far darker, for he evinces no faith in anything beyond sex, death, and human stupidity. Hearing this album, I could almost picture Stanhope killing himself on stage as a final punch line. This isn't meant as a criticism of Stanhope's material, since its not for me to sentimentalize the purity of his vision or his role as an artist. . . Anyway, don't let the slightly pretentious blather in this review stop you from buying this album. Stanhope is a comic treasure. "Suicide is man's way of telling God, "You can't fire me - I quit."
Mr Stanhope is the most exciting, original & funny comedian working anywhere today.
His material is quite extreme (this is slightly less so than Deadbeat Hero) but a must for anyone interested in what standup can do.
His material can overlap his albums (much of this is rehearsed on 'Great White Stanhope', for example) so I would recommend this and Deadbeat.
Mr Stanhope lives the dream - hookers, drugs and topless bars, so part of the thrill is listening in to what would have happened if you'd dared to continue to push your boundaries well into your twenties.
The obvious complaint would be to see him as a rip-off of Bill Hicks topics (drugs, smoking, sex) with a libertarian ("Don't tell me to put a seatbelt on!") attitude but he does go much further.
He is a rare visitor to the UK (perhaps more so after being banned from the Kilkenny Comedy Festival) but I have tickets for his Manchester show later in the year, ha-ha!