No other comedian inspires a cult following like Doug Stanhope. He corrals his fans into often-unconventional venues (mostly shunning club work these days), convinces them to steal random items from their workplaces and mail them to his home in Arizona, cajoles them into bombarding his ailing neighbor with get-well cards (and some more stolen goods), and even gives them a reason to endure the ceaseless torments of life for one more day. Literally. When one of his fans learned of an upcoming Stanhope show, he delayed his planned suicide attempt to go catch the comic's set—then killed himself the next day. Stanhope turned that strange true story into an elaborate and hysterically macabre eight-minute-long bit, one of the funniest of his career, "Goodnight Clark Adams," featured on his latest album, From Across the Street (Stand Up! Records). Stanhope laments that he would have prepared better for that show if he would have known someone was planning to end it all afterward. "I wouldn't pander like comedy clubs do for a fucking birthday party or bachelorettes, but if you're gonna kill yourself after the show, I'll song-and-dance a little bit for you. 'Oh, we've got a special event over here at table four.'" Come to his show at the Varsity tonight to find out what's worth delaying the comforting embrace of sweet death. Tickets are available at the Loring Pasta Bar. 21+. (Photo by Chris Saunders)
Fri., Nov. 5, 8 p.m., 2010
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