O’Brien’s Book Club: Doug Stanhope “This is Not Fame”

Reading is Good

I love standup comedy. I remember stealing my aunt’s Rodney Dangerfield cassettes and sneaking behind the big tree in her backyard to hear the foul-mouthed man who never got any respect make me double over with laughter. I remember getting out of bed and camping out at the top of the stairs when my dad and uncle would watch Andrew Dice Clay and George Carlin specials. Now, I didn’t really understand a lot of what was going on aside from the vulgarity, but funny is funny even if you don’t comprehend exactly what is making you laugh.

Now, last year I read Doug’s book about his relationship with his mother and it was a crazy, but endearing tear through his formative year and the encouragement she gave him up until she died. This time, Doug focuses on his life on the road, comedian comradery, and even Salt Lake City. I was just started in radio when Midvale’s The Comedy Circuit was around (Midvale main street is still a mystical mystery to me), but I remember hearing about Spin, the owner and all the comics they had running through there. I was just too young to ever go and bitter because of it. I also remember the uptightness the state showed when a sex toy shop opened on state street. So…take Doug Stanhope, Doctor John (yes, the one you buy your adult enjoyment enhancing equipment from), and the Midvale Police, well…

“I happened to play at a club called the Comedy Circuit in Midvale as well, where they put comics up directly across the street from Dr. John’s new shop. Utah didn’t take kindly to John there either and immediately started harassing him through any means possible, from fines to vice stings to general police harassment. I noticed that they had a cop stationed in the parking lot across the street every single night when I’d be coming home, no doubt to dissuade anyone who may have drunk away some of their Mormon-enforced inhibitions from risking a DUI in order to have something soft and lubricated to accompany their genitals.” – Doug Stanhope “This is Not Fame”

You can, but probably can’t, imagine where it goes from there.

My roommates checked on me twice while I read the entire book in one sitting last night. I was laughing like a stunted stoner. It is that funny.

From his thoughts on Napster’s demise right before he could get famous from it, to women of the night in Puerto Rico, to pulling one over on the Jerry Springer Show, you will actually laugh out loud and not just think “LOL”, which I am convinced people really do these days, while reading “This is Not Fame.” You can buy it here.

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