Doug Stanhope Prepares For Tokyo

Doug Stanhope Prepares For Tokyo

Outspoken comedian Doug Stanhope talks about his upcoming stand-up gig at Nishiazabu's A-Life


Doug Stanhope relaxing at home © Brian Hennigan

Back in Japan for the first time since 1994 when he opened for Jimmy “J.J.” Walker, comedian Doug Stanhope “has no fucking idea what to expect” for what will be the last stop of the Asian leg of his 2018 tour. Stanhope, speaking to Metropolis in a telephone interview, kicked off by saying he’s preparing himself by taking a small sabbatical from two of the other things he’s famous for – smoking and drinking. But if you’re worried this will affect his performances, fear not. Despite feeling great after five days of being alcohol and tobacco free, he balked at the idea of maintaining this clean run and stepping out onto a stage sober, which no doubt means his audience will be just as in the dark as to what he might say and/or do.

For those unfamiliar with Stanhope and his particular brand of humor, Chris Rock, for whom he has much respect and admiration, referred to him as a “bad, bad man” whereas more “lazy” journalists often like to compare him to the late, legendary outspoken comedian Bill Hicks – a topic he dedicates an entire chapter to in his latest book “This Is Not Fame: A “From What I Re-Memoir”, a collection of tales from his life on the traveling comedy circuit. It’s a comparison that clearly irks him as he explains that he never tried to be Bill Hicks and feels this is a tag put onto him by audiences, who then end up unfairly criticizing him for not meeting their expectations.

Doug Stanhope comedy Tokyo
Doug Stanhope on stage © Brian Hennigan

He takes negative experiences in his stride however, “Everything bad in life goes towards material” he says, and he expects to have plenty of that as he jumps across various Asian cities over the next month, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh before landing in Tokyo where he’ll be looking forward to finally experiencing some of what it has to offer this time around, having been too poor to venture out of the army base he performed at during his previous visit.

Sushi got him particularly excited as “they take that shit seriously over there” but you probably won’t find him dining on any of the high-end pretentious stuff mind you, he wants the lowbrow experience. And he’ll be washing it down with Asahi beer rather than sake, which he feels is nothing more than an “acid-reflux offence.” Whatever he chooses to warm up with, Tokyoites should be in for a treat as he recounts fresh tales from his recent adventures delivered in true, original Doug Stanhope style. Once the tour is done and dusted at the end of the year, he’ll be aiming to get back to his couch, happily doing nothing and binging on Netflix shows, waiting for the phone to ring and someone suggesting something to him. Hopefully for his fans, that won’t take too long.

Date: March 19 Time: 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm Cost: 8000 Ticket:

Venue: ALife, 1-7-2 Nishi Azabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo Website: