“Hello,” says a voice on the other end of the phone.
“Is this Doug?” I ask.
“As far as you know,” he replies. “Sometimes I have other people do my interviews if I think the reporter doesn’t recognize my voice. But this is me.”
It’s a plausible premise, as Stanhope sounds gregarious on the line. The trademark intensity, it seems, is reserved for the stage.
“If you were yelling like that in a general conversation it would be pretty annoying,” he says.
Occasionally, though, he has to kick-start the stage persona.
“If I accidentally find myself in a good mood before a show, it’s scary, and it’s detrimental,” Stanhope says. “I go, ‘Everything sucks, remember that! Stop smiling; you’ll ruin the show!’ ”
But Stanhope has a lot to smile about. He’s a huge draw not only in America but the U.K. as well. Apparently anger and annoyance are universal. The only hitch is that he can’t ad-lib certain pop culture references overseas if he decides to stray off course a bit.
Doug Stanhope performs at the Southgate House Thursday with local stand-ups Mike Cody and Brad Thacker. Go here to read P.F. Wilson's full interview and to get ticket/club details.