When he's not earning his title of "America's Most Depraved Man" and performing stand-up in maximum security prisons, Doug Stanhope runs a Celebrity Death Pool league online, with bonus points awarded for murders and fatal plane crashes. That should give you a fair idea of what to expect from Stanhope's stand-up act, which comes to the Neurolux Thursday, June 20.
A self-described anarchist, he doesn't hold back from controversial topics like pedophilia, abortion and religion, feeding off a combination of audience chaos and a seemingly endless supply of alcohol (he claims he can't remember his last sober performance).
It's best not to heckle the guy, who'll tell you, "If you're offended by any word, in any language, it's probably because your parents were unfit to raise a child." Stanhope's stand-up relies on the same nihilism that brought him a wider audience on the FX show Louie, where his portrayal of a suicidal comic garnered critical acclaim.
He's recently shown glimpses of a more humane side, though. Stanhope started an "Atheists Unite" campaign to raise money for a victim of the Oklahoma tornadoes, offering incentives such as a "free Bible in your next hotel room stay" for a $25 donation. Maybe there's a quiver of a heartbeat beneath the nicotine drawl and 3 a.m. stare. Then again, this is the same guy who once said, "Life is like animal porn. It's not for everyone."
Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets can be bought online. The bar will certainly be well stocked.