Doug Stanhope and Junior Stopka

March 14th, 2013

Monroe, Louisiana isn’t exactly known as a spot for stand-up comedy. In fact, I’ve never seen any standup comedy performed in Monroe except for a small open mic performance almost 10 years ago and BOY was it awkward. Unfortunately, Monroe doesn’t seem to be built for stand-up comedy in our era. I understand how horrific it would be to stand in the shoes of that lone open mic’er I saw all those years ago and maybe it’s people like me that create this no-stand-up situation that Monroe is in…

When I heard Stanhope was coming to town, I found the tickets online and bought them immediately. In my opinion, “Before Turning the Gun on Himself” was the best stand-up album/special of 2012 and now I get to see the man in the town that I live in. I’m used to driving hours to see shows like this and I’m glad that I didn’t miss it. 

I give major props to Live Oaks for making situations like this happen. Without a doubt, Doug Stanhope is an extremely offensive and shocking comedian that isn’t your average person’s cup of tea. He holds nothing sacred and if you see him live, you better leave that shit at the door if you’re easily offended. Thanks for hosting (and hopefully starting) stand-up comedy in Monroe.

Junior Stopka is a comedian from Chicago. His act was about 30 minutes and if you look him up you’ll only be able to find a few YouTube videos and a cooking podcast from 2011.  Underground comedy was in full force in Monroe!!  He had a style of comedy that involved obviously absurd situations ending with equally absurd punch lines; an all-around good time!!

Next, without missing a comedy beat, Stanhope was introduced and stepped onto the stage from the back door of the venue. He immediately commented on how spacious the green room was because it was directly outside beside the road.Then he said that he did local activities today like going to Payday Loans…I’m not going to continue because this stuff doesn’t translate well in print.It just sounds like a few rips on Monroe, which it most certainly was, but it seemed to set the tone for the beginning of his set.  Stanhope’s style of comedy is laden with themes of self-loathing and always seems to pay off in a big way when he gets to his thought provoking topics later in the set. He is most certainly one of the most offensive comics out today but if you listen closely, there’s a message somewhere in there…however small it may be.

He was interrupted roughly half-way through his set by a few fat headed goons (that were actually directly in front of me) talking about fuck all. These dudes were old, bloated and had no business being at a comedy show, and Stanhope actually called them out twice for being (weird saying this) rude. I think you have to know when to shut the fuck up sometimes and there wasn’t any getting through to these guys.  Luckily, they had cheeseburgers and pizza to eat and they went to go be fat somewhere else. Fuck those dudes and whatever contracting company they work for. Harsh, I know, but c’mon!! I suppose they added a little flair to the set, so I’ll take back half of that…

Anyway, Stanhope did over an hour of all new stuff and I wasn’t disappointed and I’ll keep this simple.  Doug Stanhope is a living legend and if you’re not familiar with him: shame, shame, shame.

**Stephen Jester is a contributor to this blog, as well as the drummer for local bands Boudain, Black Market Ministry**


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