For anybody who has a moderate amount of knowledge about Doug Stanhope, both himself and his career, may be surprised by this story. For those who are heavily involved in the man’s life and career, having seen his story regarding helping his mother kill herself or the suicide of one of his neighbors/close friend in Arizona, this story is probably just another in a long line of tales that have endeared you to the comedian.
Known for his rather bleak and cynical comedy, Stanhope has regularly made jokes regarding suicide, along with topics such as addiction, death, religion, drugs and state power. Earlier on this month he was smoking outside a hotel in Edinburgh when he saw that a man was attempting to jump off a nearby bridge. Not wanting the man to go through with the act, he approached him and started to tell jokes in the hope of lightening the mood and get him to come back from the edge.
Doug Stanhope claimed that he saw the man being chased by a woman, the two of them shouting and the entire scene appearing like any other drunken argument on a Friday night. He then said, “But then he gets to the bridge and he starts trying to jump off. So I went across, and a couple of other guys grabbed him and I tried to make some jokes to lighten it up. I did about as well as at my show. I didn’t get a lot of laughs.” The bridge chosen by the man is actually a notorious spot, having been used for suicide many times.
If you’re going to look up Doug Stanhope, and I would definitely recommend doing so, you’ll see that his particular brand of comedy utilises highly controversial topics that lead to outrage in some. However, if you look into what the man is actually saying and listen to the more tender moments during his act, you can see that there’s a definitely not a bad man underneath the comedy. This event highlights that perfectly.
Are you a fan of Doug Stanhope? Would you have stepped in like he did? Let us know what you think in the comments.