Standing room only creates a cozy buzz at this evening’s sold out comedy performance. Mishka Shubaly opens the set with a few guitar-accompanied tunes for jaded babies, drunks, and blue collar folk who’ve fallen on hard times. Kind of a rockabilly cousin’s eye view to get the evening going. He’s followed by Jason Barnes from Atlanta, whose relaxed and straightforward advice about drunk relatives, drugs, and growing up in the shadow of Southern rock quasi-fame seems to be well met with patrons at The Earl.
I’m sensing a theme here, and probably should not have refused a scotch or beer in lieu of my mincing vodka & cranberry cocktail. The audience is about 90% guys, some of whom are long time Stanhope fans or newcomers who became familar with his appearances on Comedy Central’s "The Man Show."
Stanhope takes the stage and greets his beloved "sausage army" with gusto…though they are "shitheads" all the same. His performance is non-linear, rapid, and fueled by a combination of liquor, perhaps some RedBull, and whatever else he was doing backstage. At times even he can’t keep up with his own frenetic pace! We are treated to a large amount of new material which includes the current US Presidential race, YouTube editing faux-pas, and his own horrifying stories of border town dentists, a really sexist version of women’s equality that makes sense at the time, and a positive spin on eugenics.
The take away message from Mr. Stanhope’s performance is best summarized in his own words (this excerpt taken from his page on MySpace):
"Live shows are the only true freedom of speech left. Get out of the house. We will only be alive for so long and no good stories ever came from your couch or getting up on time for work. "
–Stephanie Roman, TA Live