• Doug Stanhope shares a fan’s suicide note

    Doug Stanhope may have outdone himself in stomping on taboos with the post on his blog (and to his email list) today. He opened with a brief and fitting memorial to his friend and fellow comedian Frank Lunney, who, as Stanhope puts it, “croaked” in his sleep early last month at the age of 53. On what would have been Lunney’s 54th birthday, Stanhope writes:

    My good old buddy Frank Lunney aka Captain Rowdy croaked this month. He was a “triple X-rated” comic and pretty big in the southwest when I first started out. He took me under his wing in the early years and sometimes under his fists or shod foot. His beatings were like a gift from an angel. Shit started going downhill for him after a while and never seemed to stop. Diabetes had them whittling his limbs down like scrimshaw and his kidneys finally left him like so many of his wives. He was a damn good human being and I can’t say how much I appreciate all he did for me starting out. If you care to help, buy my merch. His 13 year old son Gage is now an orphan and I’m sure he’ll be jacking me up for cash soon. I’ll say it’s from you.

    In other news, Stanhope goes on to share long-overdue fanmail, revealing a unique suicide note that wrapped up what appeared at first just an over-enthusiastic handwritten letter from a fanboy. The comedian received this letter on July 4, 2011:

     …since you’re reading this you should knw [sic] that I’m already dead by the time you get this. I’m no fan of the world and even less the way I live in it, and there are some good things but I’ve had 23 almost 24 years to do those things, and although I want to stay a little longer and get to see some more I can’t, for the moral justice thinks I have to do 7 years in a prison for looking at the wrong kind of porn even though that happened to me as a kid and I never complained about it.

    Anyway, now that I’m completely out of hope, I’m leaving you my favorite book, which I think you will like and maybe give a few ideas for new material. It’s not perfect but most of the concepts in the book are similar to your views, just a little less vulgar.

    So Doug, thanks for giving me something to laugh at, that was almost impossible with my gloomy outlook and sick sense of humour.”

    You read the full letter and Stanhopes signature reaction here. You may remember that Stanhope, on his 2009 album From Across the Street, tells his audience about Clark Adams, who apparently killed himself but only after he got to see the comic live.

    Dana Sitar

    Dana Sitar is a freelance comedy journalist trying to answer the question “What is it like to be a comedian?” She shares this quest and other tips from the writer's life at DanaSitar.com and on Twitter @DanaSitar

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