Doug Stanhope is no stranger to performing at non-traditional venues. He was one of the first touring comedians to start hitting rock clubs on a regular basis in an effort to avoid the politics of proper comedy clubs. His newest album Oslo — Burning the Bridge to Nowhere was recorded in an abandoned building in Norway, where Nazis used to hang out. And today, Stanhope announced a new project: He’ll be performing in Reykjavik, Iceland on Sept. 25– specifically at Litla-Hraun, the only maximum security prison in the nation. “I didn’t want to confuse a short vacation with the headaches of a gig but playing a prison is something I’ve always wanted to do and a prison in Iceland makes it ten-fold the fun,” Stanhope posted on his official site today.
If you know anything about Stanhope, you know he’s a dude who gets bored pretty easily. I talked to him a few months ago and it was clear he’s conflicted about his career. He’s doing better than he ever as, but he hates having to put out albums and DVDs constantly and says he does so just to stay relevant and employed. Don’t get me wrong; the dude clearly loves what he does, but like I said, he’s conflicted. And so, he has to create some fun. And a gig in Iceland at a prison fits the bill. But, wait. There’s more fun to be had.
“Here’s the deal,” Stanhope continues on his site. “I will only ever play Iceland at the prison. I want to create what will be commonly known as the “Doug Stanhope defense” where defendants claim that they only committed the crime in order to get into my show. That would amuse the shit out of me. I have very little ego about all the trappings of this silly life but a few things still make me smile.”
And if you’re one of the lucky (unlucky?) ones, Stanhope is willing to pay you for your efforts– in his own special way. “If you get sent to prison in Iceland just to see my show at the end of September, I will tattoo your name on my weathered body somewhere. Cuz that would be funny as shit.”
Good luck, Doug. I have a feeling there’s going to be a few takers.