(Author's warning: You know that label that gets slapped on certain CDs boasting raunchy language? The one that reads "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content"? Please imagine that label getting slapped on this interview, too.)
If you read the praise bestowed on him by critics and contemporaries in Great Britain, you might imagine that Doug Stanhope is less a stand-up comedian than a stand-up deity.
The UK's daily newspaper the Guardian, for example, had this to say: "Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realizing how transparent the confidence trick of Western propaganda can be made to seem. What he has in abundance is the charm, don't-give-a-damn swagger, and aggressive intelligence that make for important, exciting comedy."
Iconic British comedian Ricky Gervais, meanwhile, offered this tweet to the world: "Doug Stanhope might be the most important stand-up working today."
So how does the American Stanhope, who makes frequent tour stops in England and Scotland, feel about spending time abroad?
"I hate it," says the 45-year-old comedian during a recent phone interview. "It's not good at all. I mean, I have a great fan base over there, but I just hate the day-to-day of being there. It's so ... depressing. Like, I get seriously depressed, and I don't want to do comedy ever again, anywhere.