Doug Stanhope is one of the most critically acclaimed and stridently unrepentant comedians of his generation. What will surprise some is that he owes so much of his dark and sometimes uncomfortably honest sense of humor to his mother, Bonnie. It was the cartoons in her Hustler magazine issues that molded the beginnings of his comedic journey, long before he was old enough to know what to do with the actual pornography. It was Bonnie who recited Monty Python sketches with him, who introduced him to Richard Pryor at nine years old, and who rescued him from a psychologist when he brought that brand of humor to school. And it was Bonnie who took him along to all of her AA meetings, where Doug undoubtedly found inspiration for his own storytelling.
Bonnie's own path from bartending to truck driving, massage therapy, elder abuse, stand-up comedy, and acting never stopped her from being Doug's genuine number one fan. So when her alcoholic, hoarding life finally came to an end many weird adventures later in rural Arizona, it was inevitable that Doug and Bonnie would be together for one last excursion.
Digging Up Mother follows Doug's absurd, chaotic, and often obscene life as it intersects with that of his best friend, biggest fan, and love of his life-his mother. And it all starts with her death-one of the most memorable and amazing farewells you will ever read.
Praise for Doug Stanhope and Digging Up Mother
"Doug Stanhope has been one of the best comics in the world for a very long time, and he only gets better with time. The fact that he is not hugely famous is a choice entirely his own and a gift he gives to the fans who are able to find him in the shadows of the real world. I've only ever heard people say two things about Doug: 1) 'He's the fucking greatest!' 2) 'I don't know who that is.' I'm never going to read this book because I am too self-absorbed. But if you have room in your heart, pour Doug in and it will delightfully blacken. This fucking dude is funny and thoughtful and generously careless, and I love watching him. Good guy, too."—Louis C.K.
"Dear Jews who run show business: Please give Doug Stanhope a primetime show."—Sarah Silverman
"Doug might be the most important stand-up working today."—Ricky Gervais
"[Doug Stanhope's comedy is] an acidic blend of prickly hostility, elaborately articulated self-loathing, and righteous anger."—New York Times
"If there's such a thing as being too honest in comedy, Doug Stanhope may come close.... Stanhope has elevated himself to become one of today's most talked-about artists."—Timeout Chicago
"Much of what's wrong with the world melts away in Stanhope's flame.... Comedy with brains and guts and a heart."—The Guardian
"[Doug Stanhope is a] visionary douchebag."—The Times (London)
Kirkus Reviews, 4/1/16
“Lively and smart, and, in the manner of the best comedy, as sad as it is funny.”
Red Carpet Crash, 5/4/16
“An incredibly awesome book.”
Boston Globe, 5/12/16
“The book is just as candid, wickedly funny and bound to offend as his stage act.”
“Digging Up Mother is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious, as fun as it is funny, and as personal as it is relatable. It’s a testament to [Doug’s] skills as a writer, a storyteller, and a comedian. It’s a testament to his love for his mother.”
The Arts Fuse, 6/15/16
“A disarmingly funny, unexpectedly sweet memoir.”
Los Angeles Times, 7/14/16
“An honest…exploration of what it means to love despite flaws and failings, through pain and discomfort.”