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 journey from bartending to truck driving, massage therapy, elder abuse, and stand-up comedy and acting never stopped her from being Doug's genuine number one fan. So when Bonnie's alcoholic, hoarding life finally came to an end so many weird adventures later in rural Arizona, it was inevitable that Doug and Bonnie would be together for one last journey.
Digging Up Mother follows Doug's absurd, chaotic, and often obscene life as it intersects with that of his best friend, his biggest fan, and the love of his life: his mother, Bonnie. And it all starts with her death - one of the most memorable and amazing farewells you will ever hear.
BONUS: As fans of his stand-up and listeners of his podcast will attest, Doug is not a "by-the-book" type of guy. This audiobook is no exception. In what he refers to as the "director's cut commentary," Doug forgoes the confines of a straight-read and creates a truly unique listening experience, going off-script to riff throughout its sections and bringing in a cast of colorful characters – childhood friends, his podcast co-host, and fellow comedians and musicians – to voice letters from teachers and guidance counselors, diary entries from his mother, and even old homework assignments. Additionally, Doug has several of the folks mentioned in the book expound on and give their version of events and stories, often remembered quite differently. The result is a wildly fun audiobook that's as distinct as the comedian's own brand of humor.
A special note from the author:
Good news for all my blind and/or illiterate fans! The audio version of my book Digging Up Mother is now available on Audible!
It's read podcast-style by myself and the golden-throated Chad Shank and features guest performances from those who appeared in the book, dropping in to share their own blurred memories of our sloppy pasts and ugliest stories. Guests include my childhood delinquent partner in crime Chris O'Conner, and Greg Chaille, Bingo, Mat Becker, Sarah Hyland (now Sarah HylanDER) and more.
If you are wondering what "podcast-style" means, it means we were drinking a lot. For days. And f*ing up a lot. They've assured me that they left the best f*ck-ups in the finished product. Most of them no doubt are my own. I read like Bill Burr learning a foreign language.
Thanks in advance for listening and sharing, Facebooking, Tweeting, Instaf*cking, Redditing, Water-Cooler Chattering and all other means of spreading the word. I'm only gonna listen to the Chad Shank chapters. Goddamn does he sound delightful.
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I listened to this earbook on an crowded, busy, loud, foul-smelling overnight sleeper train in China. It made the journey much more bearable, which made me much less keen on the idea of suicide. I think this is ironic, given Doug's personal beliefs and the contents of this book, because I don't know what irony is. One part made me laugh so hard, I accidentally knocked a chicken burger off my bunk and onto the head of the guy below me. He was a Muslim, and I'm pretty sure the burger wasn't halal. I tried to apologise profusely, but as we didn't share a language I can only be so certain that he understood.
- Tony Wihlen