Misanthrope. Iconoclast. Apostate. Drunk. Many words have been used to describe Doug Stanhope, but rarely has “hopeful” been one of them. However, heading into 2016, Stanhope peered through the apocalyptic fog and saw a forecast that was more rainbows than acid rain: His first book was set for release, his new stand-up special was in the can, and he was about to film a television pilot with his friend and confidant Johnny Depp. The sharks of Hollywood were circling, and Stanhope's pockets were filled with chum. The only thing that could stop Doug was himself, and that's exactly what he did.
First came the booze, then came the pills, then came the stripper, and then, Doug came. A tryst aboard a cruise ship leaves him literally and figuratively adrift when his scorned wife, Bingo, reveals she is in love with another man: a jug-sippin', guitar-pickin' hobo. A simple, black-out fling turns out to be a pebble tossed into the lake of you-know-what named 2016, and in No Encore for the Donkey, Stanhope traces the resulting rings.
Written and performed by Stanhope, his third memoir follows the veteran comedian on a quest to save his marriage, his wife, and eventually his wife's life. Our hero's journey finds Stanhope cuddling with Johnny Depp in his Los Angeles mansion, receiving some much-needed TLC from Marilyn Manson, and - most daunting - building a new hour of comedy in the rusted-out hellscapes of post-industrial America.
Equal parts love letter, road romp, and harrowing condemnation of the failures of America's mental health care system, No Encore for the Donkey is a hilarious and heartbreaking account of a man balancing on the edge of damnation. With Bingo in a coma and Trump about to be elected, Stanhope sifts through the ruins of his own personal cataclysm in order to answer the big questions: What does it mean to love someone when you can't love yourself? What is the point of success if you have no one to share it with? And is the end of the world BYOB?