Doug Stanhope's the Unbookables (2012)

The Unbookables is a narrative documentary about stand-up comics who have spent their careers pushing limits--on stage and off. Relegated to small venues and touring in a crappy van through the Midwest they careen between the desi...
  • 6.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Jeff Pearson, Director:
  • Michael J. Epstein, Griffin Gmelich, Mary Jones, Producer:


8 / 10

Dane Cook sucks & you know it.

I have always been a huge fan of comedians and I don't usually find many I haven't seen before.After getting over the shock of never having heard of this movie, I was even more surprised that I had only heard of two of the comedians in it.This documentary is a great look into the road lives of real comedians.I'm sure the average person won't find any of these guys funny.They also won't feel sympathy for them when ten people come to a show and they can't even afford to buy a can of snuff.No, the average person only cares about Dane Cook or whatever unfunny douche bag is currently hot.Traveling in a private plane and performing for sold out arenas full of comedy impaired mental midgets.For those who think this movie is supposed to be funny, it's a DOCUMENTARY.They aren't supposed to be funny, they are supposed to be informative.If you want to laugh at a documentary, go watch some of that Errol Morris crap.That guy is a real joke.If you like real comedy and real documentaries, watch this.

9 / 10

Gritty Ride on the Dark Side

I loved this film. Calling this comedy edgy is an understatement. This is in your face so if you can't stand to be a little uncomfortable then leave the club or click your remote. Much the same as the theory that the great muse for music is heartbreak...the great muse for their comedy is dysfunction. What makes it funny is it is so real. I love these guys every one of them and Christine. Their brutal honesty comes though even in the worst bits. The music is also a must listen. Well done. Shitty at it's very best. In the same vein as the Aristocrats, these comics push each other, support each other even though at times they arguably hate each other. Their conflict reflects all of our struggles as humans trying to figure life out with the bunch of ass hats you are surrounded by because of work, because of culture or just because you drank too much.

7 / 10

When you're next laughing about something, look to its core, and you'll find it's negative.

Few people realize that what makes us laugh typically has a negative base. From slapstick of 3 Stooges smacking and poking each other to any typical sitcom, where the laughs are based on misunderstanding, miscommunication and misconduct. The Unbookables are equally guilty, but their material is based on topics far more real. Monologues are based on everyday, true to life subjects that might shock, disturb, or at least cause you to keep your laughter hidden inside. War. Cancer. Incest. Beastiality. Child prostitution. Cock gagging & anal gaping. These are subjects that few would imagine as having a funny side, but they do, as evidenced by the audience laughter. It may be strained laughter accompanied by a shake of the head or hands covering the face, but it's laughter. This group of guerrilla comedians are talented, but they sacrifice big venues, big paychecks and big distribution by staying true to their material. In uncommon style, this documentary leaves the stage, and follows their life on tour as they test their patience and sanity while crammed in a retro tour van, constantly simmered in alcohol and stolen hydrocodone, quickly establishing a pecking order where the most senior of the group is constantly harassed, not so much out of disrespect as out of the need to channel stress. A unique view of life on the road of darkest comedy that is definitely not for everyone. It forces the question: Do some find this comedy has gone too far simply because they learned that even the darkest subjects truly do contain humor?

9 / 10

The Unbookables is a look at self-sabotaging comedians.

They're funny. They work hard and live day to day. They can't catch a break. The only thing that contradicts that narrative is there own actions, like a bunch of reform school kids on an extended holiday. Some of the comics have such animosity towards their audience the comedy borders on social sadism. A fascinating documentary. Broken people make the best subjects and this doc has them in spades. My favorite comedians were Sean Rouse and Kristine Levine. Dirty fantastic stuff.

1 / 10

They're not good comics, except for Sean Rouse, who the producers disappear from most of the film. You start with the idea that an unbookable comic means their material is too edgy, but you soon learn that these comics think their material is too edgy and that's why they're booed off stage. Not true. They're booed because they're hacks and drunks and they think their personal crises are dramatic and important. They would be if they were celebrities but they're not. One gets the impression that Doug Stanhope thinks his own comedic genius comes from being edgy and shocking--maybe that's part of it but watch his specials. Doug Stanhope can construct a joke. He can create tension. These alcoholics are open mic wanna bes and I think that's why Doug isn't in the film. Its embarrassing.