Things We Love: Picks from Wonder Doug

Wonder Doug
Photo by Cover Photography (David Heasley)

Wonder Doug (Douglas Cuckler) is a Columbus queer comedian and writer who has a day job in marketing and human resources for local adult store the Garden. Onstage and online he uses his unique voice and personal experiences to try and break up some of the stigma surrounding mental illness, sexuality and recovery from alcoholism. His next show is a charity variety show on Friday, Sept. 7, at the Shrunken Head. The show will incorporate comedy, burlesque, poetry and music, and is designed to raise money for the homeless at the Open Shelter. Wonder Doug falls in love with everything, but he tried really hard to narrow it down to just five.

The local music scene

When I go to concerts my comedy brain doesn't have to work. It can just shut down and enjoy the vast and ever-evolving Columbus music scene. Current favorites include: the hustle from the Turbos, new R&B duo ENvolved, the melancholy and double drummers of Mister Moon, new rap tracks from Happy Tooth & Dug, the stage antics of Miller and the Hunks, the light show of Lackluster and the new project from beatboxer LethalFX and guitarist BlairLehmkuhl, Squirple.

Getting back into comic books

I love the X-Men and I'm finally back to a place where I can start collecting comic books again. Gib Bickel and the staff of the Laughing Ogre have been fantastic. The selection is great and the customer service is even better.

Rescue dogs

My dog passed away suddenly this week, which was extremely hard. She helped me realize that I should face my alcoholism and get my life together. She had so much life in her and helped me realize that I did, as well. She came from the I Have a Dream Rescue Organization (IHADRO), which specializes in helping pit bulls make it out of high-kill shelters and into responsible homes. I strongly recommend them.

Writer's Block Poetry Night

I've been poetry curious for way too long. Sometimes I feel there are mountains of words in my head that will never make it to the comedy stage. It was suggested from a poetry friend that I check out Writer's Block Wednesdays at Kafe Kerouac, and I was blown away by such an engaging and entertaining show.

The rise of body- and sex-positivity

I think the city is embracing a stronger sense of body- and sex-positivity, and I am here for it. When the Garden went under female ownership this past January and I was promoted, we wanted to focus on those elements. We wanted people of all body types — trans bodies, curvy bodies and so on — to see themselves and feel better about the way they look.