As hard as they can make you laugh, comedians can often be very unhappy people, and addiction, depression, and mental health issues have long been a curse on many funny people like John Belushi and Chris Farley. There have been many comedians who have beaten addiction and used it as great material in their acts like George Carlin.
Lately, in the news, a lot of comedians big and lesser known have come forward about struggling with addiction and mental health issues, and it has given hope to a lot of regular people of all walks of life. (By the way, you don’t have to be funny or have an outrageous sense of humor to fight addiction, but it certainly doesn’t hurt, and humor can be a great tool in your arsenal.)
When Comedians Clean Up
There are many stories you can find about well-known comedians who either succumbed to addiction or finally found their way out after years of suffering. We all know the names John Belushi, Robin Williams, and Chris Farley. But even in the recent news, there are many stories of comedians who cleaned up their acts and are still damn funny.
As one comedian, Craig Conant recently confessed to Digital Trends, and he decided to get clean after “the third arrest.” He was in jail, felt he was “a bit of a loser,” and he finally realized, “Aw, man, enough of this shit…” Then he had another epiphany: “I’m gonna get sober, and I’m gonna get into comedy.”
Conant is now five years sober. Being a comedian can be very stressful, and like getting sober, he had a lot of hurdles to get over before he started doing well onstage. As the saying goes, dying is easy, comedy is hard. But Conant is happy, whether he goes on to the big time or not.
A Sober Stripping Clown?
One of the most fascinating and crazy stories you’ll read about comedy and sobriety is about a stripper clown who is sober and talking about it on her regular podcast. (Now you’ve heard everything, right?)
Kiki Maroon’s podcast is called Clown, Interrupted, and she’s a comedian from Texas. Doing her podcast is one way she’s coming to terms with her past, and exorcizing her demons.
Maroon got help from a fellow comedian, Andy Huggins, and they are both from the Houston area. Maroon has other comedians and burlesque people on her show who talk about their journeys to getting sober. As one dancer recently confessed to Maroon, “I went from being a weekend partier to crossing lines in the sand that I didn’t even have time to draw.”
And the myth that you have to suffer to create? Forget it. With Maroon’s podcast, she’s trying to destroy the myth of the tortured artist. She believes that artists often have a hard time getting help “because of the idea that you have to be broken to feel. You can’t be a healthy, functioning adult. That’s unfortunate because it’s not true.”