After the death of famous comedian and actor Robin Williams (God bless his beautiful, wonderful soul), there has been an increased understanding about the issue of mental health among actors and comedians. Also, over the last decade or so, it seems that many famous celebrities have become more open in discussing their issues with drug addiction and alcoholism.
It is somewhat comforting to know that these people, whom we often revere as god-like in our society, struggle with the same stuff that those of us in even the lowest of financial brackets struggle with.
It is also comforting to be able to look at those people, and admire that despite the amount of money or fame that they have, and despite that their flow of money could have gotten them high forever, that they too hit a bottom, and that they too get sober. Now that is something that I idolize in a person, not their celebrity status.
Here is a list and a little background on some famous comedians who have struggled with addiction and alcoholism, and have gotten sober.
- Everyone knows and loves Jane. She has starred in hits such As Glee, Role Models, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck it Ralph, the list goes on
- After attending her first AA meeting in 1992, she stuck around mainly because of the camaraderie she felt at the meetings, she is still sober today!
- You may recognize him as the Scottish comic from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, or the TV game show, Celebrity Name Game, he moved to America in the early 90’s after getting sober, and his career catapulted.
- After alcohol destroyed his marriage and early career, and he was on the point of suicide, Craig made the decision to stop drinking in early 1992. He has been sober since.
- Known for his gritty, honest, and raw comedic style, Maron has appeared in not only his own tv series and podcast, but he also stars in Glow on Netflix, in Almost Famous and on the HBO show Girls, along with a long line of other appearances.
- After struggling for years with an addiction to alcohol and cocaine, he hit bottom in 1999 and has been sober since. He is very public about his recovery on his Podcast, WTF.
- Best known as the loud-mouthed and wildly inappropriate sidekick of Howard Stern, Artie struggled with addictions to cocaine, alcohol, heroin, and gambling that was very public in the early 2000’s. He would often nod off on the air or yell at guests, and was eventually let go by Stern for his behavior.
- He attempted to commit suicide in 2010 by drinking a bottle of bleach, stabbing himself in the stomach nine times, and then slitting his wrists. This resulted in a 9-month stay at a psychiatric hospital.
- He is now sober and is openly happy to be so.
- Known for his roles on not only The Chris Gethard show, he was also the writer and producer of the movie The Heat and regularly appears on Broad City and as Trevor from The Office.
- He discovered early on that he didn’t like drinking, he states it always ended in crying, puking, and blacking out, however, he drank to feel comfortable as he has social anxiety. After over a decade of sobriety, he had a slip up on MDMA in 2012 and has been back on the wagon ever since.
- You may not recognize his face, but he is a writer and producer
- on shows like Workaholics, Parks and Recreation, and Ash vs. Evil Dead
- He wrote a very long post on Facebook in 2014, after the death of his favorite comedian and actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, describing how he never thought being sober would be cool until he found out that Phillip was.
- After a stint of trying to get sober, he hit bottom after a night of booze, cocaine, and heroin and has never touched a drink or drug since. He claims that if he continued to use, he never would have been able to write or produce on any of the works he’s been on.
In a World of Free Booze
There was an article written August of last year by writer Chris O’Connell called, Staying Sober in the Booze filled world of Comedy, in which he discusses a lot of these comedians and their struggles with staying sober in the limelight.
A quick rundown, it’s no easy feat. The Big Book tells us that if we do the steps and remain sober, we can go anywhere and do anything to normal people can do, provided our spiritual condition is in order. What happens to the people who have to fly all over the world, with little to no downtime, not to mention little time for meetings or sponsees, when they get around all of that free booze?
For many performers or artists, there is the idea that a little bump, shot, or bong rip will help take the edge off and spark the creative vibe that helps draw in the audience and make for a good show. Artists have been using drugs throughout history as a way to expand the mind and make for a better masterpiece. Take Van Gogh and his absinthe, or Ernest Hemingway and his booze, or even anyone in the 60’s!
There is a fear for many performers, that if they lose that creative spark from the booze or drugs, that they won’t perform as well.
There is also the issue of being judged. Many of these people are used to living in the spotlight and having how funny or engaging they are being constantly critiqued. Not an easy feat, especially for someone suffering from a potential mental disorder or substance abuse addiction.
Getting Sober With Restore
At the end of the day, some of us require a bit of additional help before comfortably moving into any type of sober residence. Addiction will show up at your door with both barrels blazing and it’s up to us as the alcoholics we are to know how to handle it appropriately. Nobody wants to be victim to this disease. It’s on us to get clean while the getting is good. If you or your loved one is ready to leave substance dependency behind and start a new way of life, please call 1-800-982-5530 or visit www.restoredtx.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to explore your options with a drug detox center.