Comedians and the Dangers of Substance Abuse

Comedian drug overdose: There are many reasons why a comedian might need rehab. Drugs, as well as alcohol, can be a hindrance for anyone looking to achieve success in any field, but stand-up comedy is especially demanding. The role leaves little room for error and requires constant vigilance – from the moment you step on stage, every word, gesture and expression is being analyzed by your audience.
For this reason, most comedians will not even attempt this career until they have dealt with their addictions first. However, that doesn’t stop some individuals from diving right into the deep end of this profession with barely a sober thought to their name. As a result, many comedians have had to seek treatment for substance abuse at some point during their career.
Here we will take a look at some of these famous figures – as well as other lesser known individuals who also struggled with drug or alcohol addiction in their life – before they found success with stand-up comedy and after.

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Comedians and the Dangers of Substance Abuse

Comedians have a reputation for being wild and eccentric. It’s not surprising — stand-up is obviously a performance art, and many comedians also tend to be social misfits. After all, who else would spend their time crafting zingers about the foibles of society? It’s no secret that most stand-up comedians are heavy drinkers. But why is that? It can’t just be the stress of living up to our reputation as the “strung-out weirdos of the world” right? Well, yes and no. Comedians are more prone to substance abuse because we use humor as an outlet to ease the tension inherent in our tragic existence as sentient beings with limited time on this planet. However, it’s not so much the fact that we are comedians that makes us susceptible to substance abuse; rather, it’s what kind of comedian you are that will determine whether or not you find yourself drinking too much or popping pills at some point in your career.

The Comedian’s Tragic Existence

Comedians drug overdose: Before we get to the specific reasons why comics tend to abuse alcohol and drugs, it’s important to understand the tragic existence of the modern stand-up comedian. Stand-up can be a very lucrative profession, but only a very small percentage of comics actually make a good living at it. The average comedian makes only $22,000 a year, and even the most successful comedians barely crack six figures. Comedians are also notorious for being on the road. A lot of comics actually prefer the travelling lifestyle to being at home because it’s less boring and also provides a sense of security. “Home is where you go when you run out of places to go,” says comedian Jackie Vernon. “Every comedian wants to be on the road. The reason? You come home, the phone rings. It’s your relatives. You can’t get away from them. But on the road, you can’t get away from anybody.” The life of the comedian is one of tragedy, loneliness, and wandering. It’s no surprise that many of us turn to alcohol or drugs as an escape from our own minds.

The Two Types of Comedians

Comedians drug overdose: There are two types of comedians: Those who drink and those who don’t. OK, that’s a little extreme, but there are certainly two broad categories into which most stand-up comics fall. The two types of comedians are: – The Dark Comedians – The Light Comedians Dark comedians are moody and cynical. Their humor tends to be more edgy and controversial. They are usually the type of comedians who abuse drugs and alcohol. Light comedians are upbeat and optimistic. Their material tends to be more “PG” and family-friendly. Light comedians are usually the type of comedians who don’t abuse drugs and alcohol. Most comedians, of course, exhibit traits of both types of comedians to some degree. The key here is to notice which type of comedian you are and then take steps to mitigate the dangers of addiction by steering yourself towards the healthier side of that coin.

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Comedians Who Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

Comedians drug overdose: Dark comedians who abuse drugs and alcohol do so because they are trying to escape from the feelings of disconnection and angst that come with being a comedian. Comedians are often very lonely people. And while alcohol and drugs might help you escape from your troubles for a while, they don’t actually address the root cause of your problems. Many dark comedians turn to drugs and alcohol to drown out the pain of being misunderstood as well as the sadness of not having a normal family life. This can lead to addiction, especially if coupled with a high-pressure profession that requires you to travel a lot, like stand-up comedy. Dark comedians who abuse drugs and alcohol can be very dangerous, especially when they are partying. Comedians who abuse alcohol and drugs can be a risk to themselves and others, particularly when behind the wheel of a car.

Comedians Who Don’t Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

Light comedians who don’t abuse drugs and alcohol do so for the same reasons that dark comedians do. The difference is that light comedians tend to use their creativity as a source of inspiration, rather than as an escape from their problems. Light comedians who don’t abuse drugs and alcohol often experience a sense of satisfaction from their craft that dark comedians find difficult to achieve. Light comedians are also less likely to have extreme feelings of sadness or angst that crave expression through substance abuse. Having said all of this, it’s important not to stereotype all comedians as either dark or light. Many comics walk the line between the two, and even those who lean towards one side or the other will often veer towards the other at times.

Other Reasons Why Comics Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

Comedians drug overdose: One important note: All of the above only applies to comedians who abuse drugs and alcohol. When it comes to other types of artists who abuse drugs and alcohol, there is no specific “reason” why they do so. All artists are prone to substance abuse because creativity is a very stressful process that takes a lot out of you both mentally and emotionally. It’s important for any creative person to have an outlet for their feelings — whether that’s through writing, painting, or playing music. When we are creative, we are literally taking parts of our psyches and projecting them into the world. This is an extremely stressful process that can often lead to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness if the artist isn’t careful. Drugs and alcohol are easy ways out for creative people because they provide an instant escape from the anxieties of creating. Unfortunately, most artists don’t realize that it’s possible to relieve these anxieties without resorting to substance abuse.

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The Takeaway

Comedians drug overdose: The life of the stand-up comedian is a tragic one. It’s no wonder why we turn to drugs and alcohol to escape from the pressures of our profession. However, it is important to note that not all comedians who abuse drugs and alcohol do so out of a desire to escape from their problems. The important thing to take away from this article is that if you are a comedian, it is important for you to recognize which type of comedian you are. This will allow you to take preemptive action against the dangers of substance abuse and put yourself on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

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