Never Not Sober
(page 2)Do you miss drinking?
Well, I have the classic comedian thing where I can talk to 5000 people from a stage but in a small group setting full of strangers, I get tense and quiet. And my wife will sometimes say—not really seriously but more as a comment about how I could relax a little—“Boy, I wish you could still drink.”
But right away, when I quit, I started feeling great. I started treating Danielle better. I started treating myself better. And I’m proud that I haven’t had a drink for this long. Still, I miss drinking when I’m at baseball games and rock concerts, I miss ice-cold beer on a Sunday afternoon.
Do you believe alcoholism is a disease?
I don’t know. I’m a guy who drank circumstantially and didn’t know how to control it in those circumstances. But there are people I know where I would say [in regards to their drinking], “Yes. They seem like they have a disease.” But really I’m not at all qualified to say one way or another. I mostly drank out of boredom. I’d be on the road and all alone and my friends would be whoever was on the bar staff at whatever comedy club I was performing at. And I would drink there until it was time to go home. I had nowhere to go.
Do you have regrets about those days?
I do. I was given so many opportunities that I screwed up. I can’t tell you how many times I was told things like, “It’s down to you and this one other guy for this TV gig.” And the other guy would always get the job. And I look at photographs of me from back then and see that I really just had that alcohol bloat. I wouldn’t have put me on TV, either!
There were also the opportunities that I blatantly screwed up because of my drinking, like the audition I had to leave to throw up, claiming it was because I had food poisoning from the Carl’s Jr I had for lunch but knowing it was because I was hung over. The way I looked at it back then was if one of the other guys who was going to be auditioning the next day was at the Improv drinking till 2, then I could be, too. I’d justify it by saying, “Look, this is what we do.”
And now your life is a lot different. You and Danielle have a son. You have a top-rated podcast. And you do a lot of charity work.
This year will be our fourth time doing the Pardcast-a-thon and last year we raised over $41,000. I have to say, this event is the highlight of my year—I’m on a high for at least a month afterwards.
Anna David is the Executive Editor of The Fix and the author of the books Party Girl, Bought, Reality Matters and Falling For Me and the Kindle Single Animal Attraction. She's written about Tom Sizemore and gambling addiction, among many other topics, for The Fix.