Comedian Marc Maron Celebrates 17 Years Of Sobriety

By McCarton Ackerman 08/19/16

"You don’t want it to consume your life, but you do want to acknowledge the big day. Seventeen years is a long time."

Comedian Marc Maron Celebrates 17 Years Of Sobriety
Photo ComedyCentral/YouTube

Comedian Marc Maron is celebrating 17 years of sobriety, but he’s still experiencing relapses—just not in real life.

His anniversary came on August 9, which he celebrated by tweeting “17 years clean and sober today!” But while the 52-year-old has freely admitted that getting sober was hard work, he believes staying there has gotten significantly easier over the years.

“It is a big deal but it becomes less of one as the years go on. You don’t want it to consume your life, but you do want to acknowledge the big day. Seventeen years is a long time,” he said to the Phoenix New Times. “I feel like the obsession is gone. If things are hard, breaking that sobriety doesn’t really come up on the menu as the solution.”

In the last two seasons of his IFC show Maron, his fictional self had an extended relapse with prescription drugs before finding his way back into recovery. Maron admitted he wasn’t sure if the show would be renewed for a fourth season, so having his character move into recovery was a last minute decision that ultimately resonated with viewers.

“It was important for me to make sure we got it right. I’ve been in rehab once in my life and Jerry [Stahl] certainly has been through the war of addiction. We’re both familiar with the program and with meetings, and drugs in general, so I really wanted it to ring true for people who have had an experience with it,” said Maron. “That was the most important part of that section of the last season, that we honored both addiction and recovery. And we got a lot of amazing feedback.”

Maron has long been open about his sobriety. It’s been a recurring topic on his WTF with Marc Maron podcast, and he spoke about it exclusively with The Fix in July 2012. Although he never set out to become a spokesperson for sobriety, Maron said he was appreciative of the impact he’s had on others simply by being honest about it.

“I could definitely not have seen, between the podcast, and then the show, how it would help people feel less alone, or help them cope, or drive them toward changing their life or toward recovery,” he told the Phoenix New Times. “I never anticipated that, and that’s pretty amazing to me. I’m really grateful for that. It helps my sobriety, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something positive in the world.”

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.