Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy

The Best and Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Recovery Comedian, Veronica Porras

Veronica Porras's comedy career started in October 2006, a year after getting into recovery for being affected by the addictions and problem drinking of friends and family. She knew she had a problem because when other people drank and used, SHE was the one that got crazy, obsessive, controlling. At the same time, she expected these people in her life to take care of ALL her emotional, spiritual, needs.
The Relationship was the Higher Power and it lead her into some not so nice places. However, her continuous practice of going to meetings, sponsoring others, and 12 step service has helped to stay out of other people's drinking/using.
Veronica’s comedy is an exaggerated extension of her recovery persona. She has lead various workshops to help others in recovery on finding the funny through the inventory process. She hopes that her comedy can teach the non-drinker/user friends or family that there is comedy from being affected and though the disease of addiction and alcoholism is devastating, cunning, baffling and powerful, there is freedom and hope.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Veronica Porras:  My early comedian heroes were Gallagher and my schizophrenic aunt. Though I didn't know that my aunt suffered mental illness I always knew her as someone who loved to sing and laugh. I just thought she was having a good time. The seeds of becoming a stand-up myself took place a couple of years after I graduated from college. I started going to a lot of open mics. MySpace was big back then and through the platform I started connecting with local comics and going to their shows. I began helping promote the Bay Area shows of one of the comedians I met on MySpace, Justin McClure. We meet up for lunch one day and I started to pick his brain on how he got started and he told me about San Francisco Comedy College run by Kurtis Mathews. So, I started taking classes and doing the open mics. I studied there for 3 years from 2006-2009. Honestly, if it weren't for the SF Comedy College, I wouldn't be doing stand-up.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Veronica Porras:  No, The Stand-up came after I got into Recovery. I got into Recovery in 2005, started stand up in 2006. The recovery step work gave me the courage to take other steps to live my own life and do what I love to do.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Veronica Porras:  Recovery comedy is my passion, so it's based on my recovery experiences. There's a difference when I do impressions of personas vs. doing an impression of actual person from my recovery fellowship. I base jokes from my own personal experience. Other people are part of my experience, but I just do it as personas or characters. On the friends and family side of recovery in general, it's mostly "talk" about humor, but when it comes to the action of "humor" things can get dicey.  The natural tendency to control, manage, fix, give unsolicited advice rears its ugly head.  I have experienced unsolicited advice from my 12 step fellows on how I should do my comedy when they have never set foot on stage. To me, I think that's funny and I'll do a joke, bit, or impression based on that experience. I will never please everyone with my type of comedy, but my goal is to get the majority of the audience laughing.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Veronica Porras:  I write on stage. I'll jot down a couple of ideas and work them out on stage. I'll call up my best friend Dee and tell her a story of what happened to me. The funny also reveals itself in inventory and step work. I'll go over my old journals and set what's in there. One time I went over some inventory from like 5 years about finances and I wrote "I save money every week" and 5 years later I was going through a personal financial crisis and re-read that financial inventory from 5 years ago and I was like "Who wrote this!? I don't save at ALL!"

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Veronica Porras:  How funny. A part of my recovery is refraining from getting outside approval. LOL. They sometimes are and sometimes not. When I start pushing the envelope or cross the line my mom worries, but I don't know if that's a mom thing or if she's being co-dependent. That my comedy style is somewhat a reflection of how she raised me. In any case, being raised in alcoholic home groomed me to be a comedian. So, I'm OK if they support me and I'm OK if they don't. My dad sends me texts messages that I MUST get a stage name like Lady Gaga or something. That whole Adult Child of an Alcoholic is a gnarly beast when it comes to getting support from family or maybe I'm reading into this question too much?? #shrug.

Recovery Comedy: Is comedy part of your healing process?

Veronica Porras:  Absolutely, I started my recovery comedy path by doing jokes about my recovery experience at 12 step events and conventions. I knew I was on the right path when the Area Delegate at the time called me to inform me that my jokes were pissing people off! A joke I told 4 years ago by the way. There were plenty of other fellows that were appreciative about my joke on how serious our friends and family take themselves and the notion that you can't make fun of the recovery program. Though, yes, I agree my 12-step program saved and continues to save my life, for me, poking fun at the ridiculousness of the disease and recovery helps keep Fundamentalism at bay. Recovery comedy from the perspective of being affected by addiction and alcoholism has given me insights on truths that most don't want to look at especially from the friends and family perspective.  We’re the "good guys".  We paid the bills.  We took the kids to school.  We did all the covering up and made all sorts of excuses for our alcoholic/addict loves ones. I didn't know that I too had a part in the family disease of addiction/alcoholism as well. Thought it was ALL my dad and mom's fault.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Veronica Porras:  I got removed as a youth mentor in my 12-step program for a joke I did on self-harm at a convention. My personal recovery was deeply affected in ways that I could not even imagine. Being removed was horrible enough, then my sponsor at the time, who was present at the show, discontinued being my sponsor and I had to get a new sponsor. About a month after being removed, another mentor called me up and just started screaming at me for doing such a joke. One recovery friend ended up betraying my trust when I confided to her about being removed and this person sent an email to our district, WSO, and my mother that I was banned from going to the 12-step meeting that this person started. To be friends one day and not friends because of my comedy was hard to accept. Throughout all this, it was an opportunity to practice my program of "principals over personalities". I say this as a fact that this did happen.  To those who are reading this, understand that the disease of alcoholism doesn't stop just because it's in a recovery structure. We're all sick people getting better or at least trying. Everyone in recovery has their own path and context is everything in stand-up comedy. The audience and environment at that particular convention was not set up for my type of comedy. I was dealing with individuals who probably were not ready to laugh at such subject matter. Self-harm was too real to find the funny and I completely misread the audience.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Veronica Porras:  I got removed as a youth mentor in my 12-step program for a joke I did on self-harm at a convention. It was the worst/best experience in my comedy/recovery path. I'm currently banned from performing at the Saturday Talent Show. (OK I just laughed out loud when I typed that sentence! LOL) At this same conference where I was banned, I was booked to do the 7am Sunday Morning Variety show. The booker liked my comedy and wanted me to do his show. It all worked out, I got to perform. My Higher Power was taking care of me throughout this whole experience. I was free to be me and did a similar set to the one that got me removed in the first place, except this time it came from my heart. The previous comedy set that got me removed came from a place of anger. The experience of being removed/reinstated gave me the courage to stand up for myself and my right to process my recovery in a way that works for me. My recovery approach may not be the "traditional" 12 step approach, but like many things in recovery, "You take what you like and leave the rest". Within the context of the steps, traditions, concepts, and warranties, MY disease needs a non-traditional approach. In the aftermath of this removal/reinstatement, the mentors and teens came around and reached out to me to lead a workshop on finding the funny by applying the inventory process. That workshop was a game changer in my personal recovery. I discovered that it's probably a good idea to do a workshop on finding the funny and afterward do a comedy show. It was the first time some of the teens in recovery did an inventory. Two new comer teens came to that event and they had such a good time they want to come back. I know in my heart that this approach works. This approach may not be for everyone, but for those who would like to try this approach of finding the funny in their inventory/pain I'm available.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Veronica Porras: Connect and perform with other stand-up comics recovering from being affected from the family disease of addiction and alcoholism. I can't be the only one.

To find out more information about Veronica Porras or to book her for your next Recovery Event just click here!
If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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Comedy is Fermented Pain According to Recovery Comedian, John Moses

John Moses has been delightfully offending audiences throughout the United States, Canada and the U.K. for more than 10 years. This year John was a finalist at the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta and is a favorite at festivals all over including; The Boston Comedy Festival; The Asheville Comedy Festival; The Cottage Country Comedy Festival; and the Dark Comedy Festival in Toronto where he roasted Porn Legend Ron Jeremy.
John released his debut album On The Edge in 2012. It was voted one of Laughspin.com’s “10 Best Comedy Albums of 2012,” and given their dubious distinction as “The One Album From 2012 You Should Get By A Comedian You Probably Never Heard Of.” It is still in regular rotation on Sirius XM RawDog, The Foxxhole, and Canada Laughs.

In 2013, he became an immediate favorite on AXS.TV’s Gotham Comedy Live and was featured in their special “Best of Season One.” In 2015 he made his second appearance on Gotham Comedy Live and received high praise from the show’s host, the iconic Dom Irrera. In 2016 he made his third appearance on the show.

He released his second album Upper Middle Trash in May of 2016. Raw Dog on SiriusXM named that album one of the best albums of 2016.

An equal-opportunity offender, John’s comedy transcends racial and cultural barriers—appealing to black, white, and brown audiences, the young and old, upstanding citizens and the morally bankrupt. John’s style is shrewd, raw and uncompromisingly funny.

Recovery Comedy: What were you like as a kid?

John Moses: Insecure, low self-esteem, desperate for people's approval. You know future alcoholic.

Recovery Comedy: What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

John Moses: I was always goofing off wherever I could, in front of whoever would listen. But it was actually my dad that pushed me to do it. I've been doing it now for 18 years.

Recovery Comedy: Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

John Moses: Yeah, and some people suggested that I quit doing comedy when I first got sober. I told them that I got into to recovery to become a better horse thief. One suggestion that was given to me that I'll pass on to any artists or performers that are in early recovery, is to call someone before and after the gig. Don't hang out if it can be helped. Take the money and run.

Recovery Comedy: Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

John Moses: Absolutely, that we're all full of sh!t. I try to talk about ways that I'm full of it and see if anybody can relate. I like digging around for fallibility. I think it's what connects us. Also, I can't stand whining.

Recovery Comedy: Who are your comedy idols?

John Moses: Chris Rock, Doug Standhope, Nick DiPaolo, some dead guys.

Recovery Comedy: Where does your inspiration for material come from?

John Moses: I don't know, sometimes things just strike me as funny.  It's less inspiration and more a forced habit. You wanna do this? You gotta write. But when inspiration hits, it's awesome.

Recovery Comedy: What is your joke writing process?

John Moses: I talk a lot out loud to myself, usually in a room or driving somewhere. Everyone thinks I'm on a Bluetooth, it looks totally normal.

Recovery Comedy: What is your kryptonite?

John Moses: A cold draft beer.

Recovery Comedy: Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

John Moses: I mean they were when I was a kid, you know pumping my head full of dreams. I think they wonder where it's going now. They're really gonna freak in ten more years.

Recovery Comedy: Is comedy part of your healing process?

John Moses: Absolutely, I'm a big believer in the idea that comedy is pain fermented. At least that's the stuff I love. I had a tough childhood (not the toughest, but tougher than most) and there were lots of situations where you could either laugh or cry about it. I cried plenty, but you learn to laugh. The way addicts learn to laugh at some of the horrible garbage they went through.

Recovery Comedy: What was your worst experience performing comedy?

John Moses: Well that's the thing, even the awful ones are all kinda funny now.

Recovery Comedy: What was your best experience performing comedy?

John Moses: I've met some of my idols, played some incredible shows, but it still hasn't happened yet.

Recovery Comedy: What is your favorite joke?

John Moses: What does a 90-year old woman's ***** taste like? Depends.

Recovery Comedy: What is your comedy dream?

John Moses: Paying for my daughter’s college education with funny money. If she even thinks about doing comedy, I'll never speak to her again. LAWYER!

To find out more information about John Moses or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!
If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy, please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support, none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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Comedy is Part of His Healing Process, but it isn't Therapy: Recovery Standup Patrick Holbert

Patrick has been making his living in NYC since 2003. A scene regular, you can find him in the city’s hottest comedy rooms every night. He has performed on Sirius XM and hosts the internationally syndicated TV show “The Movie Loft.” He has appeared on TruTV’s “Hack My Life” and "Mysteries at the Museum" on the Travel Channel. Patrick is often asked to emcee comedy shows because of his playful wit and affability. The NY Times recently called him the "charming M.C." of the children's variety show he performs in weekly. You can also catch him online co-hosting “The Comic’s Table” podcast. Last summer he celebrated eight years of sobriety.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Patrick Holbert:  I was a shy kid until about fourth grade. I didn't talk much until that year when I got put in the same classroom as my best friend. We sat in the back of the room and screwed around all day and that's where I learned I was funny.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Patrick Holbert:  I've wanted to be a comic ever since I was a kid when I first saw standup clips on Comedy Central in the early 90's. I remember the channel was pretty basic and they'd just show a bit or two from random comics on a loop. I loved how funny someone could be with just a microphone.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Patrick Holbert:  I did a handful of open mics when I was in college. Unfortunately, I discovered drinking at the same time and the drinking won. I started performing almost daily about three and a half years ago, after I'd already been sober.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Patrick Holbert:  We've all been through challenges and we've all got problems but we can have a lot of fun talking about them if we want to.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Patrick Holbert:  Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Kaufman, Norm MacDonald. I don't even think what I'm trying to do is all that similar to them, but those are guys that I always thought were funny as long as I can remember.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Patrick Holbert:  Directly from my fourth step! I'd say I'm kidding, but most of my bits start from resentments, regrets, and fears that I have.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process? Patrick Holbert:  I do a lot of free writing in the morning. It's a habit I got into when I worked through The Artist's Way program about five years ago. A lot of times certain themes or ideas will keep popping up, so I know I need to play with those ideas by making lists and making connections in funny ways.

Other times I'll be riffing on stage and a funny punch line will appear, so then I'll go back and flesh out that idea and try to re-create it in a more written, bit-like way. If that one punch line worked, I try to think of how I can add a laugh before or after it.

Meeting with other comics for writing sessions helps a lot too. Sometimes other comics think of directions to go in that I would not have ever considered.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Patrick Holbert:  Junk food-- I may be sober from booze 8 years, but I still try to get tipsy on Zebra Cakes.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Patrick Holbert:  Yes- any time I perform in my home town area, they all come out to support. Sometimes I get stuck in this narrative that my family "doesn't know me" but the truth is they know me quite well and probably believe in me more than I do. I feel lucky to be able to trust in that.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Patrick Holbert: Absolutely. I'll never be a "comedy is my therapy" kind of person (because I think actual therapy is necessary) but writing and performing bits about a painful past or mental health and alcoholism does give me a way to process everything. I think if we can have fun with the dark parts of our lives, we can take power away from them.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Patrick Holbert:  Oh my god there have been so many. I must be lucky to not have one exact moment that sticks out. All I can think of are all the epically long and bad open mics that I've sat through until the end only to find out the host never had my name in the bucket or on the list. The most brutal experiences tend to come from incompetence on the production side, not anything on the audience side (although I've certainly faced off against some terrible people in audiences). I'll keep you guys updated as soon as something traumatic happens on stage. This answer would be much more interesting if I'd been performing comedy as a drunk.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Patrick Holbert:  This past winter I booked a week of shows throughout PA, NJ, and DC. I performed a 5-minute guest spot on the DC show which was just a bar basement and one of my oldest friends came out. We hung out for the following show where Louis CK, Joe List, and Mark Normand surprised this small venue with an appearance. It felt special to even be just a little part of it.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Patrick Holbert:  I want my material about mental health and recovery to be so good that it will be hilarious to any audience, any time, anywhere, and in any form. In my stand-up, in films, in books, etc.

To find out more information about Patrick Holbert or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!

If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube
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The Urge to Leave Society is Strong with this One: Recovery Comedian Matthew Zerilli

Matthew Zerilli is a stand-up comedian based in Traverse City, MI.
Having been raised between Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula and the suburbs of Detroit, he has developed an outsider style of comedy that is part social commentary and part absurd report on the human condition. Matthew is a recovering alcoholic, relapsed Catholic, and aspiring narcissist. He has been called the Barry White of Comedy due to the raw, baby-making power of his jokes.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Matthew Zerilli: I was a goofy, oddball kid that was in my own head a lot. I was always a little misfit. One of my favorite stories my parents tell was how they dropped me off at the first day of pre-school and apparently I just left. They had to come pick me up a couple miles away later that day. The urge to leave society hasn’t really changed much, but making people laugh has always made life more tolerable.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Matthew Zerilli:  I have been obsessed with stand up my whole life. When other kids were practicing sports, I was watching old Stand Up specials and listening to my parents George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Steve Martin albums. I have always had the urge to try it, but couldn’t realize that it was possible until I had been sober for some time.  I had to “give myself permission” to take the risk (if that makes any sense). I have been writing comedy for years, and just started performing a little over a year ago. Since I got that first laugh on stage, I have been hooked and haven’t looked back.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Matthew Zerilli:  No. Even though I started a little later in life, I am often grateful for the fact that I waited. There is something to be said for being able to approach things with a clear head.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Matthew Zerilli:  The cardinal rule is “try to be funny,” but the more I write and develop, the more I see patterns of questioning absurd social structures, trying to find ways that we are all similar, and basically just talking about what it is like to be a human. At its best, I think comedy is a powerful tool for equality and I do my best to honor that.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Matthew Zerilli:  Wow, so many! The “Top 5” for me are Dave Chappelle, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Brian Regan, and Mitch Hedberg. Comedy is cool, though, in that I can hear a brilliant joke at an open mic and it can totally light up my brain just like any of the greats. It is really hard to pick just a few, but those are some good ones.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Matthew Zerilli:  Well, I think most comedians are pretty empathic. My material comes from my struggles, or observing others struggles, and trying to make those things funny and relatable.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Matthew Zerilli:  I am always thinking of premises to develop and writing them down all over the place (which can drive my wife crazy), and then setting aside time to develop things by writing them out long form. Lately, I am doing more “writing on stage” by working things out onstage and recording them to develop later.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Matthew Zerilli:  Excellent question. I have a couple of rescue dogs (Sully and Monkey) that are a huge part of my life. I have a real soft spot for animals and try to always find time to get them out for a walk or a hike. They keep me grounded and are a great audience to practice my jokes on!

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Matthew Zerilli:  For the most part (laughs). I think it was a difficult adjustment at first because it is a non-traditional path and they want me to be secure. Now that they have seen how serious I am about it and the joy it brings, they are pretty supportive. However, there is still the occasional joke or two that don’t exactly get the most enthusiastic support.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Matthew Zerilli:  Absolutely. I remember the first time I talked about being sober and how anxious I was to get into that on stage. Getting laughs around something so sensitive really helped me feel more like a normal, healthy person. It Is a really valuable piece of my healing that I can’t imagine not doing. Comedy is total freedom for me.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Matthew Zerilli:  Well, I have certainly bombed plenty and had a few hecklers here and there. I would say the one that really stands out is the first time I tried a “Stand up Improv” show early in my career. This is where you get handed a topic on your way onstage and have to make it funny on the spot. It went horribly. I mean, it was profoundly awful. It was an important experience that made me look at my limitations and forced me to work on improvisation skills. I have since tried it again and survived!

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Matthew Zerilli:  My first feature show was my most memorable so far. Lots of family and friends were there and the room was packed. It was the longest time I had ever done onstage at that point (30 mins), and I had worked really hard to prepare and deliver a strong set. It was just one of those special nights where everything came together, I will remember it for a long time.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Matthew Zerilli:  There are so many, but I always come back to this Mitch Hedberg joke:

“I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down.”

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Matthew Zerilli:  I am so grateful to be part of the Comedy tradition in any way. To have the opportunity to make a living doing it in different places is really special. My ultimate dream is just to make as many people laugh as I can, as often as I can, for as long as I can.

To find out more information about Matthew Zerilli or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!
If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy, please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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From "Accidentally Funny" to Award Winning Comedian: Recovery Comedy interviews Melinda

Melinda is a comedian, writer and actress who travels the world doing stand-up with a focus on healing through humor, overcoming addiction, and female empowerment. Her smart storytelling style inspired the LA Weekly to call her "the female David Sedaris" and the Examiner to call her "a female Louie." She voices multiple characters on the Emmy-winning series Adventure Time and is the other half of the viral hit Confessions of a Tooth Fairy with Kristen Wiig. Her stand-up has been featured on The Late Late Show, Bonnie Hunt Show, BBC's World Stands Up, Comics Unleashed, Who Wants To Date a Comedian, Stand Up In Stilettos and Comedy TV. Other TV/ film appearances include Cameron Crowe’s Roadies, Comedy Central's Pretend Time with Nick Swardson, Reno 911, The Sarah Silverman Program, Important Things with Demetri Martin, Bill Maher's Bright Day, The Winner, Frank TV, Glory Daze, and Chris Kattan's Bollywood Hero.
She created, wrote, produced and starred in the digital series Romantic Encounters with Melinda, which won "outstanding achievement in writing and acting" at LA Web Fest, was an LA Weekly Web Award nominee for "best comedy series" and was an IndieWire Critic's Pick. It was also selected as a finalist in the 2014 “Make Em Laff” competition sponsored by Funny or Die and Los Angeles Film Festival. In 2013 she created the web series All Growz Up and in 2014 she cocreated The Program with Maria Bamford produced by Funny or Die Productions.
Her live show "What’s Up, Tiger Lily" was named "best stand up show" in LA Weekly & LAist and her critically acclaimed CD The Accidental Bisexual is available on iTunes. She’s a regular comedian at The Improv, Comedy Store, and storytelling shows like Sit N Spin at Comedy Central Stage. She is a regular contributor for Huffington Post Comedy, XOJane and Hellogiggles and her essays have been featured in LA Innuendo & Opium Magazine.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Melinda:  We moved 27 times so I was always the new girl. I did a lot of plays and made up characters and voices around the house.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Melinda:  15 years…An acting teacher suggested I go into comedy because I was “accidentally funny.” I loved the autonomy of writing and creating your own material.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Melinda:  Yes, those first few years of comedy were brought to you by vodka and cigarettes.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Melinda:  Yes, my message is focused healing through humor—empowering and inspiring the human race.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Melinda:  Maria Bamford, Louis CK, Kristen Wiig, Steve Martin and all comedians who repurpose their material into books, movies, series and specials. I love silly, absurd, poignant and smart comedy.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Melinda:  Life. It’s all around us at all times.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Melinda:  I am really just a channel for what happens in life. I think of it more as transcribing than writing.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Melinda:  Deep dish pizza and red wine—just being alone on a couch with that stuff like “you can’t hurt me cuz I’m gonna hurt me!”, getting sick, bringing it out to the trash bins for someone less
fortunate to enjoy, perhaps a homeless person…then bringing it back in 2 hours later to finish myself and realizing I’m the person less fortunate. : (

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Melinda:  Yes, although whenever I tell my mom about a success she says “that’s great honey, I hope that ends up working out for you one day.” I’m like it just did end up working out for me, this day, the day that I got the job."

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Melinda:  Absolutely. If I can find the light in a dark situation it not only heals me but it heals countless others going through a similar thing by enabling them to find the humor in it.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Melinda:  Bombing on America’s Got Talent.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Melinda:  Performing for troops in 12 countries, cancer patients and just people who really needed it.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Melinda:  The ones that heal.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Melinda:  To write and star in my own series, movies and specials.



To find out more information about Melinda or to book her for your next Recovery Event just click here!
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If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy, please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube
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Don't Put Your Junk Into Anything With a Horsepower Rating: Recovery Comedian Jim Trino

Born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. Jim grew up swimming in rivers, hydrosliding in canals, hunting with friends and playing with fireworks. Standard issue guy shit. Jim graduated High School, went on to college and eventually earned a degree in theater arts.  His dad still calls that diploma his receipt. During these years a slow progression into the world of alcoholism and drug addiction was coming to fruition. It all started out fun and ended up Jurassic Park.
Jim got clean for the first time in 1989 and started ski racing which brought him all the way to the world cup. He then relapsed and for 8 years, including a 2 year prison term where Jim learned all about tweaking and recycling. Jim got clean in 1999 and has been in the program ever since.
Comedy came with sharing and healing came with laughter. Jim has been through a divorce and the death of friends and family and hasn’t found a reason to use. Currently he is married to a wonderful woman (who is typing this shit against her will at 10pm). THE END...... Can I have a job? Please?

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Jim Trino:  Ha depends on who you ask. I say I was an athletic nerd that liked Bugs Bunny cartoons way too much. Mom and Dad say I was a pain in the ass.  They found my on the roof at the age of 3, and on the roof of moms moving car (while she was driving) to talk to her thru windshield.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Jim Trino:  Decide to become a comedian? Is that what you call this?? Well, I fell into it speaking at 12 step meetings.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Jim Trino:  I didn't start performing until after it got funny. (The cops might have a different story)

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Jim Trino:  Yeah, there's a message. . . Drugs make you do stupid shit. Never put your dick in something with a horsepower rating.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Jim Trino:  I don't have a particular idol, I like many for different reasons.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Jim Trino:  I don't have writers, 51 years of stupid shit gives you lots of material.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Jim Trino:  Gotta laugh on that one... As I said most of my material was lived.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Jim Trino:  Kids at my shows. My own son was my worst heckler.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Jim Trino:  Oh fuck yea!!!!

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Jim Trino:  Comedy has been the best part of my healing process and when there are new comers in audience that think they can "never tell anyone about that", they heal also.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Jim Trino:  I have hard nights, but they have all been learning experiences.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Jim Trino:  Performing at the Comedy Store and having Andrew Dice Clay say, "That was some funny shit sporto".

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Jim Trino:  I like being the "vacuum cleaner guy".

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Jim Trino:  Make a living at comedy, quit swinging a hammer, and get character acting roles or voice overs (my voice would have been perfect in Bug Bunny).

To find out more information about Jim Trino or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!

Drink coffee like a boss at your next meeting with the Recovery Comedy Coffee Mug, “One Sip At A Time!”

If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube

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He's Outlived or Divorced Anyone Who Might Be Critical of His Comedy: Recovery Comedian Dick Kendall

After two careers as a chamber of commerce executive and banker, Dick started his professional comedy career in the early ‘80s. At Houston’s Comedy Workshop he worked with the likes of Bill Hicks, Kevin Nealon and T. Shaun Shannon of SNL fame.

Dick dropped out of the comedy scene in the early ‘90s but continued to do charity shows and talent nights on cruise ships. One of the talent night shows got him a paid gig on Norwegian Cruise Lines in 2002 and he has been back performing on cruise ships and comedy clubs ever since.

His favorite gig now is working with and opening for Billy Gardell who stars as Mike in the hit comedy, Mike & Molly.
Dick just recently finished shooting, The Last Word, a horror film where he plays a catholic priest being consumed by the “curse.” It is due out in 2017.

Dick is also a published author.  His book, “Nobody Told Me I’d Have To Sell,” published in ’96, gave him national recognition as a speaker and trainer.

As a 39 year friend of Bill W., Dick has garnered many good lines in meetings around the country. He will occasionally pepper his comedy with a few of these if the audience is right.

Dick’s stint as a professional comic during the ‘80s improved his training and speaking immensely but his first love was always stand-up. With that background, Dick’s easy style on stage gives the audience the feel of having had a wonderful evening of laughter with an old friend.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Dick Kendall:  Making my mother laugh was my number one goal. I knew I was safe if she was laughing. So I would listen to Bob Hope Radio Shows and make notes. The next morning I would perform the show for my mother. She was usually a good audience. I also listened to Abbott and Costello, Red Skelton, The Great Gildersleeve, Jack Benny, etc. (we didn’t have those boxes with pictures in those days).

I memorized Phil Harris’s “Darktown Poker Club,” record to perform for my mother’s father who was a Baptist preacher. The song would have been banned for racism today, but this was the 1940’s and churches were totally segregated. He loved it, laughed a lot and had me recite it for friends and family. I loved my grandfather and my mother worshipped him. To please him was heaven.

In school I was a frightened kid and learned to fend off bullies with humor. Often in groups the humor at the offending kid could be vicious but effective. Among my most grievous character defects, using humor to hurt was probably at the top of the list. Hopefully, God has removed that one. It took a while even in AA.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Dick Kendall:  The description of my childhood above probably answers the first part of this question. In high school speech class I memorized a humorous reading and performed it in class and at various church functions. At a church retreat prior to entering Baylor I signed up to do the reading at a talent event. I used my Bob Hope experience to humorously make fun of the shortcomings of the retreat. I thought I would try the bit and if it didn’t work I would go into the reading. It worked. And I was hooked on comedy.

I had gotten a date that night with the most beautiful girl on campus. She was sitting next to a friend of mine and after my show she said to him, “I have a date with him tonight.” Humor gets you women. It really works.

I performed some in college but was not good at new material. My biggest competitor at Baylor was Grady Nutt, a naturally funny man who later starred on “Hee Haw” as the prime minister of humor. So my act faded away.

A wife, kids and making a living took precedence for the next many years. In 1984 my kids were grown, my wife and I divorced and I decided it was time. I did an open mike night at Houston’s Comedy Workshop and continued to work there and travel some to other clubs. Sam Kinneson had moved on to Los Angeles by then but I worked with Bill Hicks, Kevin Nealon, T. Shaun Shannon and others who had good careers that followed. I still could not make a living at it so went back to my consulting work in l989. Bill Hicks and I got well acquainted in those years. I could not say we became friends. He was drinking and I was sober. End of story. (He later got sober and then got famous-in that order).

I continued to do charity shows and talent nights on cruise ships. A friend took a video of one of the talent night shows. I sent it to Candy Casino in Florida and she booked me on a Norwegian Cruise to Norway. It was my first paid gig in 13 years. Someone should have told me to get more experience before going 5,000 miles to do comedy. I did OK on that cruise but see below for the next one.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Dick Kendall:  Not in comedy clubs. However, I did a lot of public speaking and somehow knew that if I drank before the speech I would lose my timing. I had seen others do that. I always got plastered after the speech, however.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Dick Kendall:  Laughter. Laughter is the best medicine. It has been proven that laughter is better for your heart than exercise. Look at Dick Chaney. Have you ever seen that man laugh? And how many heart attacks has that guy had? He shoots lawyers and doesn’t laugh and that’s funny stuff. Sobriety without laughter would be glum indeed.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Dick Kendall:  Shelly Berman was my first one. I used to play his recording for all my friends. Billy Gardell, of Mike and Molly fame, is my friend and all-time favorite now, the funniest man I know. There are many others I have learned from: Ellen DeGeneres for timing, Bob Newhart for brevity, Richard Prior for audacity and proving that humor can break down walls of distrust. Mark Lundholm for showing me that his humor has helped more addicts to recovery than I have in sponsorship in over 39 years. And of course, Bob Hope, George Burns, Jack Benny and many more for inspiration.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Dick Kendall:  Life, sober and otherwise.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Dick Kendall:  I take an idea into the shower with me and come out with a new bit. Sometimes I run out of hot water before it happens. I see humor everywhere. Like the kids calling their tattoos “tatts” so they can save time in their text messaging. If you can sit for three hours in excruciating pain in a tattoo parlor, you’ve got time to put two more “OOs” in your text message.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Dick Kendall:  Fear that the audience won’t like me. Through the use of steps 4 through 7, I no longer have that fear. Through the steps and my sponsor I saw where I was putting the audience in place of God to receive my value. By the way, I have a step 6 ½. Step 6: God I’m entirely willing to have you remove this shortcoming. Step 6 ½: You know I’m lying. Step 7: please remove it anyway.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Dick Kendall:  I’ve outlived or divorced any who might have been critical. My tee totaling Baptist mother would never see my shows because they were performed in bars. However, a few months before she died she had a fall. It was a couple of weeks before my Norwegian cruise. When she called me to take her to the hospital the first thing she said was, “Dick, whatever happens to me you have to go on that cruise. It’s the chance of a lifetime.” So I guess she had come around.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Dick Kendall:  I hope laughter is part of everybody’s healing process. It certainly was for me. If I can help with that process for others, than it will continue to help my healing.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Dick Kendall:  After a relatively good experience on my Norwegian cruise, Candy booked me on a Princess cruise to Hawaii from Canada. The cruise director wanted me to do 15 minutes the first night out. I had not slept for 24 hours and neither had most of the audience. The cruise director was a frustrated comic himself and did 15 minutes of raucous joke telling before introducing me. I did not have the experience to handle that and people walked out of my show. When I did my full show almost no one showed up and those who did left very quickly.

When you bomb on a cruise ship you are at sea with those same people for another week-pure hell.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Dick Kendall:  Last night, and I hope I can always say that. Though I don’t need them to give me value, sharing love and laughter with an audience is its own reward.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Dick Kendall:  Being single at middle age has its problems: learning to date all over again after 25 years is perhaps the worst. I want you to know I was a gentleman about it, though. I was not looking for a slam, bam, thank you ma’m type relationship. However, I did have a couple of dates looking for a stick, stir thank you sir. (Not used in the squeaky clean shows).

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Dick Kendall:  Sharing the love and laughter with an audience is its own reward. However, continuing to make a living at it is pretty nice, too.

To find out more information about Dick Kendall or to book him for your next Recovery Convention just click here!

Drink coffee like a boss at your next meeting with the Recovery Comedy Coffee Mug, “One Sip At A Time!”

If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube

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Comedy Saved Her from the Loony Bin: Recovery Comedian Sassi

You may have seen Sassi on MTV, Nickelodeon, Good Morning America, doing promos for Adult Swim Super Deluxe or even in a Lysol Commercial!  She has worked with Chicago City Limits, Blue Man Group and The National Theatre of Performing Arts. She has been featured in the New York Underground Comedy Festival, The Mamapalooza Festival and The Women in Comedy Festival. Sassi lives in New York City with her son Liam Jon Keegan and their service dog Shaggy.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Sassi:  I was a huge day dreamer.  I would walk down the street looking up at the sky in my own world.  It's a wonder I didn't get hit by a car.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Sassi:  When I was a kid I always did impressions of my teachers for my family and friends and they laughed.  I came to New York City to act and answered an ad in "Back Stage" looking for comics.  I did it once and was hooked.  I have been performing in one form or another all my life.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Sassi:  I was in recovery when I started doing stand-up.  I have only performed sober.  Some say alcohol gave them courage when performing.  I never knew how it would go down when I was drinking, so I'm glad not to have that wild card in the mix.  It's challenging enough as it is.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Sassi:  No.  I do believe that laughter heals though.  I like to think I can bring joy and healing to people though comedy.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Sassi:  Robin Williams, Rita Rudner, Steve Martin, Lucille Ball

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Sassi:  I write about my personal experience.  A lot of the best jokes come from my pain.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Sassi:  I record every set and I write down everything I think is funny.  A lot of my jokes I "hear" either in dialogue with someone or in my head.  I have an ear for comedy.  I write bits down, try them, record them and improve upon them.  A lot of my writing is editing and I love editing.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Sassi:  I can get in my head when there is industry or someone else whose opinion matters to me in the audience.  Luckily, enough of those "people loved me until I could love myself" like in program and I worked through the fear.  It helps me to think of comedy as doing service.  When it's not only about me I can relax.

Recovery Comedy: Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Sassi:  They are from a small town and are all teachers so it scared the heck out of them at first.  They wanted me to be a teacher too, but once I had some success, they got on board.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Sassi:  I would say yes.  Comedy definitely keeps me sane.  My first marriage was troubled and we have a special needs kid.  If I hadn't gotten out a few nights a week to do comedy I would have ended up in the loony bin.  I also have a lot of a lot of people pleasing issues.  Ironically the audience loves you when you love them first and don't care what they think.  They get uneasy when you try too hard.  If you beg them for approval like you would an emotionally unavailable alcoholic parent, they stare at you in silence.  This has been an amazing lesson to learn.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Sassi:  I made fun of Catholics (I am one) at a fire house and I didn't know they were staunch Catholics and they hated me.  It was the worst bomb ever.  Then the headliner came out as a nun and made even more fun of Catholics.  The thing was, we sent a video with all our Catholic material on it.  Apparently the booker didn't watch the tapes.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Sassi:  Thank God there have been so many.  Performing in rehabs is definitely top on my list.  Going home to Rumford, Maine and performing at 49 Franklin for friends and family was very exciting.  I love going on the road with my boyfriend Ross Bennett.  I love working at my home club Broadway Comedy Club in NYC and Comedy Works in Albany and City Steam in Hartford.  I love doing Spa Ha Ha.  It's my ladies' night out show I do with Barb Singer and we offer spa services beforehand.   Ironically after making fun of Catholics, I now do a Christian Comedy Show at the Comic Strip in NYC.  It's very empowering to work that clean and very healing to allow God into my comedy in such a literal way.  I love doing birthday roasts and toasts.  They are so much work to write but when they kill, it's amazing!  And of course it just rocks when people come up to you after a show and say. "We loved you so much!  You were the funniest one!  Why aren't you famous?"

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Sassi:  This is my favorite joke that I've written: I was married for 16 years, in couples therapy for 20.  At the end the couples' therapist said, "I don't know about you guys, but I need to see other people!"

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Sassi:  I want to write and make movies and act in them, and become very well known.  Then I want to go on the road and fill theaters.



To find out more information about Sassi or to book her for your next Recovery Event just click here!

Drink coffee like a boss at your next meeting with the Recovery Comedy Coffee Mug, “One Sip At A Time!”

If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube
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David Zasloff's Secret to Success? Do the Opposite of What Your Father Tells You

David has performed at NA, AA, CA, DA, OA CEA-HOW and GA  comedy conventions, benefits, prisons, nightclubs, universities, theaters, retirement homes,
corporate events, private parties, temples, weddings, funerals, birthday parties, affairs of state, spiritual living centers, a few churches and one briss.

He has recorded a comedy CD entitled “Honey Take Me Home” and has written a book called The Complete Book of Everything, Part I which is a compilation of his comic monologues.

Other people have said some pretty nice things about him. For instance:

“David Zasloff is one of the great performers of our time.” (Richmond Shepard - Performing Arts Insider)

“His view of humanity is unique, very funny and sexy. His intelligence and wit sneaks up on you and suddenly you’re howling.” (Patricia Foulkrod – film producer and political organizer)

“His humor was not only razor sharp, but displayed enlightened understanding of the human condition.” (Hollywood Gazette)

“I am a Zasloff fan. He pushes the boundaries and he’s smart and he’s very funny. The CD is terrific.” (Jay Levin – original publisher of the L.A. Weekly). 

“He approaches our cultural and sexual taboos with humor, respect, tenderness, and the deep understanding of a man of heart.” (Margot Anand, author “The Art of Sexual Ecstasy”)

“You are such a brilliant, talented man and your humor truly resonated with our group. We hope you will enjoy the fame and fortune you deserve.” (Adrian S. Windsor, Program Director Inside Edge)

“He is a bolt of greased lightning: entertainer and showman par excellence.” (L.A. Weekly)

“He is as funny and off the wall as you’d expect of a fellow who’s honed his skill as a stand-up comic.”(Dramalogue)

“Treat yourselves to a laughter and music blast with the outrageously funny David Zasloff. He is convulsively hilarious. Highest recommendation. Don't miss!” (Greg Tamblyn – author, comedian, musician)

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

David Zasloff:  I was loud.  I played trumpet.  I lived in a housing project the Bronx.  Whenever I practiced my music attracted the police.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

David Zasloff:  When I discovered I was funny and I could make people laugh I became addicted to comedy. Plus I had a deep need for approval that could only be satisfied by large numbers of people. My insights into hypocrisy has allowed me to do comedy for thirty years.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

David Zasloff:  I used to do comedy stoned on cocaine. I wasn’t funny.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

David Zasloff:  My greatest tragedies are hysterical.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

David Zasloff:  Lenny Bruce. I found his grave. I sat at his tombstone thinking here lies the funniest philosopher of all time. Fifty years ago he wrote a monologue on how to defuse the negativity in the word “nigger.” He was ahead of his time because he had perfect timing.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

David Zasloff:  Hypocrisy, including terrorism, financial failure, love, fatherhood and death.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

David Zasloff:  Everything is funny. I write down as much as I can. Memorizing all of it is a problem.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

David Zasloff:  Sugar.  Scientists say sugar is just as addictive as heroin. Which means Nutra-Sweet is methadone.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

David Zasloff:  No. Everything my dad taught me was wrong. I have a great life because whatever he told me to do, I did the exact opposite.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

David Zasloff:  Comedy is one insecure person making an equally insecure audience laugh without revealing anyone’s insecurity.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

David Zasloff:  I once did an impression of a gorilla in a hotel lobby trying to get a candy bar out of a vending machine. I thought watching a gorilla trying to be human would be funny and remind people of the similarities between them and gorillas. But I never gave the audience a clue to what I was doing.  They got my gorilla impersonation but they didn’t get the hotel vending machine. All they saw was me acting like King Kong. It wasn’t funny. The audience ignored me and started talking amongst themselves. I tried to get offstage without being seen. I realized I had a lot to learn about human communication.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

David Zasloff:  One night, early in my career, I got onstage, looked around, and what struck me as being funny was that people had driven a long way and paid a cover charge to have someone else make them laugh because they couldn’t make themselves laugh. Since I could make myself laugh it made me think they were inept and I started laughing at them. They didn’t know why I was laughing, but they sensed my laughter was real. Real laughter is contagious. Pretty soon everyone was laughing at me laughing at them. After a while it didn’t matter why we were laughing, what mattered was we were all laughing. And we couldn’t stop laughing. The show was hysterical and I didn’t tell one joke.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

David Zasloff:  My favorite joke is about religious sexual hypocrisy, and it’s too explicit to repeat here. To hear this joke please come to my show. This joke has made thousands of people laugh.  I guarantee, it’ll make you laugh.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

David Zasloff:  To do more comedy. I don’t care about making movies or doing television. I love laughing with people.

To find out more information about David Zasloff or to book him for your next Recovery Convention just click here!

Drink coffee like a boss at your next meeting with the Recovery Comedy Coffee Mug, “One Sip At A Time!”

If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube

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It is Never to Late to Find Recovery: Sober Comedian Bronx Billy O.

Bronx Billy O. came to America by boat from County Cork, Ireland, and grew up on the Bronx streets. After Vietnam, Billy was a Teamster, a Pub
and restaurant owner, and before becoming a N.Y.C. firefighter for 23 years, an illegal bookie. He has sailed, dove and traveled the world burdened by his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

After the tragedy of 9/11 and the loss of 343 of his brother firefighters he sobered up and attended the University of Florida. At the age of 62, he earned his journalism degree and began to write.

He has written two highly praised weekly columns, two screenplays and numerous political pieces. He also finished in the finals out of nearly 400 contestants in Arizona’s funniest comic contest two years in a row.Confessions of a Bronx Bookie is his much-anticipated first novel. Every Amazon review has been phenomenal, all five stars. Most see the novel as a movie or series. Unlike many authors who come directly out of college, O’Connor waited to write until after he had something to say. If anyone personifies that life truly begins at 60, it is Billy O’Connor.

Billy's acerbic wit on stage has entertained audiences throughout, California, Florida, New York and Arizona for the past three years. He has shared the stage with such great comedic talents as Todd Berry, Julian McCullough, Jesse Joyce, Lisa Landry and Thai Rivera. As a reformed alcoholic, compulsive gambler and drug addict, his inspirational story reminds all of us that with the proper attitude, life begins at 60.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Bronx Billy O:  I grew up on the Bronx streets and loved to play ball and stay the hell out of my house. My old man was an abusive alcoholic, so the streets became my sanctuary. I was a non-entity at home, but like Springsteen sings, "When I'm out on the streets." That's where I felt like I belonged.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Bronx Billy O:  I sobered up after 9/11 and enrolled at the University of Florida to earn my journalism degree. While there, I started doing comedy at 58. I knew I had made tons of bad decisions in my life, and bad decisions make good stories. I was right. My book has helped many alcoholic, drug abusers already, and as it exponentially grows, it'll help even more.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

Bronx Billy O:  No. Before recovery, I was a functioning drunk. Sobriety triggered my stand-up and my journalism degree. I know now that I am on the right path. I can help other addicts, and I'm having more fun now, sober, than I ever had in my life. That's something that I would have never dreamed possible.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it?

Bronx Billy O:  Yes, that there is life past addiction, and with the proper help, we can beat our genetic dependence. And that it's never too late. My life really began at 60.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols? Bronx Billy O:  Carlin, Pryor, Dangerfield and at present, Patrice O'Neil and Bill Burr.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Bronx Billy O:  My life experiences and the madness of alcohol and drug addiction spur my humor, but as a writer, thoughts come to me 20 times a day.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Bronx Billy O:  I write while in the shower, while jogging, while driving or whenever my subconscious is available. I must tap into that inner resource. I'll write a few words to trigger a memory and then in front of a computer, I will edit and refine. 

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Bronx Billy O:  Chocolate, sugar and this inescapable weakness to want all people to like me. I'm sure it comes from low self-esteem, but I'm getting better at handling it.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Bronx Billy O:  I'm a grandpa and divorced, but my grown kids are all supportive. I think they're damn proud of me.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Bronx Billy O:  Comedy is definitely cathartic, as is writing. All group recovery programs are based around spreading the cure to help maintain our own. From the stage, and through my writing, I reach so many more people. It's definitely what defines my present life.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Bronx Billy O:  I was at a huge venue with a few scattered patrons in a thin audience. At the time, I was inexperienced and wasn't good at crowd work. It was the longest 45 minutes of my life, polite chuckles at best.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Bronx Billy O:  I would say that when I finished as one of the top three comics in Arizona three years in a row. The energy created by 450 people roaring laughter was intoxicating.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Bronx Billy O:  I do a joke about waking up after a three-day alcoholic blackout with a prosthetic leg in my bed. That joke just keeps getting longer and better.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Bronx Billy O:  I'd just like to supplement my pension, pay a few bills and while doing so, make people laugh. If I can help people along the way, so much the better. I'm a Vietnam Vet and a first responder for the FDNY for 20 years. I like to help people less fortunate than me.



To find out more information about Bronx Billy O. or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!

Drink coffee like a boss at your next meeting with the Recovery Comedy Coffee Mug, “One Sip At A Time!”

If you like what we are doing here at Recovery Comedy please tell your friends and help us spread the word. Without you and your support none of this is possible. Also, don’t forget to follow or like us on these lovely social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube