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He Was a Class Clown Who Overcame Addiction to Become a Stand-Up Comedian: Recovery Comic David Kaye
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy
Clean and Sober Comic David Kaye

Audiences laugh out loud, as David Kaye shares side-splitting tales of his dysfunctional family affairs, blue-collar upbringing and his twenty year “beer bottle battle and cocaine crack attack”. The third child of an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother, his candid recollections of life as “baby brother” are outrageously funny and brutally honest.
“I grew up believing that my parents were not prejudice people. However judging from all the beatings I took as a child, I now realize my parents hated white children.”

David’s tongue-in-cheek observations have continued to set off boisterous laughter and applause in corporate boardrooms, college rathskellers, and smoky nightclubs throughout the country for over two decades. A former mechanical engineer and more recently, trained thespian, Kaye smartly lampoons life with countless comical vignettes. Acting as narrator and cast, he morphs into a one man comedy troupe using manic mannerisms, outlandish dialects, and contorted facial expressions to convey vividly funny living snapshots of his many off-the-wall characters.

David Kaye’s many credits include performances with Weird Al Yankovic, Richard Lewis, David Brenner, and Drew Carey. Along with numerous television appearances on ABC, Comedy Central, dozens of commercials and industrial films, and a starring role in the independent films, ”Creep” and “Saffronia”.

The perfect headline performer for any occasion, David Kaye always delivers huge laughs with his original wit, rock solid act, and genuine comedic talent.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?  

David Kaye:  I’m the baby of my family.  Two older sisters and me.  My sisters hated the fact that I had my own room and a full size bed.  Overall, I recall being fairly happy, considering my father was a raging alcoholic.  I fought for attention and did so by being the class clown at school.  I thought that everyone’s dad came home from work drunk every day, so I quickly followed in my father’s footsteps, having my first drink at age eleven.  My father died of a heart attack on May 17, 1975, when I was 14 years old, so things changed pretty quickly, as I immersed my emotions in alcohol.  How’s that for a happy childhood?  


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


David Kaye:  I was always considered the life of the party, literally the guy who put the lamp shade on his head and staggered around looking for laughs.  All of my friends said I should be a comedian.   So, when I was 27, after being in a deep depression for 18 months due to the end of a romantic relationship, I tried my hand at doing stand-up....  I remember that date too, February 18, 1987.  It was painfully unfunny and what made it worse was 27 of my closest friends and family were there to witness the debacle.   So, that makes it almost 26 years of doing stand-up.. 

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


David Kaye:  Yes.  I had been doing stand-up about 5 years, two years full time.  My first attempt to get clean was in 1992..  It took me 3 years to finally stop… well, it took court ordered drug testing to make me stop…  Last drink or drug was May 4, 1995.

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

David Kaye:  No, I don’t think there is a “message”…  BUT, if I did have a message, I think it would be “do not have unprotected sex with a stranger”.


Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

David Kaye:  George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnette, Gary Shandling, Norm Crosby, and a little known comic named Pete Barbutti…..  Pete Barbutti was on The Johnny Carson Show over a dozen times, and still remained relatively obscure in the business  


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

David Kaye:  My material is derived from my life experiences and interaction with everyone around me.  I can’t write a joke-joke for the life of me…  Something has got to happen to me or cross my path for me to feel strongly enough to write about it..


Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

David Kaye:  Walk down the street, see a kid slip on a banana peel and make a joke of it…  


Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

David Kaye:  It has changed over the years…  used to be tequila, then it was crack cocaine, then attractive women, then scratch off lottery tickets, and now I think it has to be Chinese massage parlors


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


David Kaye:  Very much so, sometimes a little bit too much.  My sister always has a premise for me and usually it is totally wrong for my act.  Although she did come up with a great “time out” bit that has become a staple in my act.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?


David Kaye:  For me stand-up is therapeutic.  It allows me to vent without anger, and channel my frustrations into a positive reaction.   Is it part of my recovery healing process?  Kinda-sorta…  It builds my character and getting paid to perform gives me both instant gratification and monetary stability.  

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?


David Kaye:  Ugh…  A one nighter outside of Indianapolis back in the 1990’s.  It was at a sports bar attached to a bowling alley.  Not to go into detail, BUT a woman threw a glass of water at me and another guy threw a full beer bottle at me.  She missed, the beer bottle hit me in the leg and the crowd thought it was part of the show..

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?


David Kaye:  Getting a standing ovation from astronaut Sally Ride..

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?


David Kaye:  MY favorite joke… that I wrote?  Has to be “butterhole”… just type in David Kaye Butterhole on Youtube and you’ll know why it’s my favorite


Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

David Kaye:  For this interview to be finished and to retire in Tahiti…. The Tahiti part has nothing to do with comedy, but if I can successfully parlay my paltry comedy money into a fund of some sort that allows me the opportunity to retire in Tahiti, then I think my comedy dream will be fulfilled...

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

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