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Recovery Comedian Jeff Lewis is Half Way to Achieving His Dreams. Find Out His Recovery Story
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy
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Jeffrey started performing standup comedy while in recovery after having three surgeries that left him with severe chronic pain, depression and an addiction to prescription pain killers. Since becoming clean and regaining his health, Jeffrey has performed at comedy clubs, corporate events, fundraisers and NA conventions.

Jeffrey’s comedy takes the audience through his journey of chronic pain, addiction and recovery. In addition, his comedy covers topics such as raising teenage daughters, joining a gym, being over age 50, dating and why Indiana has the worst license plates. Jeffrey has appeared on the Bob and Tom Show, Laff-Aholics, Hollywood Sober Talent Show and The Addicts Comedy Tour.

Recovery Comedy: What were you like as a kid?

Jeffrey Lewis:  I was an enigma. Growing up in the basketball fanatic state of Indiana, I started playing ice hockey when I was eight years old. Playing hockey consumed me. On weekends I traveled to different cities to play hockey. We stayed in host family homes. The first time I stayed in a host home was a traumatic. I was 10 years old. I overheard the father ask his wife why she up so early in the morning? She said to make the damn oatmeal that kid asked for. To this day, I shake violently when someone says oatmeal. I played hockey in high school, college and in Canada. After a long recovery from back surgery, I’ve returned to playing in a men’s hockey league twice a week. The hockey in the kid has never left. I was mostly a shy kid except in the classroom where jokes and pranks were a daily happening. The classroom was a stage.     

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

Jeffrey Lewis:  From a very young age, I dreamed of being a comedy writer a’ la Rob Petrie or a standup comedian. My dad and I would watch the comedians on The Tonight Show. My dad loves comedians and loves to laugh. He has a great sense of humor. Every evening he would tell me which comedian was going to be on The Tonight Show. He allowed me to stay up late to watch the comedians. We ate a lot of popcorn during that time. When I worked in marketing and lived Los Angeles, I took a comedy writing and stand-up class. At the end of the class, we got to showcase and Improv. The dream of being a standup comedian became reality just over six years ago at the ripe young age of 50. Never give up on your dream!   

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

Jeffrey Lewis:  No. It took complications from a vasectomy, a tumor on my testicle, failed back surgery, chronic pain, addiction to painkillers, depression, family collapse, rehab and recovery for me to achieve my dream of performing stand-up comedy. It’s been one fun, crazy and rewarding journey except for the family collapse part. Oh…if you’re wondering, I still have two testicles. “Comedy is Tragedy Plus Time.”  - Carol Burnett

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

Jeffrey Lewis:  It’s said laugher is the best medicine. It really is especially if you can laugh at yourself. I take the audience through my chronic pain, addiction and recovery experiences in a humorous and self-deprecating manner. I will weave in my mantra, “It CAN Be Done!”

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Jeffrey Lewis:  Mmmmm….this is going to transcend a lot of years. Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Robert Klein, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Jeni, Carol Leifer, Gary Shandling, Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, Mark Lundholm, Kurtis Matthews.

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

Jeffrey Lewis:  Inspiration for comedy is all around us. I carry a small notebook with me all the time to write my thoughts and observations.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Jeffrey Lewis:  I start with a topic from a personal experience such as joining a gym. I map it out. I live it every day. I put it into my subconscious before I go to bed. I write and rewrite. I’m still rewriting jokes from years ago. This process seems to work for me. I made exercising using kettlebells funny.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Jeffrey Lewis:  The Black Dog and Kardashians

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

Jeffrey Lewis:  I was divorced before I starting doing stand-up comedy. My ex-wife did think I was funny though. I have two teenage daughters ages 19 and 17. They were an inspiration for some of my act about being a single dad with teenage daughters. One daughter finally got to see me perform. She wasn’t embarrassed until I did my jokes about having to wash her Victoria Secret thong underwear.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Jeffrey Lewis:  Oh yes! When you get to do something you’ve always wanted to do it’s healing even though it comes with the occasional bumps, bruises, cuts and opening of old wounds. There’s not better feeling than an audience member coming up to you after a show and saying how much they laughed and enjoyed you. It’s the same feeling I get when a woman on Match.com sends me a wink.  

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Jeffrey Lewis:  Early on at an open mic at Morty’s Comedy Joint in Indianapolis, I wasn’t mentally ready to go on when my name was called. For some reason it surprised me. I got up there and went blank after two jokes. I never recovered. I didn’t perform for months. I almost gave up. A valuable lesson learned.  

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Jeffrey Lewis:  My two addiction comedy idols Kurtis Matthews and Mark Lundhom asked me to open for them at the Funny Bone in Dayton, Ohio. After the show, we hung out and ate at the Waffle House. They critiqued my set and gave me advice. And I didn’t have to buy them dinner!

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Jeffrey Lewis:  It’s too long to write here. I read the joke in Carol Leifer’s book, When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win. The joke is about a guy buying a ticket to the movie, and he has a chicken on his shoulder. It’s her dad’s favorite joke and mine too.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Jeffrey Lewis:  My comedy dream might be half over. I dreamed of being a Recovery Comedy comedian. Now I need to go back to sleep to see what happens next.

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