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How Do You Stand Out When You're the Youngest of 6 Kids? Do Stand Up! Recovery Comedy Interview
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy
Jeremiah Coughlan is a stand-up comedian from Portland, Oregon, who was born and raised in Kennewick, Washington. As the youngest of six kids, he always had an audience and the dinner table was his stage 7 nights a week.

Jeremiah has made a name for himself in the comedy world with his thoughtful, conversational delivery and candid, honest material. His comedy was described by a judge at a recent contest as “just self-deprecating enough”.

He was invited to perform as part of The 2013 Northwest Comedian’s Graduating Class (an annual showcase highlighting the best young comedic voices throughout the Northwest), He was also the first runner-up in The 2014 Tri-City Joke Off, and a Semi-Finalist in The 2014 Portland’s Funniest Person Contest.

Jeremiah produces and hosts three monthly shows in Portland, OR, Including the only monthly, clean and sober showcase in town. He has been invited to perform as part of AA and NA fundraisers. He is very grateful for his recently achieved one year of sobriety, and would be a great addition to any recovery based comedy program.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  I was the class clown, I am the youngest of 6 kids, and I was the only boy. I needed more attention than I was getting at home, and I found it at school. That attention usually got me sent to the principal’s office and scheduled for detention. I was a pretty smart kid and always knew how to do just enough to get by.

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

Jeremiah Coughlan:  I had always wanted to try stand-up (my family is full of funny people). I never really knew how to get the ball rolling until I had a friend who was going to open mic's, and me being competitive in everything felt like if he could do it so could I. So in September 2012 (a week before my 31st birthday) I did my first open mic.

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

Jeremiah Coughlan: I was, but not for very long. I realized pretty quickly that I could not be active in my addictions and succeed in the competitive world of comedy.

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

Jeremiah Coughlan:  I think my comedy does have a message, and it is that you just have to be happy with who you are and be able to laugh at the things that have happened to get you where you are today. I think part of that is not judging others because when you do there is most likely someone judging you also.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  Bill Hicks was someone who changed my whole perception at a very young age. To find out later that he had struggled with addiction and been involved in 12-step programs was really amazing to me. Another one is Jessa Reed, to hear her story and see where she came from and see all that she is accomplishing in her career now is astounding.

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

Jeremiah Coughlan:  My inspiration for my jokes really just comes from my own life. I think I have a unique way of looking at things. The stuff I talk about on stage are all personal experiences. Some that others might even see as tragic, but finding humor in these events gives me strength.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  As I mentioned I talk a lot about my own life on stage. So my process for writing material is pretty straight forward. If I have something in mind that I think might work for a bit I will usually tell it as a story to a friend or co-worker or maybe just a stranger on the bus. Depending on how that goes I will try to see where I can improve on the initial idea. I very rarely write things out. I usually remember everything I need to try the bit out at an open mic or sometimes even a meeting. Then it just becomes a process of adjusting the flow and context with my existing material.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  Comedically? Always comparing myself to others in my scene, and swearing on stage if I get nervous.
Personally? Puppies and Chocolate chip cookie dough.

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

Jeremiah Coughlan:  Very! As I mentioned my family is full of funny people. My grandpa is one of the funniest people I know and he asks every time I talk to him about my stand-up. They are also super supportive of my recovery and they are very excited that I have found an outlet for both with Recovery Comedy.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  Absolutely! I don't believe in editing the sad parts out. I believe that everything that has happened to me on this journey through life was for a reason. Whether it has been to make me stronger or funnier or wiser, isn't for me to decide. I feel it is my gift to get to stand on stage and make people laugh. One of the most cathartic things for me is when someone comes up to me after a show and says "that was funny, I identified with what you said." Hearing that never gets old. For people that are in recovery to get to come enjoy comedy in a safe environment is something I love being a part of and that keeps me going.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  I did an open mic in a gentlemen's club in Las Vegas once. Even the rest of the comics signed-up for the mic didn't want to pay attention to person on the comedy stage. It was brutal. I have been ignored at an open mic before but never to this level.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  Probably the first NA event I did. The crowds were so excited to be seeing comedy that wasn’t in a bar or a two-drink minimum club.  It really created this energy in the room. When you get a room full of people in recovery on your side it's a whole new feeling.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  Ever?
What did Buddha say to the Hot Dog Vendor?
Make me one with everything!!

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Jeremiah Coughlan:  It sounds cheesy but I feel like I am living my comedy dream every day. Every time I get to go out there and perform is a blessing to me. Early in my career someone told me at every show, no matter how small the crowd or rough the venue treat it like you are there to film your own stand-up special. If you do that long enough one day you will get your own stand-up special and when you do, treat it like you are performing for a small crowd in a rough venue. So that’s what I try to do.

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

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