Have You Heard the One About the Sober Stand-Up?
In a profession where getting drunk and out of control is the accepted nightly routine, five comics share their stories of struggling to stay off the sauce.
“Comedy is the perfect job for an alcoholic," says comedian Jamie Lissow. “From the transient nature of the job to the free booze. This is a job where, not only is everyone drinking, but they're drinking and looking at you. And they would love nothing more than to buy you a drink.”
At thirty-eight, Lissow has piercing blue eyes and calculated facial scruff. He hails from Rochester, N.Y., but now resides in Austin with his wife and child. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, is a frequent guest on Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, and starred in his own Comedy Central special.
Almost a year ago, he quit drinking. He speaks excitedly about this new phase in his life, riding a wave of sobriety and creative energy that is known in recovery circles as “the pink cloud.” Lissow says that until he stopped drinking, he didn’t really respect his own comedy. “It was mostly about drinking, because that’s what I did,” he recalls. On stage, he felt like a fake …