The stand up comedian is well known for his tweets on everything from pop culture to politics. In his new memoir, Rob Delaney reveals a darker side. The book sheds light on Delaney’s struggles with alcoholism, depression, and how it led him to comedy. His drinking got so out of control at one point, that Delaney often flirted with the idea of dying.
For Delaney, his wake up call came at the age of 25. After a particularly heavy night of drinking, the young comedian blacked out and got behind the wheel of his car. Delaney ended up crashing his vehicle into a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power administrative building. The accident left Delaney badly injured. He was left in a wheelchair with broken bones in both arms and injuries in both of his legs.
After the accident, Delaney knew he had hit his bottom and had to get help. He had come as close to death as possible. The idea of hurting himself had once seemed appealing to Delaney, but knowing his drinking could hurt others as well was definitely unacceptable and frightening. Something had to change.
Delaney is grateful that he got his wake up call and was able to get the help he needed. That turning point in his life also led to a change in careers. After working as an Internet advertising executive, he turned to comedy. Delaney had always loved comedy and making others laugh. Regular visits to New York’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater had inspired him as well. By the time he was 33, comedy had become a viable way to make a living and Delaney knew he couldn’t have done it without being sober.
Today Delaney is happily married with kids and he continues to enjoy a career in comedy. His new memoir has also been released. Delaney recently shot a stand up special which he plans to release himself and he continues to tour as a stand up comic. He hopes to eventually get into the movies and tv doing writing, producing, and acting. He cites Richard Pryor and Chris Rock as being inspirations. Recently, Delaney was named the funniest person on Twitter and he has amassed close to one million followers.
When asked about living with depression and addiction, Delaney says he still has the traits of an addict but has learned how to channel that energy into more constructive channels. He says he puts enormous effort into his projects, and gets high on comedy, parenting, and exercise instead of drugs and alcohol. Now in his mid thirties, Delaney has had enough experience to know that taking care of his physical health is also the best way to keep himself mentally healthy. Eating, sleeping and exercising in adequate amounts makes a big difference.
Comedians And Drugs
Many other comedians have survived the downward spiral of addiction and lived to tell about it, and enjoy successful comedy careers as well. Some include:
Robin Williams - the film star was addicted to cocaine back in the late 1970’s. He says the overdose death of fellow comedian and friend John Belushi, along with the birth of his son, prompted him to get help for his own problem.
Russell Brand - the British actor and comedian has struggled with an addiction to heroin and alcohol, as well as a sexual addiction. With the support of AA and NA meetings, Brand has bounced back and moved forward with his career.
Tracy Morgan - the SNL alum struggled with alcoholism and has been arrested for more than one DUI. Morgan got sober in 2009 and went on to earn an Emmy nomination as well as a starring role on the hit show 30 Rock.