Stand-Up Comic: I don’t have a stand-up act, but i heard I could get free therapy here…
Stand-Ip Comic: Why are you laughing?
Title: Laugh Factory offers therapy to stand-up comics’
It’s no secret that many of the most successful stand-up comics live with some very heavy Demons! Drug addiction along with mental health issues sometime seem commonplace. The life of a stand-up comic means they’re on the road going from one gig to the next…which can be mentally exhausting.
Richard Jeni’s suicide, Greg Giraldo’s overdosing and even Artie Lange’s suicide attempt in January 2010 (to name a few), shows the need for an outlet for helping out stand-up comics! In the article entitled: Laugh Factory to add therapy to stand-up comics’ routine Laugh Factory owner, Jamie Masada, talks about his reasons for bringing an in-house therapy program for Laugh Factory comics — no joke.
Each of his stand-up comics would kill it onstage at the Hollywood comedy club — then they’d head upstairs and retreat into the club’s inner sanctum, a small, wood-paneled private office on the top floor. There, he or she would lie back on a plush, red couch and partake in an often pricey indulgence that can bring on feelings of calm, release and euphoria.
Debauchery of choice? Psychotherapy.
“From Sam Kinison to Rodney Dangerfield to Paul Rodriguez, Dom Irrera — every comic, they have a little demon in them.”
Having run the Laugh Factory for 32 years, Masada has worked with practically every major stand-up who has cycled through the L.A. comedy scene. Richard Pryor was a close friend, as was John Belushi; both icons of comedy and self-destruction. Over time, Masada carved a niche for himself as a counselor of sorts to the comedy community. Just last month, he was advising Dave Chappelle at a nearby coffee shop. “His demon is a lot of people in three-piece suits telling him what’s funny and what’s not,” Masada notes.
Kevin Farley is relatively new to the world of stand-up, which he finds “very, very tough.” After his brother, Chris Farley, passed away in 1997 from a drug overdose, he struggled immensely, partly because fans would approach him noting their physical likeness. “They’d say: ‘Oh my God, you look like Chris.’ And I’d say: ‘Well, then you’re looking at a ghost.'” To cope, Farley sought therapy. “I had to. It was a rough couple of years there. But it’s been 13 years. I’ve come to terms with it.”
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