Sober January motivation: 9 comedians who got clean

It’s Sober January for many people as the calendar turned to 2019. Many out there take the month off drinking for Sober January, while others may have made their New Year’s resolution to get clean. Kicking an addiction is always a popular New Year’s resolution and drinking less is reportedly in the top ten reported popular resolutions for 2019. Getting sober is hard, but many accomplish it. With help from meetings, rehab, and friends and family, many comedians who have struggled with addiction have gotten clean and are now living sober. Laughspin is here to motivate you with nine comedians who are living sober.

Russell Brand

Russell Brand has been living drug and alcohol-free for over 15 years. The Get Him to the Greek star even published Recovery: Freedom From Our Addiction in 2017. The book is half-memoir, half-a guide to the 12-step program. Brand has been very open about his struggles with addiction whether in his comedy or his books. Back in 2017, he announced on Twitter that he was 15 years sober and encouraged others to do the same. He also discusses it in his 2018 special Re:birth.

Dax Shepard

Dax Shepard has been clean for over 14 years. In an interview with Playboy back in 2012, the Parenthood actor described his “party years” by saying, “I just loved to get fucked-up—drinking, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, diet pills, pain pills, everything. Mostly my love was Jack Daniel’s and cocaine. I was famous for going out on Thursday night to have a couple of beers, and that just led all the way to Saturday night.” He went on to say, “I got lucky in that I didn’t go to jail.” Shepard is now happily married to Good Place star Kristen Bell. On his 14 year sober-versary she posted on Instagram about how much his sobriety has meant to her.


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To the man mocked me in our wedding photos because I cried too many tears of joy, Who wore a baby Bjorn for 2 straight years to show his girls how to be as adventurous as possible, Who held our dear little shakey mann pup for 8 hrs straight on the day we had to put him down, I know how much you loved using. I know how much it got in your way. And I know, because I saw, how hard you worked to live without it. I will forever be in awe of your dedication, and the level of fierce moral inventory you perform on yourself, like an emotional surgery, every single night. You never fail to make amends, or say sorry when its needed. You are always available to guide me, and all of our friends, with open ears and tough love when its needed most. You have become the fertilizer in the garden of our life, encouraging everyone to grow. I’m so proud that you have never been ashamed of your story, but instead shared it widely, with the hope it might inspire someone else to become the best version of themselves. You have certainly inspired me to do so. I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone, and I want you to know, I see you. I see how hard you work. You set an excellent example of being human. Happy 14th year sobriety birthday, @daxshepard. Xoxo

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Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch opened up in her memoir Happy Accidents about her struggles with alcoholism. She has been sober since she was 30 years old. Now at 58, she has spoken about the importance of sobriety to her. The Best in Show actress said in an interview for NBC that her biggest obstacle has always been, in her words, “my own self.”

Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson has been sober for over 25 years. He posted a heartfelt tweet last year marking his quarter century of sobriety. In the tweet, the late-night host called his sobriety a “miracle.”

Marc Maron

Marc Maron struggled with getting clean and staying clean. The podcaster told NPR  about his experience getting sober saying, “It took me like 24, 25 years to get the 16 [years of sobriety] in a row.”  He went on to talk about his low point (which either happened in 1998 or 1999), “ I had surrendered to the idea that I was not going to be a big comic, I was not going to have a TV career. I was doing segments for a regional show in New York on something called the Metro Channel, and I really had resigned myself to failure and to hopelessness.”

Jessica Kirson

Podcaster and standup comedian Jessica Kirson has been sober since her twenties. In an interview with The Fix, she opened up about sobriety in the entertainment business saying,

“I have been sober for many years and sent myself to rehab at age 24. Being sober is really hard in this business. When people’s careers take off, they think they’re OK and don’t have to stay sober.”

Chris Gethard

In 2017, Chris Gethard released his special for HBO Chris Gethard: Career Suicide. The special examines his struggles with suicide, depression, and alcoholism. The comedian has written about his struggles with alcoholism long before the special. He wrote a piece for Vice in 2012 about how and why he stopped drinking in 2002 in his last semester of college. In the article, he recounts a long list of terrible stories of his drinking years.


Steve-O might be most remembered for stunts like snorting wasabi with the Jackass gang. Since then, Steve-O has turned in doing stunts for doing stand-up. Wasabi wasn’t the only thing he was snorting on the set of Jackass. The actor fought multiple addictions including cocaine, alcohol, ketamine, PCP and nitrous oxide. After stays in psychiatric institutions, a brief stint in jail (for protesting against SeaWorld), and an intervention from castmate Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O has been living sober for ten years.

Rob Delaney

Rob Delaney has been sober since he was 25. For his 16th sober birthday, he tweeted about a heartfelt tweet about the drunk driving accident that made him go to rehab.

He elaborated on the story in an interview with the Short List. In it, he says, “I asked the police from my hospital bed if I’d killed anyone. They said no, but when I realized I could kill other people with my drinking, that paradigm shifted. I was cool if I died, but I just wanted to hurt myself, not other people. And I was already hurting people in relationships, and hotel staff whose beds I’d soaked like a sponge with piss. But when I realized I could end people’s lives, I could kill a family in a minivan, I thought, ‘Oh, OK, time to flip the coin. I don’t want to be that.’”

Rosa Escandon

I am a stand up comic and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. When I'm not on stage, I am Comedy Editor for The Tusk, sit on the board of the Cinder Block Comedy Festival, and writing my next project. I am passionate about writing about feminism and comedy as well as how women, LBGTQ people, and minorities are changing the face of comedy and entertainment. You may have seen me on Buzzfeed Video, Seriously.TV, aplus, or maybe just on twitter.

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