Sarah Silverman and Ellen DeGeneres are two fierce women mentioned in Part 1 of this two-part story pertaining to the sad clown paradox, a connection between comedy and mental illness. Jim Carrey and Wayne Brady are two other prominent comedians who have exposed their truths concerning depression.
“Being a comedian is truly the hardest job in the entertainment industry.”
It’s telling when Hollywood’s best stand-up comedy club, The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, CA has an in-house psychologist. In 2007, there was a rise in premature deaths amongst comedians. The owner of the club, Jamie Masada hired psychologist Ildiko Tabori to assist comedians’ hardships as they embark on their journey to stardom.
Tabori acknowledges the ups and downs comedians face. “Being a comedian is truly the hardest job in the entertainment industry,” Tabori says. “You have a lot of late nights. You have good sets, you have bad sets. It is kind of a lonely existence at times,” said Tabori to the Los Angeles Times.
Jim Carrey and Wayne Brady Struggle with Depression
Jim Carrey, comedian and once the highest paid actor, shares that he was prescribed Prozac, an antidepressant to cope with his illness. Carrey endured the pressures of Hollywood for some time. Nonetheless, he has come to terms that his career cannot affect his overall health. “I’m free of the business. I’m not the business… All I want is for people to think of me as a good energy here, a nice fragrance that has been left behind,” he told Thei.
He no longer takes Prozac nor drinks or eats anything that might alter his mood, for example coffee or alcohol. He proclaims he no longer battles with depression. “I had that for years, but now, when the rain comes, it rains, but it doesn’t stay. It doesn’t stay long enough to immerse me and drown me anymore,” he told Thei.
Another star Wayne Brady, host of Let’s Make A Deal, battles with depression. He brings light to his own dilemma after seeking treatment. He discovered that by withholding his depression it only increased his undergoing pain. He chose to come forth about his illness in an appearance with Entertainment Tonight.
Brady believes that in Hollywood a celebrity who goes to rehab for drug-use and addiction attains less criticism than a celebrity battling mental illness. “If someone says, ‘I’m clinically depressed,’ that sounds like someone’s making something up. It’s like, ‘Psst, you’re not depressed,'” he told Entertainment Tonight.
Brady and his wife divorced in 2016; however, he did not seek help until after he underwent a distressing incident. “I was there by myself, in my bedroom, and had a complete breakdown,” Brady said. “When I say breakdown, go ahead and imagine for yourself. Just a brother in his underwear, in his room crying. On that birthday was the beginning of ‘OK, I’ve got to make a change.”
Brady recognizes that he has a greater appreciation for his life after seeking help. “I’m very blessed to have a great job and family. I can now appreciate all of it much more. I love being able to bring those laughs to other (people) daily and laughing for real myself,” Brady told ET.
To contact the writer, email Leslie Rivera at [email protected]