If It Wasn’t for Sobriety, This ‘Workaholics’ Writer Says He Might Be Dead

Paul Kita
·2 min read

SEAN CLEMENTS, 39, co-hosts the comedy podcast Hollywood Handbook. He's appeared in some of your favorite shows—Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parks and Recreation— and written for Workaholics and the upcoming AMC series Kevin Can Fuck Himself, achievements he credits to getting serious about 12-step meetings for drugs and alcohol.

MH: If your addiction and recovery journey was a Netflix synopsis, how would it read?

SC: “Loser kid stops fucking up long enough to pursue his actual dreams.” I got sober kind of young, at 23; I was afraid I would lose my creative edge. First of all, I don’t think that happened and, secondly, to what end was I maintaining my edge? It’s like falling to the bottom of a well and saying, ‘Oh no, I’m going to lose my tan.’ You’re dying, dude.

MH: How do you reconcile the earnestness of sobriety/recovery with your inner snark?

It is really easy to be too unique or too smart for 12-step programs. And I was afraid, well, this just isn’t going to be fun. What I found was that you can experience a lot more of life if you’re not constantly sneering at everything. I associated having fun and being funny with only coming at everything from a superior perspective. That was really limiting.

MH: Are you funnier because of recovery?

I think I was funny before, but to no effect. I couldn’t finish anything. I would talk about all this stuff I’d want to do, but I was so singularly focused on my primary goal of getting high and not feeling my feelings. I wasn’t getting my jokes off the couch. I didn’t have an audience.

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

MH: So life is funny and fun all the time now?

That's extreme, but somehow I'm not only alive, I'm doing something I love and it's also making other people happy. The reality is that it can become like any job where some days your coworker is driving you nuts. Then I try to remember gratitude: I should be dead. What right do I have to be annoyed about the guy who just borrowed my pen without asking?

You Might Also Like