To the everyday person, there is nothing funny about addiction. But to former addicts Mark Lundholm and Kurtis Matthews, who have experienced everything from jail to rehabilitation to personal misfortunes and heartbreak, it’s worth a good chuckle or two.
Sober now for over two decades, and friends for even longer, Lundholm and Matthews each have firsthand knowledge of the ups and downs of rehabilitation and sobriety. The two of them are traveling nationwide as part of their Addicts Comedy Tour to bring a unique and transparent look at addiction through the lens laughter. Make no mistake though, they do not take the topic lightly. Like any addict, they understand that they too are only one drink or drug away from relapse.
Lundholm and Matthews firmly believe that, 26 years ago, fate brought them together when they found themselves both performing at the same venue. They struck an immediate friendship and decided to take their similar message out to the general public. Since then, they’ve played countless shows as a pair to mostly sold out crowds.
“Regular comedy bored us,” Matthews explains. “Our focus is not on becoming famous, but rather on staying clean and sober.” To do this, Lundholm and Matthews are completely open and unafraid to admit their personal weaknesses on stage. “It’s like a meeting with a microphone and without us being anonymous,” he says. Never veering on the side of heavy-handedness, the comedians simply hope that other addicts recognize themselves in their stories and find some laughter. “The more honest we are, the more fans we gather and the more people recognize themselves in our humor,” Matthews says. “And hopefully it helps them heal.”
Though most of their fanbase are recovering addicts in their 30s, the comedic duo strives to keep their material relatable to any demographic. “Our shows are always evolving and are reflective of different levels and stages of recovery,” says Lundholm. “At the beginning, [individuals] are just trying to hang on, and then they discover what and why [they] are addicted.” And despite their extensive experience, the show is as much for them as it is their audience. “The shows are beneficial for us, too,” Matthews says. “As I look out and see people like us, I feel like I am at home.”
As Lundholm and Matthews continue to travel down the path of recovery, they prefer to refer to themselves as “just two guys in recovery.” However, the Addicts Comedy Tour is doing more than just ordinary work. The inspiration and message audiences receive from attending a show can very well be just the right kind of treatment that they need to get sober or continue in recovery. And that, all joking aside, is enough to get a standing ovation.
The next shows for the Addicts Comedy Tour are as follows and new dates are always being added every month:
Boston, MA - Sunday, March 20, Laughs Boston
Syracuse, NY - Monday, March 21, Syracuse Funny Bone
Albany, NY - Tuesday, March 22, Albany Funny Bone
Hartford, CT – Wednesday, March 23rd, Hartford Funny Bone
For more information and/or tickets, please visit http://www.addictscomedy.com