Comedian Sarge is less a comedian who talks about his recovery and more a recovering addict who incorporates his comedic gifts into the work that he does. While he started off working the comedy circuit in LA and still does plenty of comedy gigs, Sarge’s main career path these days is leading groups at treatment centers, doing what’s known in the recovery world as in-the-trenches work. The Sarge story, in short, is this: Florida-born and dwelling, he was adopted by Jewish parents and raised on Long Island where, as a mixed race youth, he suffered from plenty of identity confusion. Drugs and alcohol helped him to handle these feelings and all that led where addiction can lead—to homelessness, hanging out under the Manhattan Bridge and feeling hopeless.
Now sober 24 years, Sarge is also—on a personal note—the first person who made me howl with laughter in sobriety; when I was brand spanking new in recovery, he was the man of the hour at meetings where his shares, as they say in the comedy biz, always killed. In this episode, we talk about smoking angel dust, realizing that chasing stardom is an empty goal and realizing our ultimate purpose, among many other topics.