Dysfunctional comedy deals with addiction and recovery

Nov 14, 2013

Mark Lundholm
Credit Dan Dion, marklundholm.com

Mark Lundholm brings his “Night of Dysfunctional Comedy” to Kalamazoo next week. 

Lundholm will perform Wednesday night at 7:30 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University. His performance is part of the Coming Together program sponsored by the Community Healing Centers of Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo County Drug Treatment Court Foundation and Western Michigan University’s Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Tickets are $20, $10 for students and veterans. For more information call 269-343-1651. Seating is general admission. Tickets will also be on sale at the door. 

Addiction is a subject Lundholm knows well. Lundholm says he was distractible as a kid, but the term ADD wasn’t used back then. He says ADD stood for “all different dads” in a dysfunctional family, where he grew up the oldest of five children. Ludholm says at the age of 55 says he still struggles with addiction in some ways. But Lundholm says he’s been sober for 25 years.

“The ultimate kind of bottom for me was living on the streets of Oakland, California in the 80’s. I was suicidal and about 120 pounds and long hair and foul mouthed. Sometimes I miss the long hair now”

Lundholm now sports a shaved head, but says he still has a lot going on under his scalp. Lundholm says the addictions now are other things, such as a heavy workload and relying too much on caffeine. Lundholm says he tries to make his show a bridge between people who struggle with addiction and what he calls “normal people."

“Most people aren’t addicted to anything, they’re not. Most people they do things that are foreign to me like they show up on time because they said they would. Or they tell the truth without any witnesses or some kind of police statement. They don’t identify personally with every episode of Cops, when they watch it. They don’t talk to the screen and say ‘run my brother’”

Lundholm says he tries to deal with the serious problems associated with addiction in a humorous way. He says there are very few taboos. But Lunholm says honesty should come with compassion. 

"There is a boundary I have when it comes to the collateral damage of addiction. Abandonment, or abuse of kids, drunk driving. There are certain things that have cost people their lives. And without being a soapbox minister type, preach, reach or teach voice, I can approach those subjects on the periphery in a humorous way”

Lunholm says while there is an important message with his show, he says the first job is to make sure that people laugh. 

"My motive for the show, coming into Kalamazoo is entertainment primarily. Information or access to help secondarily, and third trying to be an honorable spokesperson because they’ve given me the platform of their attention”

You can hear mor from comedian Mark Lundholm on the next WestSouthwest Wednesday morning at 9:20.