Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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Comedians find the humor in addiction


At 5 years old, Mark Lundholm learned that laughter and comedy could mask the hurt.

“Funny, from the beginning, was purposeful,” he said. “It may have been a false shield, but at some point the shield becomes shelter when you start using it well.”


Mark Lundholm and Kurtis Matthews will bring their show ‘The Addicts’ to the Funny Bone in Perrysburg.


Lundholm and his friend and fellow comedian, Kurtis Matthews, will flex their funny muscles, bringing their show The Addicts to the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg, today.

The show is based off the experiences of both comedians who are also recovering addicts, a topic that's only funny now after decades of sobriety.

“Shakespeare said ‘Comedy is tragedy plus time.’ He's a better writer than me, but I do OK. Nothing in life is truly funny unless it hurt first. Nothing,” Lundholm said during a phone chat Tuesday. “That being said, when the hurt fades, the funny appears. You can’t make fun of something while it’s still hurting.”

Lundholm, who has been sober for 28 years, started drinking alcohol at 5 years old, he said.

“It put out the flame of shame of an abused kid,” he said. He said he started to drink to escape from a violent, dysfunctional family.

He became addicted to sugar and television, which were just distractions from the things he endured as a child. In his teens, he began using methamphetamine, and, in his 20s, heroin. He sold and used cocaine in the 1980s.

“Cocaine was easy to sell in the ’80s. It supported my other habits,” he said. “It was like a party favor in the early ’80s, it was everywhere. You could just pull out a bag and drop it on the bar. By ’82 you had to hide it in the bathroom.”

In the drug haze, Lundholm lost himself and everything he cared about before he decided to get sober.

He used comedy to stay clean.

Early in their careers, Lundholm and Matthews — who has been sober for 32 years — met on the road at a show.

“We started working together because it was fun, a little less threatening than working with someone who was a wild hare and drinking all day and partying all night,” Lundholm said. “The comedy was more important for us than chemicals.”

Lundholm said today’s show is the first time he’s performed in Toledo.

“It’s my first time, and I’m really excited,” he said. “Please don’t screw it up for me.”

Lundholm also said he’s a San Francisco fan and is cheering for the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series.

“Only co-dependants cheer for the Cubs,” he said. “Oh, they haven’t won in 100 years? So what? That’s their fault. I really want to see the Cleveland Native Americans win. ... I was rooting for them this year because I’ve been going to Cleveland forever, and it means a lot.”

The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20 available at

Contact Taylor Dungjen at, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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