Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places
AfterPartyPod: Caleb Bacon

TV writer and podcaster Caleb Bacon is not only on the writing staff of Vince Vaughn's TBS show Sullivan & Son and the host of the popular Man School podcast. He's also a journalist, sound expert, former weightlifter, San Fernando Valley resident—and many other things you'll discover when you listen to this episode. Oh! He's also sober seven years, after a drinking career that started when he made his first alcoholic concoction from his parents' liquor cabinet in junior high to his last night out there, which involved Special K, bus stop punching, nudity—and a 12-step call from his boss, NYPD Blue and Deadwood creator David Milch. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss being low-achieving drunks, boozing in England, bottoming out in LA and why Disneyland sucks, among many other topics.

Direct download: Caleb_real_final_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Alonzo Bodden

Comedian Alonzo Bodden is far more than just the winner of the third season of Last Comic Standing. The former aircraft mechanic had no idea he even wanted to pursue comedy until he got sober over two decades ago and met people in recovery who actually loved what they did for a living who all worked in the entertainment industry. (Also, he'd realized through sharing in the program—and also through teaching aircraft mechanics, arguably the least amusing topic in the world—that he was funny.) And so began a career that first started at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, has included appearances on Conan and Leno, acting roles in Scary Movie 4 and Bringing Down The House and hosting duties on 101 Cars You Must Drive and America's Worst Driver. In this episode, he and After Party's Anna David talk about hot women being one of AA's best initial attractions, discovering your dreams in recovery and how he donated his remarkably clean kidney to his brother, among many other topics.

Direct download: Alonzo_pod_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Morgan Walsh

Actress Morgan Walsh may look like the very picture of innocence but it took quite a journey for her to earn her sobriety. Now married to Veep star and UCB founder Matt Walsh and the mother of three, Morgan did the full alcoholic dance--drinking, passing out, smoking pot, doing coke, spending time in a psych ward---before eventually quitting drinking and continuing to smoke pot and then, when she got pregnant with her first baby, quitting it all. Despite all those babies, Morgan has appeared in a succession of shows and movies--including Burning Love, Children's Hospital, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Happy Endings. In this episode, she and AfterParty's Anna David talk about bottoming out, quitting drinking but continuing to smoke pot and going from a single lady in Venice to a married mother of three, among many other topics.

Direct download: Morgan_Walsh_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:32am PDT

AfterPartyPod: John Heffron

Comedian John Heffron may have been introduced to the world at large when he won the second season of Last Comic Standing but he's been in the comedy game since college. Since then, there have been Comedy Central specials, The Tonight Show, Chelsea Lately and numerous VH1 talking head shows, among many other appearances. He's also been Danny Bonaduce's wingman on Detroit's number one radio show, appeared on Courtney Cox's Dirt and done stand up at numerous Fortune 500 companies. But he can also claim a gig that few comics can: an NA convention—an interesting irony because though he's been sober many years, he doesn't continue to go to meetings and disagrees with some 12-step tenets. Though Heffron doesn't recommend the path he's taken to other addicts, he's able to find freedom through a series of brain exercises and philosophies. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss why meetings make him want to drink, temporarily believing a shirt is going to fix things and the assistant we plan to share, among many other things.

Direct download: John_Heffron_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Amos Pizzey

Musician and entrepreneur Amos Pizzey is a one-man powerhouse: the son of women's refuge movement founder Erin Pizzey, Amos ended up joining Culture Club at the age of 14 (!) before then landing his own Virgin Records deal. Over the years, he's worked in various capacities with Madonna, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and George Michael, among many others—in the process becoming perhaps the most fabulous bon vivant in the world. But underneath that drinking, cocaine-using and MDMA-taking persona lurked a man who was desperately seeking the sort of spiritual connection he'd first experienced as a youth. The founder and creative director of Talenthouse—a company which creates content with brand partners such as Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and more—Pizzey is passionate about bringing success as well as enlightenment to the masses. In this episode, he and I discuss quitting drugs while continuing to drink, what part the neocortex and limbic brain play in alcohol and drug use and how to get the entire world to embrace the principles behind the 12 steps, among many other topics.

Direct download: Amos_Pizzy_pod.Nick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Bennett Yellin

The co-writer of Dumb and Dumber, Bennett Yellin is far more than a guy who can make the masses giggle until they burst. The writer of a slew of other comedies, Yellin may have gotten on the map when Dumb and Dumber became a sensation but he was actually bottoming out on crystal meth while his comedic talents were entertaining the masses. It wasn't until he got sober, cleaned up his past and started living life on a pink cloud that he got that career back on track. The long-awaited Dumb and Dumber sequel is coming out this fall, while Yellin enjoys his 12th year of sobriety and anticipates "marching forth" (his sober anniversary is March 4th) next year. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss why it's not a good idea to date your drug dealer, what it's like to be a lazy meth head and being an Orthodox Jewish addict, among many other topics.

Direct download: Bennett_pod_smaller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Mike Carano

Podcaster, photographer and best observational living comedian who's not a comedian Mike Carano has shared his unique personality with the public in myriad ways: through his photographs of comedians, his five-minute YouTube videos, his Loveline After Disaster show and his podcast, Miscellaneous Adventures From The World of Mike Carano—where listeners can hear him talk to them as he runs errands and drives around. Carano has opened up about his battles with booze and anxiety before but in this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David get into the minutia of recovery: how they feel about medication, relapse, swearing, going to Disneyland (as Carano had just gone there with Dr. Drew) and much more.

Direct download: Mike_Carano_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Stefani Wilder-Taylor

Writer, comedian, podcaster, TV host and all-around delight Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is one of the greatest lessons out of there for those who like to booze to the point of unmanageability and don't see any problem with it. The author of Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay andNaptime Is The New Happy Hour was the role model for partying moms everywhere—until she realized drinking was more than a fun pastime for her. Now sober, the author of several more books, the star of Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder-Taylor on Nickelodeon and the co-host of the popular For Crying Out Loud podcast, Wilder-Taylor uses her oh so charming powers of persuasion to show moms (and others) that sobriety is just as cool, if not more so, than being the hip, partying mom. Here, she and AfterParty's Anna David discuss writing books, being outed as an alcoholic by The New York Times, how many times we've each been fired and so much more.

Direct download: Episode_43_Stefani_Wilder_Taylor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Mark Ebner

Author and journalist Mark Ebner puts the F in fearless reporter. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, the guy who took on Scientology has gone on to publish seven books—including the New York Times bestselling Hollywood Interrupted, which he co-wrote with the late Andrew Breitbart. What I didn't know until he told me (during this interview!) is that, after 23 years sober, he made the choice to start smoking pot. This wasn't some sudden brainstorm of course but a decision he came to after a scooter accident left him hooked on painkillers and he used medical marijuana to detox. Though this isn't a common path for anyone who had multiple decades of sobriety (or recommended!), Ebner explains in this interview how he's able to smoke pot non addictively—and I have no reason to doubt him. Not only do he and AfterParty's Anna David unpack that fascinating turn of events here but they also get into Narconon (the Scientology "addiction recovery" program), the ways his sober friends have reacted to his pot smoking, how they only see each other as dueling talking heads on shows like E's Secret Societies of Hollywood (she's in this even though she's not in this teaser) and the hell of writing books for a living.

Direct download: Ebner_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm PDT

AfterPartyPod: Craig Gass

Comedian Craig Gass is known for his ridiculously spot-on celebrity impressions (seriously, his Gene Simmons is so accurate that Gass actually accused Gene Simmons of being the fake on Howard Stern). In addition to numerous Stern appearances, Gass has been on Sex and the City, King of Queens and numerous celebrity roasts. Growing up in all deaf family, Gass honed his skills because he learned to speak from watching TV. Later he became a big time party guy with a penchant for cocaine. Here, he and AfterParty's Anna David talk about those nights Gass turned down ladies at clubs so he could party in back rooms, how good it feels to be sober and paid for your craft and what people who are struggling with addiction can do, among many other topics. Plus: celebrity impressions galore!

Direct download: Episode_43_Craig_Gass.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am PDT