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STAND-UP RUNDOWN: Mental Health Comedy

Gary Gulman's recently released book details how he overcame the mental health issues that encumber so many comedians.

by Chuck king

Gary Gulman is turning anxiety into gold – and may be helping many others along the way.

Gulman’s new book, “Misfits,” saw its national release earlier this week to positive reviews. In “Misfits” Gulman details his life both in and outside of comedy, including his battles with mental health issues.

Such issues are surprisingly common among comedians. The lead story in today’s Stand-Up Spotlight is a Q&A with Gulman, Maria Bamford and Aparna Nancherla about their mental health struggles.

There’s also a story on Gulman’s issues in particular – one that’s documented in his book.

The Spotlight sends comedy fans into the weekend with a look at new streamable specials from Kountry Wayne and Sam Jay.

Use the funny to keep the mind healthy this weekend.

STAND-UP SPOTLIGHT – September 22, 2023

At Least There Isn’t Crowdwork With a Book

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:There has long been a stigma around openly discussing mental illness, but that has started to shift over the past decade, partly thanks to the work of Maria Bamford, Gary Gulman, and Aparna Nancherla, three stand-up comedians whose work has frequently explored their struggles with anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues. This month, all three released personal memoirs and essay collections that expand upon and dig deeper into this area. The comedians recently got on a Zoom call for a roundtable interview to talk about writing books, being funny on the page versus the stage, if it’s time to bring a little stigma back to the topic of mental health, and more.

Comedian Gary Gulman Reveals the Time He Hit Rock Bottom

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:Some people skip the intro. I don’t trust them. It makes me wonder where else they cut corners, where else they’re phoning it in, what other flimflammery they’re perpetrating. If you didn’t read the intro, you didn’t honestly finish the book. Saying you read a book but didn’t read the intro is like saying you shoveled my driveway, but you left two feet of snow on the walkway. Or saying you took me out to dinner but let me leave the tip. I’ve been reading intros, forewords, and preambles since before I knew how to pronounce preface. You should always read the intro.


Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Kountry Wayne: A Woman’s Prayer’ On Netflix, A Viral Comedy Star Is Ready For His Global Close-Up

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:DeWayne Colley broke out first on social media in 2014 posting funny situational bits on Facebook and YouTube. By 2021, going by Kountry Wayne, he’d earned himself a slot on Variety’s “10 Comics To Watch” list based off of performances on MTV’s Wild ‘N Out with Nick Cannon and a starring role in the 2021 BET film, Holiday Heartbreak. Since then, he has co-hosted a clip show with Kym Whitley on BET+, I Love Us, and starred in a movie, Strange Love. And he has been touring theaters performing stand-up and releasing his first book (both titled “Help Is On The Way”). He’s got 3.5 million Instagram followers, too. In all, he said in a new Barstool Sports podcast that he brings in between $600,000-$700,000 per month!

Sam Jay: Salute Me or Shoot Me on HBO: Release date, air time, trailer, and more details

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:On September 23, 2023, Sam Jay, a writer and comedian popularly known for her work on Saturday Night Live, will air her debut stand-up special, Sam Jay: Salute Me or Shoot Me, on HBO Max. The comedy special offers an unvarnished and unfiltered look at Jay’s life and career. It is set to premiere on the streaming platform at 10 pm ET.


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