Mental Health and Humor During COVID-19 Episode 175, March 19, 2020
Speaker, Writer, Comedian, Mental Illness Stigma Fighter, and someone at the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, Frank King, joins us for a very timely show. Frank discusses his adventures in the spotlight, being funny, being suicidal, and much more.
“I am the most positive suicidal person you will ever meet.” ~ Frank King
A lifetime ago, AKA January 2020, Frank King reached out to me about appearing on Real Men Feel to talk about his role as the Mental Health Comedian. I said great, let’s do it! He had a brief cruise gig as the ship’s comedian in early February, and we decided to connect once he got back home. Well, a whole lot of shit went down on and since that cruise, and we finally were able to talk today.
Frank was a writer for the Tonight Show for 20 years, and he holds the record for the longest non-stop comedy club road trip ever – 2,629 nights in a row. Along the way, he worked with Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, Adam Sandler, Dennis Miller, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnel, Kevin Nealon, Bill Engval, Dr. Ken Joeng, Rita Sirleaf and Kevin James among others.
TRIGGER WARNING: There is open talk about suicidal thoughts and attempts in this episode.
If you are contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741. Outside of the US, get more numbers here.
Frank candidly shares his globe-trotting adventures in February and turmoil he found himself in once getting back home. He also opens up about his history of depression and suicidal thoughts, stigma, options, masturbation, and secrets, all with a great sense of humor. In addition, we discuss ways people with mental health challenges can take care of themselves during this time of significant changes to daily life and potential isolation.
Topics and Questions Include:
- (1:01) Could you run us through your recent cruise ship adventure on the Westerdam?
- (6:23) Speaking to the media: When the real trouble began.
- (7:31) How are you feeling today?
- (8:34) The stigma against Americans returning home from Asia.
- (8:59) Have there been repercussions on your career?
- (10:46) Frank finally gets introduced.
- (12:38) Exploring suicidal thoughts.
- (14:49) How Frank got started in comedy.
- (15:30) What came first in your life, being funny or being suicidal?
- (16:24) The evolutionary advantages of mental illness.
- (20:05) Mental health and orgasm.
- (22:09) Have you always been so open about your mental health challenges?
- (29:26) Men’s mental health compared to a car.
- (36:19) Any tips for people who may already have mental health challenges during this chaotic and potentially lonely time?
- (45:19) Everyone is going through this.
- (46:46) Depressive realism.
- (52:48) Can you share a habit, practice, program, or book that has helped you?
- (1:03:44) Where can people find you?
“I realized I was gonna kill myself if something didn’t change. So I quit my job, got a divorce, and tried comedy.” ~ Frank King
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