mickey, me, and depression

Last week, Baltimore comedian and radio personality Mickey Cucchiella announced that he was leaving the 98 Rock Morning Show after several years of co-hosting.  My wife and I are big fans of him, having listened to the Morning Show for years, and we were saddened to hear that he was leaving.  Here’s a video farewell from him:



My wife Joni and I have been fortunate enough to twice see Mickey perform stand-up.  The first time was a few years ago at a comedy fundraiser for firefighters and emergency responders on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  He was scheduled to perform at Chesapeake College, not far from where I live, but quite a trip from Mickey’s home in the Baltimore area.  It was a Sunday night and there was terrible winter weather, and because of that, maybe 30 people showed up.  Nevertheless, he did a full show, even powering through when some asswipe tried to heckle him.  Mickey was enthused, friendly, and funny, a true professional.


The second time was last December at Magooby’s Joke House in Timonium, MD.  It was near my wife’s birthday, and Mickey was the headlining comic.  He was on FIRE.  It was one of the funniest performances I have ever seen, and the audience was ampped.  He was having such a good time that he stayed onstage, performing and interacting with the crowd, for about an additional hour after he was supposed to finish.  And this was on a weeknight, when we all knew he had to be back up in a few short hours to do the radio show. 


Afterwards, he stayed to do autographs and take pictures, including the one below with my wife.  A really great guy, very personable, EXTREMELY funny.



As he mentioned in the video, one of the factors leading to his resignation was depression.  I don’t know Mickey, and everyone’s situation is different, but I feel like I can relate to what he’s going through, because I’ve suffered from depression for big chunks of my life, for various reasons. 


People who don’t deal with it don’t really understand what it’s like, and I’ve often had difficulty telling them about it.  Perhaps the best explanation I’ve ever read has been this excellent piece (warning: profanity).


Image by Allie Brosh


For me, therapy and medication helped, and most of the time, I’m okay.  But sometimes it comes back and I have to wade my way through it.  Recognizing what it is when it hits is a big help.  Before the therapy and the meds, back when I was in my teens and twenties, I had no clue what was going on, and I often felt like I was a chew toy being dragged around the yard by a very large dog. 


At the risk of sounding like a gushing fanboy, I hope Mickey works through what’s going on with him and continues to enjoy success.  If you ever get a chance to catch him performing stand-up, drop everything and go see him.  His comedy is edgy (he’s not afraid to discuss ANYTHING), profane, sometimes raunchy, but always honest. 


As for me–on days when I’m down, I try to remember this final drawing from the link I gave you:



Image by Allie Brosh



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