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Famous AA Speaker John L.

“I’m Not an Actor, I’m a TV Star! His hilarious share at 20 years sober!"

Through humorous stories of his drinking. John tells us how the unmanageability of his drinking brought him to recovery. He believes anyone with any belief, or non-belief, can get sober if they are willing to show up, go to meetings, and not drink. Although he was known as a druggist, alcohol was his drug of preference.


Warning, we won’t ruin his talk, but the next 4 paragraphs describe detail about the talk and contains a few spoilers!!


John L. admits to not being very anonymous, but since everyone knew he was drunk, they might as well know he’s sober. And although he understands people’s reaction to him being a famous actor, he believes his star status has no place in AA, and he won’t sign your Big Book! During this talk, he tells some great stories involving other public personalities, such as John Candy, Bill, Murray, Bryant Gumbel and Tom Hanks. He has a particularly good story about the movie "Stripes"!


In May of 1981, he checks himself into the alcohol abuse ward of a hospital. Even though he wanted to be the drunkest man in the world, he read the entire book of alcoholics Anonymous, and finally understood he was an Alcoholic, needing recovery. He left the hospital with no intention of ever drinking again, but that only lasted for about 36 hours.


After a night of cocaine and Johnny Walker, he had a moment he can’t quite understand, from his agnostic perspective, and goes home to never drink again. He called someone he remembered from Alcoholics Anonymous, who took him to the famous Yak-aa (pronounced Yak-Ah) meeting in Hollywood California, on February 6, 1982, and he instantaneously became a member of Alcoholics Anonymous!


He wraps up the talk with a sobering story about Johnny who he got sober with, and who founded Cocaine Anonymous in Hollywood, CA. Johnny’s house was always filled with drunks and cocaine addicts, and he is attributed with saving thousands of cocaine addict’s lives. Johnny committed suicide, when couldn’t get past the shame of abusing opiate pain medicine, after having taken the medicine for a legitimate back issue.

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