Jackie Martling may be best known for his longtime stint as head writer on The Howard Stern Show. The well-versed comedian has enjoyed his hand at singing, songwriting and last year his autobiography Bow To Stern was released exposing Marling’s journey working on the shock jock’s legendary radio program.
At first Martling declined the interview. After all he is a busy man, then he quickly came around and graciously shared his story because after all.The best way to give back is to pay it forward.
Soberocity: What made you decide to get sober?
Martling: I knew for decades at some point I needed to stop. Completely. Slowing down just doesn’t work for me.
I wrote a song about quitting drinking way back in 1971, (Three Days Rest) so the concept of getting sober had been on the table for quite a while.
I stopped drinking for about a year in the early ’90s.. but then I figured I was past it, had a few beers, and it crawwlleedd back into my life.
Funny, I drank Jack Daniels & Budweiser in the ’70s, Budweiser in the ’80s, lite beer in the ’90s.. so in the recesses of my soggy mind I think I may have figured I was tapering off …
Fifteen years as head writer on The Howard Stern Show, getting up at 4:30am five daye a week, probably saved my life.
When I left the show in March 2001, I had way too much free time, and soon realized I didn’t want to spend every day waiting for 5 o’clock .. so I altered my life it so it’d never be 5 o’clock.
Soberocity: How did it better your life?
Martling: Better? Seriously, it of course changed my life (and my dinner bills) .. but not as much as you’d think, as my family all are drinkers as are most of my friends. I didn’t change any of my social patterns. Most don’t drink as much as I did. I was a fun drunk, never angry or mean, my nephew says I’m still the same guy, just toned down a bit.
I have no problem being around booze. When people start to repeat themselves or drool excessively, I leave. And at that point they have no idea I left.
Soberocity: What advice would you give people trying to get sober?
Martling: My advice is so silly but it’s the best advice there is: Stop drinking. Totally. People spend billions on diets and weight loss. Want to lose weight? Eat less, you moron.
Want to get sober? Quit drinking. Important: if you slip up, get right back up and stop again.
Back in 2001, I quit, but after a week I got drunk one night due to peer pressure .. and then realized I was doing this for me and the hell with anybody else and that was that. I haven’t had a sip for over 17 years.
This is a big deal (or at least it was to me) You’ll be glad to know that there’s no pressure on you when you go out. I was thinking, “I can’t go to a bar, or a party they’ll point and say, ‘He’s an imposter! He’s not drinking!’
Nobody gives a wink whether or not you’re drinking, parties, bars. Get a seltzer, put in a lime and a straw, and you’re off to the races.
Again, most people don’t even drink that much. And you steer a bit clear of the ones who do.
As dumb as it may sound, that was such a relief when I realized I didn’t have to stay in my house to not drink.
Soberocity: Was there any moment that made you especially grateful for your sobriety?
Martling: When I got asked to do this interview. The truth?
For all this time, I’m grateful every time I proudly say, “I haven’t had a drink in however many years.”
Soberocity: What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Martling: I’m sure the tales of my wilder days will always ride with me, but that’s fine. They were great. I just want to be remembered as a nice guy, a generous guy, a good family member, for being funny.
And for being the first person to live to 200 years old.
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