Wayne Brady, famed comedian, actor and singer, opened up about his personal struggles with depression during a recent interview. Brady joins a list of comedians who match the expression, “the funniest guy in the room also tends to be the saddest.” The singer said he suffered a lengthy battle and finally hit rock bottom on his 42nd birthday.
Wayne Alphonso Brady is known for his work as a comedian and television personality. He has been seen on many comedy shows and was a regular on the television series Whose Line Is It Anyway? as well as host of The Wayne Brady Show and Don’t Forget the Lyrics! Brady is also known for his melodic vocals and has released two albums, A Long Time Coming and Radio Wayne.
In addition to television and his own recordings, Brady wrote and sang the theme song for The Weekenders, one of Disney ‘s animated series. Brady also sang and recorded the original Disney song by Jim Brickman titled Beautiful from All-4-One’s hit Beautiful As You and its Christmas version.
Although his on-stage persona sent a different message, the comedian said his condition worsened as his negative mindset quickly morphed into a vicious cycle. When describing his downhill battle with depression the singer said:
Having a bad day is one thing, having a bad week is another, having a bad life … You don’t want to move, you can’t move in the darkness. You’re like, ‘I am just going to sit right here and want to wallow in this. As much as it hurts, I am going to sit right here because this is what I deserve. This is what I deserve, so I am going to sit here because I am that horrible of a person.’
Brady said the tragic death of fellow comedian Robin Williams hit him hard. He knew Williams personally and said Hollywood has a double standard when it comes to depression. He added:
Nobody wants to out themselves so to speak, or if they out themselves it is done in a very, I hate to say it, Hollywood way. For some people it is actually cool to go into rehab, but if someone says, ‘I am clinically depressed, it sounds like someone is making something up. It is like, ‘psst, you’re not depressed.’
The Back in the Day singer understands what Williams dealt with and was devastated that his longtime struggle with depression ended in suicide. Brady said he was blessed to have worked with Williams, “when he was on stage no one could touch him.” Williams made so many people feel great all while dealing with the pain of his ongoing struggle. Brady said:
..Knowing that he had this sense of … what I make up in my mind, this low sense of self-worth, of not belonging, of loneliness, of pain that all the money in the world can’t cure, all the accolades and awards, and all the love from people all over the world … all that love could still not stop that man from saying, I am in so much pain.’
Brady said depression for him started with a cycle of lies which became his truth after repeatedly rehearsing them. Ultimately, he began to stick to the truth he created for himself and started asking the question, “If I am this bad, why should any of this matter?”
Last June the comedian hit rock bottom and had a complete breakdown. It was his 42nd birthday, Brady was sitting in his bedroom alone crying profusely. He just wanted the pain to stop and decided that was it; he had to make a change. The singer said it took a while to get his stuff together, but the death of Williams served as another wake-up call.
The comedian said to himself, “If you are not happy, you have to do something about it.” Brady recognizes acknowledging that he felt dark and unhappy was a huge step in his decision to do something about his mental state. Wayne Brady openly admits he has been in a secret war with depression for years. The Emmy award–winner is happy to announce after a lengthy battle he is now on the road to recovery.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)