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Dax Shepard Remembers the Messy Conan O’Brien Interview That Got Him Banned From the Show
An addiction journey is rarely ever a straight line, but there is a power in sharing the moments where that journey curves in a difficult direction. In a new interview on the podcast The Pursuit of Healthiness, Dax Shepard opens up about a moment that he says was “the only career wreckage-y thing” he did. The moment in question is a 2004 interview on Conan, where the actor and comedian is so inebriated that he falls over, barely able to string together a comprehensible sentence.
On the podcast, the 46-year-old actor says that he went through the pre-interview process while “blackout” drunk and was woken up in his hotel room 20 minutes before the taping. “I show up on the show, I don’t know what he’s talking about. I can tell he’s queuing me up for stories I’ve told, but I don’t know any of the stories. So, I’m just doing what I can to be funny out there and I am a mess.” From the moment Shepard appears on the stage, something seems off about him. After falling backward over a chair and breaking a coffee table, the actor meanders through an eight-minute interview. “It was fine for the audience. But for him, what a disaster. I didn’t know any of the stories,” he remembers. “So I was banned from that show for some years, until I got sober and I got myself back on it and now I’ve been on it a bazillion times.”
Shepard explains that the lead up to the show was equally disastrous. While on a trip to Hawaii, the actor got into a car accident on the way to buy cocaine. The cocaine he purchased was crystal meth, which he did anyway. The actor adds that he was so unwell from the trip that he binge drank at the airport just to be able to board the plane.
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“In popular television shows and pop culture, we do have this notion of ‘a bottom,’ but most of the recovering addicts I know, there’s multiple, multiple bottoms,” Shepard says.
In an episode of his own podcast, Armchair Expert, Shepard opened up about relapsing last year and course correcting after using pain killers. Though he was initially apprehensive about coming forward with his relapse, Shepard has become known for his candor when it comes to his addiction journey and the difficulty it entails.
If you are struggling with addiction, the number for the National Helpline for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is 1-800-662-4357. You can find more information here.
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.
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