PEI

Mike MacDonald on finding the funny in addiction and mental health

When comedian Mike MacDonald takes the stage, he doesn't shy away from topics that usually aren't considered funny.

Comedia Mike MacDonald is in Charlottetown this weekend to perform at a CMHA fundraiser

Comedian Mike MacDonald will perform in Charlottetown for the CMHA Spring Reception. (Facebook)

When comedian Mike MacDonald takes the stage, he doesn't shy away from topics that usually aren't considered funny.

He's had his "share of maladies," as he puts it — addiction, Hepatitis C, a liver transplant and he's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Anyone who wouldn't hire me because of me being bipolar is probably the kind of person I don't want to work for anyways .— Comedian Mike MacDonald

"What keeps me going is the jokes that I do make about serious subjects — when I get people coming up to me afterwards," he told Mainstreet P.E.I. host Karen Mair.

"One guy said, 'I was going to commit suicide, but my friends dragged me to your show, and after laughing at the subject I don't want to do it anymore.'"

His jokes come from his own experience and recovery, but said he leaves out the sugar-coating.

"What bothers me about the mental health thing is the people who say stuff like, 'It'll get better, don't worry.' My attitude is I can take you to graveyard and show you a bunch of people that it didn't get better for, but what I advocate is it can get better and I'm living proof of that," he said.

MacDonald is in Charlottetown on Saturday to perform at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), P.E.I. Division's Spring Reception — alongside P.E.I.'s own Kelley Mooney. The event is a fundraiser for the CMHA.

MacDonald said he feels it's important to support mental health advocacy — and he isn't afraid to associate himself with the cause.

"My attitude has always been you play the card you've been dealt with," he said.

"Even though my agents and managers and stuff told me not to go public at the time about the bipolar thing, my attitude is anyone who wouldn't hire me because of me being bipolar is probably the kind of person I don't want to work for anyways."

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.

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