"Happy life, happy wife" comedian Jeff Allen shares story of escaping from addiction – CBS Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS — The comedian who famously coined the phrase “happy life, happy wife” is coming back to the Twin Cities. 
Jeff Allen’s clean humor is focused on marriage and family, but he’s also sharing how he once battled alcohol and cocaine addiction and how he got his biggest break in the business thanks to the internet.
Allen is also no stranger to Minnesota.
“I did a movie there last year. I was on location in Elk River for two weeks. When my wife came up to visit for a couple of days, she goes, ‘Wow, we could live here.’ I said, ‘Yeah, until November,'” laughed Allen.
The 67-year-old has been in comedy for over 40 years but is enjoying newfound fame thanks to Dry Bar, a clean stand-up social media phenomenon.
Every morning, I’d get up and my wife would go, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s up 10 more million views. People were sharing it and it changed my life,” explained Allen.
Allen is also sharing his biggest transformation, from a life of addiction to alcohol and drugs. He details it in his new book, “Are We There Yet?” He says recovery is like that question kids ask from the backseat. It starts without a destination in mind.
“I was a child. I just said, ‘Tell me what I need to do.’ They said, ‘Pray.’ And I said, ‘To what?’ I didn’t believe in God. I did those prayers. I did the serenity prayer. I did the third step prayer not even knowing who or what I was praying to,” said Allen.
Allen explains why after 36 years of sobriety, he wrote the book detailing how he found a relationship with God.
“It started me on the path to does God exist, and if he does, what does it look like? For me, it was through self-help. It was through new age Buddhism. I mean, I exhausted a lot of different things until I met a man who put the Bible in my hands. It’s 37 years later. I was 30 to 38 when we went through what we went through, my wife and I. And I thought it would be a good time to reach out to the millennial population who have now gone through college. They’ve gotten the jobs. They’ve gotten what they thought in life would bring them to some point of meaning. And they’re sitting there going, ‘Is this it? Is this the rest of my life?’ It’s exactly the questions I had asked and answered,” explained Allen.
Allen is performing this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Celebration Church in Lakeville. The first part of the show is standup, followed by a conversation about the book and his message of redemption.
“Most churches that I work, they just want their congregation to laugh. There are such healing benefits to that,” said Allen.
“Are We There Yet? My Journey from Messed Up to A Meaningful Life” is available everywhere books are sold. You can find out more about both at JeffAllenComedy.com.
Derek James anchors Saturday and Sunday evening newscasts and contributes stories during the week on “The 4.”
First published on November 13, 2023 / 4:30 PM CST
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