The truth about Tim Dillon
Tim Dillon is an American comedian who currently hosts his podcast, The Tim Dillon Show. He burst onto the public limelight after emerging victorious at Carolines NY Comedy Festival in 2016. A year later, he appeared in Rolling Stone’s top 10 list of comedians people need to know about.
Dillon rising popularity earned him two half-hour Comedy Central specials and a Netflix quarter-hour special. He also performed at the Glasgow Comedy Festival and the Oddball Comedy Festival.
This piece will look at Tim Dillon’s personal life. It will look at his sexuality and struggle with drugs, his life before comedy, and his approach to comedy.
His experience on jury duty during a murder trial inspired him to come out of the closet and quit drugs
Tim Dillon’s had a pretty chaotic life growing up. He was raised by a schizophrenic mom, had a rapidly shifting political stance, was a closeted homosexual, and he idolized the ‘wrong’ people: hucksters, thieves, cons, and cheats. At the age of 12, he started experimenting with drugs.
His mother’s condition deteriorated during his teens, and when he was 20, his mom had a mental breakdown. She started spending time in and out of mental hospitals, and Tim did as much as he could to take care of her. However, he gradually came to terms with the fact that nothing – even a million dollars – could fix his mom. Tim told Chris Gethard:
“That’s the amazing thing about mental illness. If I had a million dollars, and I had a home, and I could move her in and pay all her bills, she wouldn’t be better.”
Dillon continued to experiment with drugs in his early to mid-20s until his experience on jury duty during a murder trial helped him put his life into perspective. He describes the murder trial as sort of a retreat that helped him put himself together. The court conversations about life and death made him realize that he was going to die one day, and he didn’t want to die with regrets. He talked to Moontower Comedy News about the changes he made:
“One of them was quitting drinking, one of them was starting standup comedy, and one was coming out of the closet. I had been in the closet until 25, which was very late in today’s standards. By those standards, 2010, it was late. So those were three things I did, and all within like a two to three month radius.”
Tim is proud of his gay sexuality, and he isn’t opposed to the idea of love, but he opines that love leads people to make bad decisions, such as marrying someone with whom they have no shared values. He feels like love fades, and so, he wouldn’t rush into a commitment with someone merely because he is in love. He told Vulture:
“I think if I found live it would harm the person I found it with… That feeling of love will fade, I think. That in itself is interesting. It really speaks to the idea that you need a partner more than a husband or wife.”
Tim feels like his job as a tour bus guide in New York prepared him for a grueling career in comedy
Tim was a talkative child, and in sixth grade, he decided to put his talent to good use by signing up for theatre. He traveled around the country with the show, Annie Get Your Gun. Performing every night at different theatres was fun, but it was also mentally exhausting. He’d signed up thinking that he was going to be a movie star, but the reality was different. “So I kind of was a disillusioned, cynical, bitter, resentful, 11-year-old. So that’s interesting,” he told Moontower Comedy News.
In his twenties, he got a job in an industry that he thought would suit his talkative nature: real estate. He worked as a salesperson, but he was not very good at it. He told Vulture that he failed at being a real estate salesman because he couldn’t stop talking:
“I would try to sell somebody something and my boss would just go, ‘Dude, shut up.’ I do it in general meetings where the manager’s like, ‘Just stop talking.’ I’ll be like, ‘Well, you don’t like that idea.’ They’re like, ‘We do like that idea.’ I’m like, ‘No, no, no, but listen.’ I just keep going.”
Tim also made a poor financial choice by acquiring a house that was way above what he could afford. After the subprime mortgage crisis hit, he lost his job, and the bank foreclosed on his home. The loss of his salesperson job forced him to pursue other jobs, one of which included a job as a tour-bus guide in New York.
In his tour-guide job, he encountered people from all around the world with different needs, questions, and temperaments. Tim found that the one language that worked all the time and that everybody understood was humor. He told Vulture:
“I think that helps, and that was good, because I was in a situation where I had to think on my feet, I had to improve. Some people were angry. It’s a hellish job, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, the bus isn’t on time, these people miss whatever stop, they’re supposed to get off at Empire and they miss it. They’re angry, and sometimes you have to diffuse those situations with humor.”
Some of Tim’s jokes have been considered controversial but he insists that he only wants to make people laugh
Tim has courted controversy with his approach to comedy, especially with his tendency to take an opposite stance to what people are complaining about. He has also been criticized for appearing to idolize and praise the rich and famous. However, Tim feels that the price of being funny is taking a risk that people may not agree with what he is saying. He told Vulture:
“People want to be comfortable, they want to be liked, they want to be important. I think that causes people to, in many cases, just try to embrace this community aspect. To that end, you see a lot of people not taking risks, not being funny. I think funny comes from the willingness to be unpopular, or to fail… to make the joke that is not what everyone is thinking.”
Politically, Dillon leans on the Conservative side, and sometimes, politics comes out in his acts. However, he affirms that his comedy is apolitical. Tim, though controversial, insists that he only wants to make people laugh. He told Paste Magazine:
“I do not have a political act. But I do mention things that are going on, and talk to the audience, especially about where I am. My sensibility has never been political… I do not limit what comedy is. But, whatever you do in comedy, whether it is about being weird or about informing people or whatever: comedy should be in the spirit of making people laugh.”