“Groomed” trailer: Andy Andrist confronts the man who sexually abused him as a boy

Stand-up comedian Andy Andrist recently tracked down the man who sexually abused Andrist when he was a boy, traveled to Florida and confronted him in person.

With Doug Stanhope (and a police officer?) standing by, Andrist sat down with this man who had molested him and wanted answers. Or at least have this man answer for his crimes. Video from this new sit-down appeared online last night as a preview of a full documentary about Andrist, Groomed.

As Andrist himself explained:

I was molested by a handicapped guy when I was a kid. I didn’t know if I was gay or just really helpful. It’s a line from my comedy act and it’s true. That’s the one reason I still consider myself a comedian trying to find some light in the darkest places.

Shocking to some, upsetting to others, but not dishonest. If you faced the humiliation of child sexual abuse, I’m sure your stories are different from mine; raped, groomed, corrupted, compromised, lied to, drugged, twisted and scarred in every meaningful way. Trust gained, spirits broken. You go home, but you’re not there anymore. Everything looks the same but everything feels different, you are a stranger in your own life. Lies kept. Secrets buried. A head full of chaos, like a clothes dryer full of rocks. Forever altered, a path interrupted, thoughts crowding thoughts, fear and anger spring from the forgotten well and steal days and years and lives. Yes, it’s personal.

A man gains the trust of a boy’s family, and then steals from all of them in ways that can never be discussed, or forgiven. A man has a video taping business and uses a boy as a “helper.” When the camera is pointing at the stripped boy, who is helping whom? Is that why the boy gets money, gifts, and promises? To dull the teeth on the bear trap? What do those images do for that man? I know what those images cost that boy. After 30 years I had to remove the rocks from the dryer because I literally couldn’t live like that anymore. The chaos erodes, and the tunnel gets darker and deeper until it ends, or you find some light. Maybe by confronting the source of the darkness, you can catch a glimpse of light. Now the boy turns the camera on the monster in the darkness, and reveals that there is no monster at all, but instead a sad man, and the light feels warm. This is a short clip of a bigger story.

Roll the clip.

Related: Andrist was using this as his opener for years, including this appearance for HBO’s Down and Dirty with Jim Norton in 2008, which didn’t make it to broadcast. None of it did. No wonder Andrist toured with Stanhope as part of the “Unbookables.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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