AFTER LOSING OVER 200 POUNDS, COMEDIAN JEFF BEACHER LAUNCHES THE NEXT VERSION OF HIS INFAMOUS MADHOUSE
Over the years, Beacher’s Madhouse evolved from a comedy show to a vaudeville revue to the wildest party in Los Angeles, frequented by the likes of Mick Jagger and other celebrities. The remodeled Beacher’s Madhouse at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel reopened in September. Drinks poured by dwarfs, anything- goes performances, audience interaction, goats, and monkeys are the norm. Beacher describes the Madhouse as a party for the people, made by the people. “It’s a haven for self-expression,” says Beacher. His motto? “As long as no one gets hurt, nothing is off limits.” Acts like Tiny Kiss, a three “little person” Kiss cover band backed by a 300-pound female lead singer resulted in the show’s popularity.
To maintain a more balanced lifestyle, Jeff has stepped down as president of Beacher’s Madhouse—turning over the day-to-day operations to Head Little Person Donny Davis. Still, Beacher remains heavily involved, serving as chairman with his main priority focusing inward.
The self-described “reformed douchebag,” Jeff made an
enormous spiritual and physical transformation. Today, he reflects on his journey with a sense of calm and clarity. Growing up on Long Island, Jeff was popular, but, being adopted left him with feelings of abandonment. “It’s something most people don’t understand,” he said. Most of his life he was insecure and, in many ways, his insecurities are what drove his success. The “serial entrepreneur” ran several businesses before diving into the world of comedy and performance art. By the age of 17, he sold t-shirts in high school, worked as a nightclub and concert promoter and ran a lucrative flower company. Now, he is CEO of Beacher Media Group, which focuses on consulting and entertainment relations.
That was enough for Jeff, but not for his mom. She had a different vision. While sick with cancer she asked, “When am I going to see you on TV?” The following week Jeff started to do stand-up comedy. He soon began producing and hosting nightly comedy shows. By summer of 2002, he was selling out shows at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater and the Supper Club on Broadway.
When Jeff’s mom passed, he continued to press on with comedy in LA, and with the encouragement of his friend Jeff Pollack (co-creator, writer, and producer of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air), he took his show to the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for five successful years. And in 2010, he signed a five-year, $25 million deal to open Beacher’s Madhouse at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Although Jeff was enjoying tremendous success, he wasn’t taking care of himself and was severely unhappy. He tried to make himself feel better by overeating, binge drinking and gambling. In Oct. 2014, weighing 400 pounds, Jeff was at an all-time low. “Looking over the balcony and wanting to jump,” he remembers. “I was at critical mass, I wanted to kill myself. Thank God I didn’t.” Luckily, Jeff’s friends staged a “fat intervention.” Jeff credits Britney Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph and Larry’s Fiance and Xcycle CEO Jen Barnett as his biggest influencers during this difficult time. “I needed to make a change or I’d be dead,” he said.
He went to a “vegan camp” and began a journey of getting mentally and spiritually healthy. Beacher lost a remarkable 225 pounds, and later opted for gastric sleeve surgery, which decreased the size of his stomach. As he began to feel more secure in himself, the weight continued to come off. He works every day at self improvement and he suggests that anyone suffering addiction ask for the help they need. “You have to ask for help,” Beacher says. “You cannot do it yourself.” Jeff is grateful for his friends and steady support system. He wouldn’t trade them for any of the material objects he is fortunate enough to enjoy.
Sitting poolside at his estate in Beverly Hills down the block from his idol and buddy Brett Ratner’s and next door to Jay Leno, Jeff appears to be living his best life. Of all the cities he has visited over the course of his career, he says, “There’s nowhere [that] compares to Los Angeles.” From riding with the top down in one of his classic convertibles to riding his bike and running on UCLA’s track to dining at LA’s tastiest restaurants, he loves this city and all it has to offer. Although Jeff is eating much healthier, he can still enjoy a good meal. You can find him dining at Craig’s at least five nights a week, he says.
Through the outrageous shenanigans at the Madhouse and now through speaking openly about his personal triumphs, Jeff continues his work of uplifting and inspiring others. His goal: “I just want to make people happy and healthy.”
KEYS TO IMPROVEMENT:
Jeff says everyone can work to improve their health and lifestyle: “Focus on [the] mind, body and soul, meditation, yoga. You need to be in right mind set.”
“Thousands of celebrities have passed through
the doors. Every one of them is memorable…in a good way. I never had to throw anyone out for bad behavior (laughs). It’s about having the fun. I want my guests to leave feeling like they had the best night ever.”
WRITTEN BY: DAMON GONZALEZ PHOTOGRAPHED BY: JOE MAGNANI & JARED SCHLACHET
*Article originally featured in the November 2016 Issue of LOCALE Magazine. http://localemagazine.com/meet-jeff-beacher-the-man-behind-the-madness/