Before Vh1, or Dr. Drew Presents Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew Starring Dr. Drew, or the new Dr. Drew's House Of Pain (Dr. Drew Pinsky is the Tyler Perry of addiction medicine), drug addicted pseudo-celebrities looking to quit had to get clean without the extra self-exploitation high that a VH1 rehab reality show can give (aka Fameadone). Some went cold turkey; some went to non-televised rehab; and some—well, really just Alec Baldwin—went to the video arcade.
From The NY Post:
Baldwin would end the night at an arcade warehouse playing "Galaga."
"I would play video games from, like, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and I would wind down. Then I'd go home and go to bed," Baldwin writes. "This was the only way I could go 'beta' and go into that state I needed to be, where I could calm down and take my mind off everything. I didn't want to see anybody, talk to anybody, deal with anybody."
A "moment of clarity" came when he saw pity in the face of Julian, the person who ran the parlor.
"I was doing a show then ['Knots Landing'], making tens of thousands of dollars a week, which was part of the problem," he writes. "Julian would put the key in the lock and open the door, and he would just kind of look at me like, 'Wow, I'm glad I'm not you.' "
Baldwin agreed. "You got no idea, Julian. Julian, I need you. I need you to get that key and open the f- - -ing door and let me in. I got to play 'Galaga.' "
Mornings when Julian was late opening the arcade, a wild-eyed Baldwin would roam the streets looking for a hit of Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, Megawars, anything that flashed or beeped or featured crude graphics. He knew he'd hit rock bottom when he was thrown out of a Toys R Us one morning after a store employee found him screaming "Zap! Zap! Take that, spacebugs!" underneath a pile of 20 Lite Brites ripped from their packaging.
Some "moments of clarity" are just better than others, you know? Thankfully, Alec Baldwin has both a job and a future as an actor. If he didn't, Vh1 would already be signing him up to be the next Dr. Drew. By this time next year, he'd be overseeing Celebrity Rehab: Chase The Joystick With Alec Baldwin, and Dr. Drew would (finally) be exiled to Animal Planet to host Loveline For Dogs With Dr. Drew.