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Brian Dunkleman Talks Suicidal Thoughts After Leaving ‘Idol’ in New Documentary

Catherine DiMeglio

Catherine DiMeglio

Brian DunklemanJason LaVeris/FilmMagic

American Idol super fans know that the show’s inaugural season featured two co-hosts. Brian Dunkleman famously stood alongside Ryan Seacrest before leaving the show. Dunkleman is opening up about his life in a new documentary.


In Dunkleman the 49-year-old opens up about his drug use and relationship with Seacrest during his run on the show. The former host also revealed his battle with suicidal thoughts in the trailer for the upcoming release. Here, viewers will dive deep into how Dunkleman let the most sought after job in the business, slip away.

Brian Dunkleman Opens Up About Ryan Seacrest and Drug Use in New Documentary

In the opening lines of the video, he acknowledges the fact that his name would probably not ring any bells. He tells the viewers to Google his name, but wishes he never had.

“Make sure you spell it right,” Dunkleman says in the trailer. “After about 140,000 hits or so, you will begin to understand my notoriety that, yes, in 2002, I hosted the number one show in the history of modern television, and after 25 episodes, I quit. Or did I? Sometimes, I can’t remember.” A lot of you said it was the dumbest f*cking move of all time. So, How did I end up landing the most sought after job in the entire business at the time and then let it all slip away, the answer may surprise you.”


The narrative escalades rapidly from these opening remarks. At this point, Dunkleman says that he and Seacrest were butting heads all the time.

“Seacrest, Seacrest f*ck Ryan Seacrest,” he yelled in the trailer. “I could’ve snapped his neck if I wanted to. I’ve seen movies. I think I could do it! God, that would’ve gotten a sh*t load of hits on YouTube.”

While it was revealed in the past that the two had trouble getting along, the extent of his negativity toward Seacrest was shocking.


In the video, Dunkleman admits that he used to stay up all night doing cocaine before a live episode. He commented on his “ridiculous” drug use, adding that he used a variety during this time. He said that his substance abuse made him look like a “difficult assh*le,” but ultimately, he believes that Seacrest was the negative driving force.

The Former Host Speaks on Suicidal Thoughts and Life After Idol

As if his battles with substance abuse and his co-host weren’t bad enough, his internal struggles began to get the better of him. During the premiere of American Idol’s second season, Dunkleman stated that he “couldn’t function,” and that he hoped his plane would crash because he no longer wanted to be alive.

He also spoke of the added stresses of his married life. In 2019, Dunkleman made headlines about his current occupation as an Uber driver. He chose to quit his current career as a standup comic at the time to support his son.

“Doesn’t matter if I drive an Uber. Doesn’t matter if I’m on a f*cking television show, just trying to be the best dad I can,” he said in his closing remarks of the trailer.

A release date and platform have not yet been released for the premiere of the documentary. As of now, Dunkleman actively posts on his YouTube channel, The Dunks, where he posts gaming videos with his son.

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About the Author

Catherine DiMeglio
Catherine Di Meglio is a content writer and YouTube host at talent recap. With a love of all things entertainment, she earned her Master’s degree in media management from Wagner College in 2021. Catherine is a New York City girl who has many passions including beauty and fashion, photography, traveling, and making memories with loved ones.

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