My mentally disabled brother got on stage at a comedy club.

Early in life, my brother was diagnosed with Asperger’s before the diagnosis was switched to Hyperlexia. At twenty-two years old (two years old than me) he has had no close friends. He is very anxious and doesn’t understand social cues very well at all.

He also has a driving interest in comedy and television. He has watched every episode of The Office, I believe, as well as the entire runs of many other great TV shows.

And he can do incredible impressions. He works on comedic material and comes up with some pretty great stuff.


Last night, my brother got on stage at the open mic at Seattle’s comedy club Giggles. Let me tell you, this is something that would make me nervous. I don’t know if this is true of all comedy clubs, but the audience there was heavily slanted towards tough guys. Bad dudes, you might call them. Not the kind of people one relishes bombing in front of.

But my brother got on stage. My brother, who doesn’t understand what’s rude to say to a waiter. My brother, who has barely had any friendship at all his whole life. My brother, who once could not concentrate on his homework for more than ten or fifteen seconds before becoming hopelessly lost in some other train of thought.

He got on stage and did three impressions: Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, and Billie Joe Armstrong. He was obviously sweating and, amazingly, he also developed a runny nose in the middle of his five-minute act. But it was great, and he got at least as many laughs as the guy before him.

I recorded his performance so he could put it on YouTube. I don’t know if could be more proud of him than I am right now.

Wow! I’m so glad he did well. YouTube linkie?

He doesn’t seem to have posted it yet. This is his page for when he does post it: David’s YouTube page.

As a father of a child with autism; this story makes me feel good. Thanks for sharing.

So I’m curious, did he address his autism when he got on stage? I’ve seen some comedians address their (dis)abilities to the audience with decent success.

Tell him congrats, and keep it up!

The thumbs up I was giving your brother was so enthusiastic, I think I tore a tendon or something! Good on him!

I’ve been doing comedy off and on (“off” periods lasting several years, so don’t think of me as anything close to any of the pros) for twenty years now and right now (inwardly, anyways, as I’m at work) I am loudly and whildly applauding your brother. (Hey, Davids are inherently funny, what can I say?)

Me, I have a lisp, and it took me 18 years on stage (again, counting “off periods”) before I felt comfortable enough with it to do jokes about it (at the behest of a good friend of mine who is my comedy mentor).

If you don’t mind, once I see his act, can I PM some comedy advice to pass along to him? Also, does anyone want a linkie to my act? (At work right now, so can’t post it even if I wanted to) - I really don’t want to hijack the thread from the kudos that Bith Brother deserves so am reticent to do so.

And btw after 20 years I still get sweaty and nervous on stage, as do my pro comic friends. Key is using that energy.

I am so looking forward to seeing the YouTube clip of your brother!

That takes guts. Good for your brother.

That’s so awesome! Please congratulate him for me.

Having seen countless stand-up bombs, that he got any laughs is pretty amazing.

Very cool story. I hope he does well at it.

Dang it … I got something in my eye.

On comedy central I recently saw a show done by a guy with cerebral palsy, Josh Blue. He was pretty funny. He made jokes about his spastic hand as if it had a mind of its own.

He said he ran into a woman at a convenience store who stopped him and said, ‘‘You are so inspiring.’’

blink ‘‘Lady, I’m here for liquor.’’

Some good stuff here.. (Bith, does your brother know about this guy? May be a source of inspiration!)

That guy is hilarious. It takes guts to put something like that at the forefront of your material.

I think Josh Blue won the “Last Comic Standing” show a few years back.
And Bith, give your brother a well done from me-----I have always wanted to give an open-mic stand up slot a shot, but I dont have the stones.

I wish I had your brothers courage…

TBS, that’s freakin’ awesome :smiley:

I’ve performed musically, singing and playing guitar or bass, for years, and I don’t sweat that at all. But a few years ago I did a very brief, one-shot standup routine (introducing British comedienne Natalie Gray after I met her on MySpace and discovered she was going to be appearing at the club where I was a cook). I thought I’d be fine what with all of my previous on-stage experience, but dear Og, I’ve never been more terrified in my life! I managed to get through the routine I had prepared*, and even got laughs, but for some unknown reason my voice transformed into some bizarre Southern drawl. I have no idea where that came from - I’m Pacific Northwest born & raised.

  • My routine involved a fictitious description of how I met Natalie online. I described how I wanted to determine if I was really talking to an actual woman (because you never really know, ya know?), so I sent “her” a message that asked if she’d like to meet up and have sex with me. I said she answered, “no”. Hey, it is a woman!

YAY for your brother!

It just shows what people can do when they have to or really want to, good for him :slight_smile:

Bith, that is awesome! I have a younger brother that is profoundly retarded, with Asperger’s and autistic. I always encourage him to expand his horizons, and I’m glad to see that your brother has family to cheer him on too.

I would love to see any updates on his new-found career.

Congratulations. I have friends in comedy and have been paid for material I have written but I have never had the nerve to get up in front of an audience.

Years ago a bunch of us got together and produced a video and CD of Steady Eddy a nice young guy with cerebal palsy. It became the biggest selling comedy video in Australia and the CD won an Aria.

My favorite Steady Eddy joke was the first thing I ever heard him say:

When I get on a plane people always stare at me. Is it the way that I walk? Is it the way that I talk? Or is it just that I’m wearing a pilot’s uniform ?

Don’t know where he is now but he was successful for several years. So good luck to your brother.