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.