This funny man has turned his cerebral palsy into a successful career. Comedian Josh Blue first came to public prominence as the winner of the fourth season of NBC’s reality competition show “Last Comic Standing” in 2006. At that time he had already been in the business for 18 years.
It was during that show that his self-depreciating humor had audiences roaring—and he was rocketed to the status of national celebrity. Now, eight years after his time on the show, Josh is going strong, largely due to his continued humble style, his wry humor, and his unique ability to put audiences at ease.
Josh’s cerebral palsy has given him a mild speech impediment, an odd gait, and a slightly disfigured right hand. Not only has Josh never let that stop him, but he makes it a central part of his comedy routine. This allows audiences to feel comfortable and laugh with him.
It wasn’t always easy for Josh, though. “When I decided to do comedy, I didn’t take [cerebral palsy] into consideration,” he says. “And by the time I had gotten onto the real scene, I knew that I could be consistently funny. But still, other people would treat me like an idiot. Bigger people, more famous people, wouldn’t give me the time of day. But then I’d go on stage and kill it, and they’d try to change their tune.”
Other comedians and celebrities weren’t the only ones he had to win over. “When I first started out,” Josh remembers, “I felt like I had a lot of explaining to do to make audiences feel comfortable with me being on stage. My thing now is that it speaks for itself. Everything I talk about comes from the perspective of a disabled person.”
Even “Last Comic Standing” didn’t embrace Josh’s brand of humor right away; he originally auditioned in 2004 and was passed over (what Josh calls “The ‘Next’ Treatment”). It was only at his agent’s urging that he went back in 2006 and made it onto the show.
“I almost didn’t go back a second time,” he says. “I wasn’t sure NBC and whoever was in charge of the show was really looking for real comedy. But I gave it another try and, hey, I won. It sounds weird, man, but I really did believe deep down inside that I could be a star. I am honestly surprised by how fast it happened, but I knew I could do this. When I got on “Last Comic Standing,” I knew I was going to win. But that’s the attitude you’ve gotta have. If you think, ‘Oh, I’m only gonna get third place,’ then you’re probably going to.”
Since his victory on the show, Josh has made appearances on all the major networks: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, as well as appearances on Comedy Central and many others. In many ways, Josh doesn’t see his career as simply one of a successful comedian, but as a spokesperson for people with disabilities.
“Growing up,” he says, “I definitely dealt with some of the teasing, but I was fortunate to have friends from all places. I was lucky. they all stood by me.”
He goes on to say, “I don’t think there’s anything cool about singling out anyone, especially people with disabilities. Right now, I’m working on a documentary about the way the world sees and treats people with disabilities because, unfortunately, I think it’s sometimes in our nature to make fun of people in less fortunate circumstances. Hopefully I can show people the wrong in that, and that we can contribute just as much as anyone else.”
Josh is happily married to a nurse, and they have two children. His interaction with his family is now a rich source for his comedy, too! Enjoy these laughs from Josh Blue on this fabulous Friday—and the first day of spring! Josh performs during a televised fundraiser. What do you think of Josh’s brand of comedy?