A few weeks ago I caught this stand-up routine on Conan O’Brien. Samuel Comroe is a brilliant comedian and actor with Tourette’s Syndrome (I freely admit, I had to look up how to spell it). I thought his act was amazing and wonderfully done.
I’ve always been drawn to comedians with self-deprecating humor, but I think there’s something particularly courageous about not only using your disability as comedic material but standing up in front of complete strangers and drawing attention to your differences. Too often we’re ashamed by our differences; we either try to cover them up or ignore them. Comroe actually highlights them and makes us laugh along with him.
As y’all know, I’m all about finding humor in crappy circumstances, so it’s no wonder this guy caught my eye. But what made me sit up and watch was that Comroe isn’t just laughing off his struggles the way you laugh off the twisted ankle you got tripping over the dog on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He uses his disability to his advantage. Check out how he works with the ticks and pauses to effect his own comedic timing. The Tourette’s becomes a part of his style of humor.
So all in all I was really impressed with this guy. And impressed with Ricky Gervais and Conan O’ Brien for recognizing his talent and giving him an opportunity to showcase it. I’ll definitely be looking forward to more of Samuel Comroe.