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Laugh 'til you're (Josh) Blue in the face
Laugh 'til you're (Josh) Blue in the face
by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

JOSH BLUE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2
KIRKLAND PERFORMANCE
CENTER


Anyone who watched this season's television comedy contest, Last Comic Standing, knows who Josh Blue is. Not only was he the ultimate winner, he stood out from the pack in many ways. Josh has cerebral palsy, for starters. But he doesn't want people to feel sorry for him and laugh a little. He wants to be known as funny. Period. Which he is.

Josh's humor is gentle and pokes fun at his disability and real human foibles. He thinks his brand of comedy works because, "I think I talk about universal things. I'm able to talk about disability in a funny way as opposed to a sad way. I make it lighter for people. I think you can be sad about your situation or you can have fun while you're on this planet. I chose to have fun. It's awkward for people to have ideas about what disability is and it's nice to be an icebreaker and have fun with it. Ultimately, it's my goal to make you laugh, but when you leave my show you might have a different understanding of disability. My humble opinion is everybody has a disability of some shape or form."

Josh Blue will be appearing for one night at Kirkland Performance Center, February 2. He'll also be in Portland, Tacoma and Olympia. He started his standup career while he was a student at Evergreen College, so this visit is like a homecoming. "I loved Evergreen. It was the best school I could have gone to. I have an alternative learning style and they cater to alternative learning styles. I'm glad to come back to the Seattle area. I started doing comedy there and it's cool to come home. I'll see a lot of old friends, so that will be fun."

It was nerve-wracking, he says, when he first stood up in front of people and tried to tell jokes. "To do it on stage is a whole different thing [from telling jokes to family or schoolmates]. It's still nerve-wracking but that's part of the fun." He knew he could make people laugh as a child, but, as far as knowing why he's funny to large groups of people, he explains, "I'm still learning that, to be honest with you. I learned that in college that I could be funny on a bigger scale. Being funny is a good defense mechanism. People are drawn to what's different. 'Hey, that guys walks different!' It's a good way to break the ice, 'I do walk different, but it doesn't mean that my brain doesn't work.' All my friends with cerebral palsy are really smart."

His life has changed pretty drastically from before the television show. "It is a lot of work, a lot of traveling, long days, but it's amazing, spectacular to be doing what I want to be doing. It's a lot more work than I expected it to be, but it doesn't mean it's a bad thing." He didn't compete thinking he would definitely win. "I didn't have any expectations, really. It was a competition and I knew it would be hard and it turned out to be awesome to make people laugh on a grand scale. An incredible opportunity to be on national TV for 13 weeks in a row."

Other recent changes include getting engaged and expecting a baby, March 16. His fiancée has been able to travel with him at times, but "she's getting kinda big and it's hard to follow me around." He plans to take the month of March off, but had booked gigs far ahead before he knew about the pregnancy. "I definitely do want to be home. So, I have to plan on taking more time off as it comes along, but it's hard to say no to work." He's riding the wave of his television success and wanting to take advantage of the current interest. "I kind of expected it to go down [get fewer gigs] after a year, but it's still going strong which is awesome."

Money is a little less of a problem these days, and he's been able to buy an old house, circa 1896, in his current hometown of Denver. "I bought a big old house that has four apartments in the main house and a carriage house. I'll be living in the carriage house with my family & so now, I'm also a slumlord. We're in the middle of a big old remodeling, which is nerve-wracking, but it's going to be a cool house."

The future looks bright with opportunity. Josh has a vision of the ideal kind of comedy gig. "I'd love to be able to have my own TV show and stay in one location and sleep in my own bed at night and make people laugh on a grand scale. It's an ultimate & but I do enjoy doing standup. It's an awesome experience all in all. I've done a couple of movies now, and TV shows, but more movie stuff. It's exciting to do a movie. I just did a horror movie, Feast 3. I think it's supposed to come out in October. I played a character called The Prophet. I'm not scary, but I do get killed and that's pretty awesome."

Josh's humor is pretty off-the-cuff, most of the time. "I usually have a plan of what I might be doing, but it depends on what the audience wants. Sometimes I just go off in a tangent. So, I never really know what will happen." If you want to be a part of that audience, check out www.kpcenter.org or www.joshblue.com.

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