Many people with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination, get teased growing up. Their peers make fun of how they walk or their involuntary movements. Some people with cerebral palsy cope with this by developing a well maintained sense of humor. Some of these individuals have been able to go as far as to make a living on the stand-up comedy scene. Comedians with cerebral palsy range from the well-known Geri Jewell and Josh Blue, to the more unknown Christopher Widdows.
Geri Jewell, best known as Cousin Geri on the sitcom “The Facts of Life,” started her career on the stand-up comedy circuit. In 1978 Jewell started her career as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles at The Comedy Store, a place that has hosted many great comedians including Richard Pryor and Jim Carrey. Jewell made history, becoming the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a primetime series, by obtaining her role on “The Facts of Life.” While Jewell’s career has moved past stand-up comedy to television and movies, she still remembers her roots. She has performed on A & E’s “Evening at the Improv” and VH1’s “Stand-Up Spotlight.” Furthermore, Jewell does motivational speaking and training in reducing disability-based discrimination.
Christopher Widdows, an Australian stand-up comedian, goes by the stage name of Steady Eddy. Widdows made his debut as Steady Eddy in 1991 at The Comedy Store in Sydney, Australia. Throughout the 1990s Steady Eddy received awards, including Mo Awards and the 1995 Young Australian Achiever Award. Widdows has won Mo Awards, an Australian entertainment award, for New Wave Comedy Performance and Best Comedy Recording. His audio album, “Born to be Bent,” has been a success. A lot of Widdows’ act is based off his cerebral palsy.
Josh Blue rose to national fame after winning the fourth season of “Last Comic Standing.” Blue has made guest appearances on Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia” and became the first comedian to perform stand-up comedy on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” In 2009 Blue had his own 30 minute stand-up comedy special on Comedy Central. In addition to his humorous side, Blue also has artistic and athletic sides to him. In fact, Blue represented the United States in 2004 as a member of the U.S. Paralympics soccer team. Some of Blue’s artwork can be seen at his website, www.joshblue.com.
Geri Jewell Official Website
Josh Blue Official Website