by Ryan Meehan
Perhaps best known as the comedian who puts the cerebral in Cerebral Palsy, Josh Blue exploded onto the national comedy scene by capturing the attention and endearment of the country as the winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Having already established himself as one of the most sought after comedians on the college circuit, his weekly appearances on Last Comic in the summer of 2006 expanded his fan base exponentially. Most recently, Josh debuted a new special, Comedy Central Presents: Josh Blue, which received rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Possessed with an undeniable likeability and comedic timing that belies his youthfulness; Josh continues to break down stereotypes of people with disabilities one laugh at a time. His stand-up routine is in a constant state of evolution and his off-the-cuff improvisational skills guarantee that no two shows are exactly alike. Josh has appeared as a regular guest star on Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia and his story has been featured on Fox, CBS, ABC, and MSNBC. He was the first comedian to perform stand-up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was named Best Winning Reality Show Guest for his appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly, and made a standout guest appearance on Comics Unleashed. He became the first comic to debut a stand-up special on the big screen when 7 More Days in the Tank was shown in theatres across the country. Portions of the performance also aired on Bravo Network as a half-hour comedy special. Josh is a repeat guest on such nationally syndicated radio programs as NPR’s Talk of the Nation and The Mancow Show and has been featured in numerous print publications including People Magazine and The New York Times. Josh has also performed at the prestigious HBO-Aspen Comedy Festival, Comedy Central’s South Beach Comedy Festival, and The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas. Josh has even become quite an Internet sensation with his top two YouTube videos approaching 2 million plays. Josh resides in Denver with his wife, Yuko, their son Simon and daughter Seika, and he’s our guest today in 5 Questions.
FOH: What is the Colorado comedy scene like and which club do you feel most comfortable performing at?
JB: The downtown Comedy Works is the best club in the nation. And I think the Denver comedy scene is one of the best you could ask for. A lot of young talent is coming out of here, and a lot of old-timers too. Troy Baxley, Rick Kerns, Chuck Roy (for old-timers), and the Grawlix guys (Ben Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl) are just phenomenal as far as new-comers go.
FOH: Were you always funny when you were younger? When did you know that you could actually make a career out of standup?
JB: I’m still not sure if I’m making a career out of it! (laughs) I was always funny though – I guess when you’re young you don’t know that necessarily. You don’t know you’re different. It’s one of those things where once you get into the real world, you realize “Huh, not everybody makes everyone laugh all the time”. When I started winning competitions I realized maybe I could do something with this.
FOH: How has your life changed as a father of two children and how has your family life influenced writing for your standup material?
JB: As far as life-changing and being a father – priorities change, and suddenly I’m a little less important. My material definitely changed because they’re such an important part of my life. There’s something every day that happens that’s funny to me that I can use on stage. I’m basically like a medium between my kids and the greater public.
FOH: Speaking of the writing process, when you’re a comedian is the writing process continuous for you in that you are always writing, or do you sit down with a topic and construct bits based on a certain topic? Has technology changed that process at all for you?
JB: I’ve never written anything down as far as material or jokes, and really the reason why is that I could never really physically write or type. The material I keep and use basically depends on what I can keep in my head. Technology has influenced my way of doing things now though, because of voice recognition software. I’m finally able to write things down (with my voice), and do more social media & such on my own. Of course just because I’m able to, but it doesn’t mean I do it. (laughs)
FOH: You’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons you went on “Last Comic Standing” was to make people aware that people with disabilities can have an impact. What was the most memorable time where you had an audience member with a disability come up to you after the show and how did you react?
JB: There have been a lot of instances where that’s happened – where I’ve been able to talk to people about their experiences and have some kind of impact. I don’t know how many times. People will come up and tell me that I helped give them the inspiration to do what they want to do, and pursue something that they dreamed of doing. To me that’s a pretty cool feeling.
FOH: What do you have planned for the next twelve months?
JB: I just have a lot of little products going on – lots of YouTube videos, and we did a pilot for a sitcom. I love animals and the outdoors, so I have this idea to try & do a documentary about all of the animals at red rocks with local vet / comedian Dr Kevin Fitzgerald. Not sure if he knows that yet… I should probably let him know.
Josh’s Official Website: http://www.joshblue.com/
Josh on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialjoshblue
Josh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshBlueComedy
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