Josh Blue is a 27-year-old Denver comic with cerebral palsy. According to his Web site, he’s “the comedian that puts the cerebral in cerebral palsy.”
Blue won the reality show Last Comic Standing, NBC’s laugh-down for young comedians.
He tells audiences at the beginning of his act, “I was hoping you’d laugh good and hard tonight. This is my Make a Wish.” Pause as the crowd erupts in laughter. He picks it right up. “If I had another Make a Wish, I would do things a little differently.” Another pause, then he says to an attractive woman in the front row, “It would be you, ma’am.”
Two years ago, he won the $10,000 top prize at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. He’s also made appearances on Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia and a handful of other network television shows. For his win on NBC, Blue will get a half-hour stand-up gig on Bravo and a development deal with NBC that could lead to a sitcom.
Blue disarms his audiences, ever since he was a kid.
“It was a way to defuse the situation,” Blue said. “If someone made fun of me and I could come back with something, it works out to my benefit.” His ability to crack people up with his wit- a bonus.
Open Mic nights were the intro for Blue in the stand-up biz seven years ago.
“I would go to open-mic nights and realize that I was not near as bad as half the people. I’d see some of these people go onstage time and time again and eat (expletive). I thought to myself, ‘If I were as a bad as you, I would probably kill myself.’ They come off (stage), ‘I’m really getting this now!’ I’m thinking, ‘Get a hold of yourself.’ “
Blue also is an American with an affinity for football, or soccer to the Yanks. Blue played with the U.S. team in 2004 at the Paralympics in Athens, Greece.
The team was so bad, he said, “We didn’t have to worry about getting tested for performance-enhancing drugs.” On top of that, he got injured playing, and, he said, “The coach had the nerve to put me on the disabled list!”
Onstage, Blue wildly swings his deformed right arm — the one he sometimes chastises as “Bad arm! Bad arm!” — and jokes that his mother is “the only person in the world who can tell when I’m drunk. She’s like, ‘Josh, are you walking straighter?’ “
In addition to his rising career as a stand-up comedian, Blue is a painter of some note, although he concedes, “I can’t draw a straight line. I don’t expect to draw a straight line. It’s all just colors. The thing my art has is movement. It’s like an unintentional intentional thing.”
With all of his new options for expanding his career, Blue is happiest onstage. “It’s an instant feedback. It’s like a drug when you get everybody rolling. I like to work the crowd a lot. People come ready to laugh. If you have a good show, you’re happy for the night. If you do a bad night, you feel bad until the next show.”