The Current

Comedian Josh Blue says new show Speechless isn't 'delicate' about disability

Josh Blue is a stand-up comedian who has been promoting Speechless, a TV comedy he says paints a realistic view of life with disability. He joins The Current to talk about finding humour in living with cerebral palsy.
Comedian Josh Blue is a big supporter of the new TV comedy Speechless for its realistic portrayal of family life, when one member of the family has a disability. (

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Think of the last time you saw a Hollywood movie or TV show with a disabled character.

Now ask if that disabled character was played by an actor who has a disability.

Chances are, they weren't. With a few notable exceptions, when characters with disabilities do show up in Hollywood they're often played by able-bodied actors. That can make life difficult for actors with disabilities, stand-up comedian Josh Blue tells The Current's guest host Ing Wong-Ward.

"It's hard enough for disabled people to get acting jobs without able-bodied people taking them," says Blue.
Comedian Josh Blue says he wants his audience to leave after his show with a different perspective of disability. (

"As an actor, I know that I'm not going to be stealing any able-bodied roles from any able-bodied people." 

That's one of the things that makes the new American sitcom Speechless remarkable: the character JJ, who has cerebral palsy, is actually played by a person with a disability. 

"It's giving us a voice," says Blue, who has been enlisted to promote the show. That's something Blue has sought to do himself in his stand-up comedy routines, in which he often tries to educate audiences about living with cerebral palsy with a sense of humour.

"I was walking down the street the other day and someone comes up [to me saying] 'it's just so inspirational that you are out,'" he tells Wong-Ward.

"I'm like, 'I'm on my way to the liquor store. Is that inspirational?'"

"I want you to leave my show with a different perspective of disability." 

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins.