Buy the Comedians with Disabilities Act’s album, “Disabled Comedy Only”, on iTunes!
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
1207 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
In early 2010, wheelchair comedian Michael O’Connell went to go watch a comedy show at Laughs Unlimited in Old Sacramento. One of the performers that night was a little person comedian named Steve Danner. O’Connell was blown away by Danner’s comedy writing and stage presence. They didn’t meet that night, but O’Connell decided that he needed to find a way to work with Danner. Later that evening, it occurred to him that a comedy group made up of disabled comedians could be a big hit. He tabled the idea for the time, but thought, “If I only knew a blind comedian, then we’d really have something.”
A few months later, he received a call from his friend Keith Lowell Jensen, a popular comedian/producer in Sacramento. Keith excitedly told him that he’d just seen a young blind comic do a set. His name was Eric Mee, and he was, per Keith, hilarious. And Keith said he’d had this idea, suddenly, to produce a show with all disabled comics in it…
The two got together to create the group, O’Connell contacting Danner and bringing him in, and Jensen bringing Mee. Keith became the producer of the fledgling troupe, under the banner of his company EatEmUpYum Productions. O’Connell provided the name the group would go by: The Comedians with Disabilities Act.
After selling out their debut show at the Sacramento Comedy Spot, the group booked their next show, this one at the Punch Line comedy club in San Francisco. A comedienne with a stutter and learning disabilities from the Bay Area, Nina G, heard about the group and got in touch to see if she could get a guest set at the show. She was given one, and she brought the house down. The three male comics agreed: the sausage fest was over, and Nina needed to be a part of the full time. With that, the foursome was born.
Jensen left producing the group due to schedule issues, and O’Connell took over as producer. The Comedians with Disabilities Act took off, booking other clubs and theaters, colleges and charity events around the country. They appeared at such famed venues as The Laugh Factory in Hollywood, and through that appeared on Laugh Factory Live on the Playstation Network. They performed with such noted disabled performers as hearing-impaired comedienne/speaker/actress Kathy Buckley and legendary CP actress/comic Geri Jewell. The subject of numerous articles, radio and television interviews, the group has continued their goal of entertaining while educating the “abled” about the things disabled people go through.
The group teams with other working disabled comics, such as regular guest stars Steve Lee, Quennie TT and Loren Kraut, along with others like Samuel J. Comroe, John Kevari, Aaron Snyder, Sandi Abram Selvi and Leroy Moore. Together, they work toward their common goal to inspire, to teach, and, most importantly, to make people laugh.
For more information on the Comedians with Disabilities Act, visit their Facebook page. To contact or book the group, please contact Michael O’Connell at ZeroStandUp@gmail.com or (619) 786-RAMP (7267).