Three funny guys with disabilities 

A guy in a wheelchair bumps into a little person listening to a blind guy making cracks about people in wheelchairs when ...

No joke. This is real. It’s one of the most amusing things about a wild troika comprising the most unconventional comics to pop up in 2011.

The back story: “Wheelchair Comedian” Michael O’Connell met Steve Danner, a little person, and decided that if a blind guy could fall into the mix, they’d have a heck of comedy team.

Enter Eric Mee. They hit the stage in Sacramento late last year and gave birth to The Comedians with Disabilities Act.

The show hits Punchline on Tuesday.

“We realized the three of us really work good together and we have a really unique style,” says O’Connell, who has been in a wheelchair for most of his life; he has muscular dystrophy.

As for dubbing himself the “Wheelchair Comedian,” he says, “I’m tired of hearing the giggles when I tell people I do standup.”

About that, Sacramento-born Mee, 21, says he knew he wanted to do comedy right after losing his sight in a freak 2008 stabbing — he “learns” his routines by recording material.

“Right after I went blind, I started cracking jokes about going blind because it eased the situation,” he says.

But how does one make fun of something that comes from tragedy?

“I always tell people that worst things happen to better people,” Mee adds. “Knowing that this is the worst thing that could happen to me and I’m still alive ... I could have sit and sulked, and every time I ran into somebody, they wanted to throw a pity party for me. But I had to move on.”

That independent spirit is evident in each comic; they play off of each other well. On stage, they also shed light on what people may think of them.

Danner, 31, from Napa and also a drummer, says, “A lot of my jokes have to do with being short and fat, and what other people might think of ‘little people.’”

“Yeah, I signed my name for a person and she was like, ‘That was amazing!’” Mee adds.
“What? Did you stay within the lines?” Danner shoots back.

Out of line? Sure. But however you spin it, this trio seems destined to prove that disabilities aren’t always disabilities. So, here’s to watching their unique blend of comedy reach new heights.

(Yes, that one was for you, Mr. Danner.)


IF YOU GO
The Comedians with Disabilities Act

Where: Punchline, 444 Battery St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 
Tickets: $15
Contact: (415) 397-7573, www.punchlinecomedyclub.com

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Greg Archer

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