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Turning Disability Into Comedy

After  Will Lautzenheiser lost all of his limbs to a flesh eating bacteria — the 39-year old film professor and Massachusetts native did something unsual. He started his own comedy routine. Lautzenheiser is one of a group of disabled comedians in Boston who use laughter to connect and educate the non-disabled world. Carey Goldberg, co-host of Commonhealth.org recently met Lautzenheiser at the New England ADA panel ‘Laugh and Learn.”

“It’s not uncommon to have a quadrilateral amputee just sort of around, and I don’t really feel that way about myself,” Lautzenheiser told Commonhealth.org. ‘I have a disability. There’s a lot I can’t do. But I don’t want to just be thought of as a diabled person…….I’m pretty musch the same person I was before.”

Also on the panel were members of “Asbergers Are Us.” They bill themselves as the only all Asbergers comedy group.

Jack Hanke a member of the group explained that: “Comedy provides a way to be intimate and connect with people without having to be uncomfortably honest,” he told Carey Goldberg. “The only way we’ll be able to get past simplistic narratives is to have people with disabilities telling their own stories.”


Carey Goldberg, WBUR’s Commonhealth Co-Host

Will Lautzenheiser, Professor Of Film and Comedian

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