In 2006, Josh Blue — a comedian with cerebral palsy — won the fourth season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Unsurprisingly, the victory catapulted Blue to comedic success, an outcome he had already anticipated.
“I knew it would lead to other opportunities, whether I won or lost,” Blue tells Rare over the phone from his adopted home state of Colorado.
Blue recently embarked on an extensive national tour and is cultivating material for a new special. “It usually takes me about 2-3 years to craft enough new material for a special, and I’m about halfway through that process now. So this tour is going to be a mixture of new stuff and stuff I’ve been doing for a while,” he told us. “I’ll be performing in theaters and comedy clubs all over the country. I love performing in theaters, but sometimes you can’t beat a hot and sweaty comedy club.”
His tour schedule is designed around his kids, son Simon and daughter Seika, whose custody he shares with his ex-wife. “I leave town, do a few dates in the same place, then I come home for a few days and repeat the process. It’s a lot of travel, but it works out.”
A lot of Blue’s material is self-deprecating, which, when coming from a disabled person, can make some audience members uncomfortable. He doesn’t really care.
“I never really bought into the whole politically correct thing. If you don’t like my stuff, I don’t care. This is my life,” he says.
His Wikipedia page notes that he played for the U.S. Paralympic soccer team, a fact that he verified before we asked whether being a comedian is easier than being an athlete. “Let’s just say I was born to do comedy, but I wasn’t born to do sports,” he replied.
And he was born in Cameroon, which — as he was quick to point out — makes him ineligible to run for president. He chuckled when we mentioned Ted Cruz.
“Ted Cruz can run because he was born in Canada, which is a white country, but if you were born in a predominantly black country like me and Obama, you’re ineligible.”
We asked Blue about the representation of disabled people in movies and TV shows. “It’s definitely getting better, but we’ve still got a long way to go. You still have able-bodied people playing disabled characters. It’s never the other way around. I’m never going to steal an able-bodied role from an able-bodied actor.” When asked about actor Daniel Day Lewis’ Oscar winning performance in Jim Sheridan’s “My Left Foot,” Blue’s response was reasoned. “He gets a pass. He did a great fucking job, and that movie did a lot of good for the cause. And it was made at a time when there wasn’t as much push-back on that stuff, ya know?”
Blue, a big proponent of cannabis legalization, recently partnered with Mountain High Suckers to launch his own line of edibles featuring his favorite strain: Josh Blue’s Dream. It’s a venture he’s very excited about, as he should be. He’s been using weed to suppress some of his cerebral palsy symptoms for years, but he doesn’t think that decriminalization in Colorado has affected Denver’s comedy scene.
“We’ve been treating it like it was legal for years anyway, so it didn’t make too much of a difference when they legalized it. It’s really great though, you don’t need a medical card or anything like that. There’s dispensaries everywhere and it’s bringing in a shitload of tax revenue. I think a lot more states will start legalizing it,” he says.
Although enthusiastic about weed laws, he’s not so enthusiastic about the political direction his homeland is heading in in general. “Honestly, I don’t think people are anywhere near as scared as they should be,” he said about the current state of affairs.
We asked him if he’d seen Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi commercial, and he hadn’t, so we described it for him — shot by shot. “That is so fucked up, man. Honestly, this country is so fucked up!”