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Humor and the Disability Experience: A Stand-Up Comedy Show

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 • 2–4pm

ADMISSION: Free with advance registration to access@thecjm.org; 415.655.7856

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2017-04-23 14:00:00 UTC2017-04-23 16:00:00 UTC America/Los_AngelesThe CJM - 736 Mission St, San Francisco, CAHumor and the Disability Experience: A Stand-Up Comedy ShowAs an art, stand-up comedy has always challenged societal norms and has been a vehicle for social change. Humor is a way to engage in difficult and sometimes transgressive subjects. Comedians with disabilities are among those who are using the art form to present the Disabled experience and further conversation. 

As an art, stand-up comedy has always challenged societal norms and has been a vehicle for social change. Humor is a way to engage in difficult and sometimes transgressive subjects. Comedians with disabilities are among those who are using the art form to present the Disabled experience and further conversation. 

All the comedians featured in this program have performed one or more times with the Comedians with Disabilities Act, a comedy troupe founded by Michael O'Connell that exclusively features comedians with diverse disabilities. The comedy troupe plays comedy clubs and colleges all across the United States, expanding people's ideas of what having a disability means—and, of course, to laugh.

audio clip

See a full transcript of the audio file, and view more info about Disabled Comedy Only.


The CJM is committed to ensuring a welcoming environment for all of our visitors by providing ample space for wheelchairs, a friendly environment for service animals, and a scent-free environment. To request ASL interpreting, live-captioning or another accommodation, please contact 415.655.7856 or access@thecjm.org.

how to register

 Free with advance registration to access@thecjm.org or by calling 415.655.7856.

Need more information about Access programs and services? Click the Accessibility Info button below.

Disability Arts and Culture Programs

The CJM is committed to supporting the visibility of artists with disabilities through ongoing programs and lectures. We recognize that in order to build a more equitable and representative arts and cultural sector, the voices and lived experiences of people with disabilities need to be at the center of the conversation.

about the participants
A brunette woman wearing a patterned shirt smiling in front of a green nature landscape.
Nina G

Nina G is a comedian, disability activist, children's book author and part of the comedy troupe, The Comedians with Disabilities Act. She is also the producer of the first ever comedy compilation album to feature, as the title suggests, Disabled Comedy Only. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity, and equity. Nina G shares her wit and wisdom with corporations, colleges, community/Disability awareness events and media interviews. Additionally she has a Tedx Talk. 

A man with long brown hair and a beard wearing glasses looks at the camera. A brick wall in the background.
Mean Dave

Mean Dave is a Californian comedian from the Bay Area with a rock and roll style for any occasion or function. With a wild, intelligent approach to material about modern day life, Mean Dave has performed regularly at San Jose Improv, San Francisco Punchline, LA Comedy Store, Tommy T's in Pleasanton, and all kinds of shows and events all over.

A woman with short blondish hair wearing glasses holding a microphone looks out to an unseen audience.
Loren Kraut

Awkwardly hilarious, Loren Kraut’s unorthodox style of comedy juxtaposes playfulness with deeply dark humor. She turns grim subject matter, like depression and suicide on its ear, presenting the bleakness of mental illness with unexpected wit and levity. Ever the outsider, Kraut gives us a glimpse into her weird, silly, and often tragic world that, in the end, is surprisingly life affirming.  Kraut is also a playwright—writing about family, aging and suicide. Her new solo show A Bit Touched, premiering in March 2017, revolves around her OCD and her cat.

A man with dark hair and a goatee wears a grey t-short with bright lettering. He holds a microphone in his right hand as he gestures towards the public.
Michael Beers

Michael Beers has been performing as a stand up comic for about four years. He started out doing small gigs at open mics in the Missoula Montana area getting stage time between hundreds of college bands you've probably never heard of and whose members will probably become accountants once they sober up after college. He then graduated to more glamorous gigs playing mostly his own family reunions and some very lucrative performances at retirement homes, which coincidently were his first paying jobs as a comic (2 cookies and a glass of milk). A large portion Beer's act is based on his own life growing up in Montana with his mother and his three sisters, their dogs, and a disability. He also ventures into some social and political commentary. Beers is currently traveling around the country performing mostly at conferences. He won the Norman G. Brooks comedy competition at the Hollywood Improv in 2005 and was the winner of the 2003 Brickwall amateur comedy competition in Spokane, WA. Michael Beers  has been performing professionally as a stand-up comic since 2003. 

A man with curly reddish brown hair, a beard and mustache, wearing a red buttoned-down shirt opened over a grey t-short. The man is smiling and his right hand rests on his left hand over his knee.
James LeBrecht

James LeBrecht has over 35 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, author, producer and disability rights activist. LeBrecht is the founder of Berkeley Sound Artists (BSA), an audio postproduction house, located in Berkeley, California.  Jim’s work as an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities began in high school as a member of Disabled in Action, a pioneering disability rights group. While at college in the mid 1970s at UC, San Diego, he helped found the Disabled Students Union. Jim is currently a board member at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, a leading organization working for the rights of the disabled through education, legislation and litigation. A true believer in the power of film and television to open minds and doors, LeBrecht has been hard at work on disability focused media projects. Currently, with Nicole Newnham, he is co-producing and co-directing Crip Camp, a feature length documentary about Camp Jened, a summer camp for the “physically handicapped” that Jim attended as a teenager in the early 1970’s.

community partner

The Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University works to challenge prevailing notions and stereotypes of disability by showcasing disabled people's strength, ingenuity, and originality. Our public education and cultural events connect the Bay Area’s vibrant disability communities and the general public with faculty and students at SF State to fight disability stigma with disability culture.


Access Programs are made possible by major support from Wells Fargo Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by The Morse Family Foundation.