PULLMAN, Wash. — Chris Fonseca knows that being disabled is no laughing matter, so why is he making jokes? In a performance Monday, March 29, Fonseca will use his disability to get laughs and at the same time raise awareness about the issue. The 8:30 p.m. program is set for the Compton Union Building Auditorium.
The last week in March is Disability Awareness Week, a time to learn and understand about students with disabilities, said said Jolene Crancer, Disabilitiy Awareness Association president. The DAA sponsors the week’s events, but was looking for a way to really get the message out to the WSU campus and the community. The club decided to book a comedian who had turned his disability into a positive image for people everywhere.
Fonseca was born with cerebral palsy, which is both visible and audible. Fonseca, 32, was raised by his aunt and uncle, who were at retirement age when he was born. He was married for five years and has a young daughter.
The comedian tours 30 weeks a year as well as writes a humor column for Prodigy.
Fonseca also has made some television firsts. He was the first comedian to receive a standing ovation on “The Arsenio Hall Show” and is the first comedian with a disability to appear on “The Late Night Show with David Letterman.” Fonseca is also one of the six comedians featured on the PBS production “Look Who’s Laughing,” which the DAA will show clips from at the CUB next week. He also did a guest performance on “Baywatch” and was featured on “Entertainment Tonight.”
Fonseca has nicknamed himself “Crazy Legs” because of his noticeable limp. He also memorizes his acts to ensure his performance is on target. It is his ability to laugh at himself that captures the audience.
“Fonseca has done a lot by incorporating his humor into his act,” Crancer said. “It breaks down the wall between him and his audience, opening up communication about disabilities.”
Tickets for the comedy show are $4 and available at the Disability Resource Center, Administration Annex 206, or at the door the evening of the performance.