Comedy Troupe “Asperger’s Are Us” Visits Salt Lake City
A comedy troupe is coming to Salt Lake City, and all four members have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
They’re called Asperger’s Are Us. When I talked to them, they were driving from Chicago to Lawrence, Kansas. They pulled over at a corn field, and apologized in advance for corny jokes. But Noah Britton assures me, they really are funny. His colleague New Michael Ingemi backs him up.
BRITTON: “My mom laughed at the show yesterday. She laughed at least once. So you know, that was a big success.”
INGEMI: “Yeah that was the first time he’s made her laugh since the womb.”
BRITTON: “I was tickling her from the inside.”
INGEMI: “Yeah, he’s gotten over his tendency towards physical comedy.”
BRITTON: “My timing was a little premature back then.”
Asperger’s syndrome is often associated with a kind of literal mindedness that can make it hard to pick up on social cues. So it might be surprising that these four men want to be comedians. Ethan Finlan says when they met at a summer camp about 10 years ago, they realized they were all really funny, at least to each other.
FINLAN: “A lot of the time, it’s harder for someone with Asperger’s to pick up on a joke that neurotypical person would make, but what that really means is that there sense of humor is more likely to be different.”
Jack Hanke says their troupe doesn’t enjoy making fun of people. They like to focus on word play and absurdism with that classic deadpan delivery.
HANKE: “A lot of people assume that everyone on the spectrum has a bit of yellow stuff stuck between their right nostril and their mouth, whereas actually it’s just Noah right now, and he has noticed it.”
BRITTON: “I’m saving that for later.”
HANKE: “Did you see that Andrea?”
BRITTON: “Did I get it Andrea?”
SMARDON: “I can only imagine.”
BRITTON: “Well, just trust me, we all look really, really good.”
Aperger’s Are Us performs Monday night at Wiseguys in Salt Lake City.