Comedy has been Alan's hammer to smash stereotypes. His stand-up act is a hysterical rebuff at public attitudes to disability, where he attempts to answer burning questions such as “Do wheelchair-people ever go to the bathroom?”, “Are all wheelchair-people related to each other?”, and “Do they ever think about sex?” You’ll probably learn just a little bit more from Alan’s comedy than you ever wanted to know!!
Alan is a veteran of stand-up comedy with almost 20 years experience of bringing laughter to audiences of all ages, shapes and sizes. He is at home in a variety of settings from dingy comedy clubs to white marbled conference halls, from student-packed gymnasiums to red carpeted performance venues. Once Alan takes the stage and grabs the mic, audiences cannot help but be swept up in his zany outlook on airport travel, tobogganing, eating chocolate – and everything in between. He manages all this while delivering a heavy dose of disability politics touching issues around physical access, employment and attitudinal barriers.
Along with the ability to connect to a general audience, Alan can tailor his material to speak to a wide variety of themes such as dating and self-esteem, self-advocacy and community-building, as well as activism and education through the arts. His easy-going, laid-back personable style makes Alan a perfect addition to a wide range of conferences and special events. Alan's comedy act continues to be a favourite across North America, England, Australia, Bermuda - and in 2008 in Taiwan!
"Bringing down the house – and the barriers" – Bermuda News
"Great way to start the conference! Alan made me laugh, and then made me think about some of the things I might have done myself ... thank you! Please bring him back!" – Conference participant
HISTORY & TOURING
Stand-up comedy was Alan`s entry point into the world of professional performance. He immediately gained recognition on the comedy club circuit when he stepped onto the stage for an amateur comedy competition in 1989, stood up to juggle socks and promptly fell off the stage into someone's lap. He did win third prize and was encouraged to continue developing his material, but was also told that he should refrain from standing up while doing stand-up comedy!!!
Since that fateful evening Alan has been sitting down on the job ever since. But his touring career has taken him across North America, England and Australia as well as to Bermuda and Taiwan. He has toured with Yuk Yuk’s Komedy Klub, appeared at the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts and been featured twice on Moving On, a national CBC TV program. He has appeared at colleges and universities such as Algonquin college, McGill University and the University of Vermont; has spoken at conferences for organizations such as Easter Seals, Best Buddies and the Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy; and has entertained audiences at special events such as the REACH auction, the International Day of Disabled People and the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
He has also been the subject of numerous news documentaries over the past 20 years on CBC TV, CJOH TV, CBC Radio One, and the Ottawa Citizen.
"I'm a disabled comic," Alan says, "I laugh at my own jokes."