U.S. Soccer Paralympic Team forward Josh Blue hasn’t always finished in first. In fact, the past couple of years, it seemed he was ending up further and further from away from first place.
In 2003, Blue and his fellow teammates took sixth at the Paralympic World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina (although it did qualify them for the Paralympics for the first time since 1996). The following year, he helped the U.S. finish in seventh place at the Paralympic World Championship staged in Connecticut. And then, Blue and his U.S. teammates finished last – eighth place – at the 2004 Athens Paralympics.
But that was on the soccer field. On the stage, things are definitely different.
Using self-deprecating humor about his cerebral palsy, Blue won NBC’s Last Comic Standing on Aug. 9 when he defeated fellow finalist Ty Barnett.
Blue was selected over hundreds of comics to make the show and joined 11 other comedians to live on the cruise ship Queen Mary, where they competed in various contests to determine the top six. Once he made his way to the final six, the public voted to see who would stay and who would go home and Blue won over his audience to win the fourth season of the NBC comedy competition.
By winning the “Last Comic” title, Blue gets a talent deal with NBC and a stand-up special on sister network Bravo.
Blue got his start in comedy while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from The Evergreen State College. At the 2004 Las Vegas Comedy Festival, he won the $10,000 Grand Prize at the Royal Flush Comedy Competition. In 2005, he earned rave reviews on the college circuit and a nomination for "Best Diversity Event of 2006."
Blue was featured twice on Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia in fall 2005, and also released his first CD, "Good Josh Bad Arm." He has also opened for nationally known comics including Robert Schimmel, Kathleen Madigan, Richard Lewis, Tommy Davidson and Jake Johannsen.
Blue said he takes on the challenges that come from living with cerebral palsy with a smile, saying, “I realize that people are going to stare so I want to give them something to stare at.” His goal is to use his self-deprecating sense of humor to defy stereotypes and encourage others to overcome their pre-conceived notions about disabled people.
You can check out more about Josh Blue at joshblue.com.
The Paralympic Games is the world’s second largest sporting event (behind the Olympic Games) featuring premier athletes with physical disabilities in 22 sports.
Paralympic soccer is contested by athletes with cerebral palsy or brain injuries or who have suffered a stroke. It is played on smaller fields with smaller goals than non-disabled soccer. Each team plays with seven men using the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules which have been slightly modified to accommodate the disabilities of the athletes.