Saturday, August 8, 2015

A New Favorite

Difficult People … on Hulu.
Stare At Shannon … on YouTube.
Shannon DeVido … website.

I just re-discovered Shannon DeVIdo. I read about her and found her YouTube Channel maybe a year ago, and then forgot to watch more of her videos. She's hilarious.

The standard thing to say is that Shannon DeVido is a funny, talented comedian, not a funny, talented, “disabled comedian,” or, for that matter, a “comedian with a disability.” She is hilarious and she does have a ton of talent and charisma, but a lot of her comedy does revolve around her disability. More precisely, her best comedy is about being a disabled woman in a mostly non-disabled world. Somehow, she highlights the “funny side” of disability, including the strange attitudes and habits of non-disabled people, and the ever-present barriers faced by disabled people in everyday life. Yet, she’s not angry and she doesn’t ridicule anyone or imply that non-disabled people are stupid. Ridicule has it’s place, and bitter can work for comedy. It’s just that Shannon DeVido’s perplexed but positive take makes her work refreshing and accessible … see what I did there? … without being trite.

Anyway, the big news is that Shannon got a guest spot on the new streaming series Difficult People. Maybe it’s a small thing, but I love the fact that the part wasn’t written for a disabled person, but she got the role anyway. That should happen a lot more often.

I wish there was more to the appearance. It would be great if they'd bring her back once in awhile. Then again, bit parts are important, too. They help people get more used to seeing disabled people in ordinary situations, with distinguishing characteristics other than being, you know, disabled.


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