Can deaf comedy be funny for everyone?

Summarized by Hailey Scragg, staff writer

Deaf comedians Rinkoo Barpaga and John Smith have gained popularity with their ASL stand up routines. Barpaga uses an interpreter to voice his show along with him, so that the hearing audience can enjoy it as well. Smith on the other hand, occasionally uses an interpreter, but prefers to have a deaf audience. Their growing popularity has given rise to the question of if this type of comedy can become mainstream, and Barpaga believes it can. They both reflect on what it’s like to be deaf, and their past experiences with deafness, Barpaga says this is similar to Eddie Murphy using his experience of blackness in his routine. The reflection makes the experience relatable and humorous, and it has the potential to reach everyone.

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