In the News

The following is an article written by Scott Swan of WHTR and reproduced here with permission.

Hoosier comedian brings unique perspective to stage

Scott Swan/Eyewitness News

Whether it is a bar in Elkhart or a theatre in South Bend, audiences at comedy shows are ready to laugh. The stand-up comedians are eager to deliver. They need content and execution. Every standup comedian wants to be different. But there's one Indiana comedian who brings a unique perspective to the stage.

Brett Eastburn jumps from his wheelchair onto a table at the Century Center in South Bend, Indiana. He is ready to use his body to make people laugh.

"I'm just joking with the fact that I don't have arms and legs," says Eastburn.

Eastburn was born in 1971 with a congenital birth defect known as Quad-membral Limbs Deficiency.

"I was born this way. There's no medical reason why," says Eastburn. "I just believe that God put me here to help other people realize their own potential."

Initially, audiences at comedy clubs do not know how to react.

"When he goes on stage there's nervousness in the air," says fellow comedian Jack Lundorf. "They might feel sorry for him."

"When they see Brett for the first time, they are probably thinking wow, should I laugh at this," says fellow comedian Mijo Bueno. "There are no pity laughs in the audience. It's all real comedy. He's using what he has to do comedy," adds Bueno.

Eastburn opens one Thursday night set at Barney's Bar in Elkhart, Indiana staring up at a microphone on a stand, several feet beyond his reach.

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    “Brett Eastburn was a brilliant speaker for the students at Merrillville High School during the week of September 11-13, 2001... He has shown the students at Merrillville how important it is to realize that if they put their minds to it, they can accomplish any goal... Brett could have a great impact on the people in New York and Washington who have recently experienced great tragedy.”

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