In his new stand-up comedy DVD “TRUTH HURTS,” Lonnie offers up blatant honesty about being a Dad and living with cerebral palsy; the result is hilarious. Inspired by his own life, Lonnie serves up long-form stories about some of his most intimate moments in a way that hits on an emotional connection while making you belt out with laughter at the absurdity of it all.
Born with cerebral palsy, Lonnie has always been aware he was different. But, instead of letting it overcome him, he decided to turn it into the basis for his “comedic truth-telling.” Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Lonnie always wanted to be a comedian. He was the youngest comic to ever win the ‘Portland Laugh Off’ and later in 2011 he won the ‘Shades of Laughs Comedy Competition’, a month-long tour of the Pacific Northwest. He has performed all over the U.S. at clubs and festivals, and currently hosts the weekly podcast, “From the Nook,” where he rants and tells ridiculous stories from his breakfast nook.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Lonnie Bruhn to find out more about his new DVD “Truth Hurts” and what makes his comedy so unique.
Tell us what we can expect from your new stand-up comedy DVD “Truth Hurts.”
LONNIE: I expect that my new comedy special will finally create a positive dialog between Iran and the United States. I’m confident if both President Obama and Hassan Rouhani watch it together, it will break the 30 year spell of bad relations between the two nations.
Nowhere in the DVD is there any political commentary or material that could back up my claims. I just know laughter has been proven to have amazing effects when used in the right situation.
Aside from that, obviously I want to make audiences laugh. I also want them to connect with my stories on a visceral level because there is a sincerity and honesty to my material that I’m very passionate about.
Where do you look for your comedy inspiration and is anything off limits?
LONNIE: I often find myself in bizarre and hilarious situations. I'm lucky that way, I guess. This is where the bulk of my comedy comes from, those situations.
Take for example when I was five years old. For Christmas my parents bought me an orthopedic boot fitted with an A.M. radio. When I lifted my heel to a certain angle, the radio would play. There are so many funny things wrong with that; starting with the fact it makes for a terrible present from Santa.
Nothing is off limits when told the right way and even bad experiences are only bad when comedy is absent from the memory. Life is uncensored so why should a comedy act be any different.
You’ve had some real-life challenges to overcome, how do you think this has impacted your work?
LONNIE: I simply work on a slower gear than most people so I have time to analyze and deconstruct the life around us. It’s amazing what people miss because they were moving too quick to catch it. Superman was given the superpower of flight. My gift is the ability to move while practically standing still, and even that can be dangerously compromising. If I were a superhero, my name would be "Slow Motion". I once dislocated my knees stepping on a bottle cap. Thankfully I found a career where I could capitalize on this special power.
For you, what’s been the best part about being a stand-up comic? What’s the worst or hardest part?
LONNIE: This is an easy one: The pure fact I can wake up at noon, tend to my Farmville crops, and coach an NFL team all the way to the Superbowl. Then for 60 minutes a night act like a total idiot and get paid for it. (Laughing) Your questions are so serious.
The truth is, people work their asses off every day and at the end of the night all they want to do is forget about their crappy lives and the daily grind. It’s my job to get them to laugh about my crappy life, so they can forget. The best part is the moment we share together when it happens.
The hardest part about being in this line of work for me is this: There is never a defining moment that catapults your career to success. It simply isn’t the way it works. Every time we think we are getting our one big break, there is a setback right around the corner placing us back at the drawing board. Nothing in this business is guaranteed to keep you at the top. Comedians always need to keep working hard to stay there.There are a lot of ups and downs. Ultimately, loving the craft has to be at the root of it. Otherwise you will never survive the pitfalls.
What do you hope audiences will take away from “Truth Hurts”?
LONNIE: I believe if there is an overall message from "Truth Hurts" it's that we can't beat ourselves up over the day to day struggles. We are supposed to laugh; it breaks the tension in every situation. I hope audiences watch it and realize our lives are a collection of ridiculous stories worth remembering and laughing about. Then I hope it encourages them to tell their story.
How can fans find out more about you and your comedy?
LONNIE: Everything you could possibly want to know about me and probably some stuff you didn't can be found at www.lonniebruhn.com
Thanks, Lonnie. Keep telling your stories…and we’ll keep laughing!
“TRUTH HURTS” is available at: www.LonnieBruhn.com
Or at: iTunes.com and Amazon.com