March 2007

No one is more aware of Blue’s incongruity in the universe than Blue himself. Almost all of his jokes are rooted in his surreal life. One of his favorites, a bit that employs his signature three-punch-line device, goes: “I was walking downtown and the drunk-tank stopped and picked me up. I was like, uh-oh. [Laugh #1.] I was like, ‘Wait a minute fellas, there’s a misunderstanding, I’m not drunk, I have cerebral palsy.’ They’re like, ‘That’s a pretty big word for a drunk ass.’ [Laugh #2.]. I was in there for seven days. They’re like, ‘Damn, buddy, what did you drink?’” [Laugh #3.] Blue’s hotel room is littered with empty water bottles and clothes. Among the clutter, on top of the mini-fridge, there’s a script. Blue explains that it’s for the NBC show ER. He’s got a meeting tomorrow morning with one of the show’s casting directors. The part would be small, but, he’s been told, there’s a chance it could turn into a recurring role. Blue hasn’t yet looked at the script, let alone memorized his lines. “I’m not really into it,” he says, mentioning, almost under his breath, that they want someone to play a disabled clerk.

Hit show, shit show—in this case it makes no difference to Blue. Why, after having just shown America that he’s so much more than meets the eye, would he want to play someone whose chief characteristic is a physical disability? If ER’s people were looking for a mischievously funny orderly—someone to service nurses in the supply closet and fill the IVs with vodka—that’d be another story. What Blue is most excited about are the development possibilities with NBC. “I’ve got this great idea I want to pitch them,” he says, clearly dying to talk about it.

Tentatively titled The Josh Blue Show, it wouldn’t be the sitcom route you’d expect; rather he’s got his mind on reality TV. One week, Blue would be cooking with, say, the Iron Chef; the next week, maybe he’d go hang gliding. “Who doesn’t want to see a guy with cerebral palsy swinging a meat cleaver, making a fancy meal, or jumping off a cliff,” he says. “But the thing is, what [the viewers] see is comedy, but also [that] a guy with CP can do all this stuff.”

The Josh Blue Show would be a logical extension of its creator’s stand-up: He’d kill, and he’d be changing the way people think. Blue’s scheduled to meet with the NBC suits in a few weeks out in L.A. Given the reality-series craze and a need for program diversity—not to mention his established popularity with prime-time viewers—Blue thinks his pitch has a real chance.