Having Tourette Syndrome or similar disorders that cause verbal and motor tics is no laughing matter.
Well, unless you’re Samuel J. Comroe. He was diagnosed when he was just six years old and endured all the bullying and jokes you’d expect during his youth and adolescence. But instead of retreating into anonymity, he turned the tables and took ownership of his tics, using the quirk as a launching point for a career as a comedian about 10 years ago.
The 30-year-old L.A. native had everyone roaring in appreciation when he appeared on the June 12 episode of “America’s Got Talent,” saying people always think he’s trying to let them in on a secret with his random blinks and winks.
In the most hilarious part of his act, Samuel talked about his parents’ ill-fated decision to send him to a camp for children with Tourette’s when he was a little kid. Running across another kid with the same syndrome had probably been pretty rare up until that point, but suddenly there he was, surrounded by roughly 100 other kids with their own verbal and motor tics.
That must’ve felt comforting, at least in the beginning. But it wasn’t until then that he realized he and everyone else’s twitches were feeding off each other.
The kid next to me did a shoulder roll and my Tourette’s saw that and took that as a challenge and I threw him a head flop. The girl next to him did a full body twitch and everybody saw that and all hell broke loose. Kids were rolling on the ground, I was in the corner, like, “Why’d they send us here?”
But the parents’ response has the whole crowd rolling in laughter.
It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of an audience, never mind one as large as “America’s Got Talent.” Especially when you have absolutely no control over when your body will launch into a random series of rapid-fire blinks, or “flopping around,” like it literally has a mind of its own. But Samuel has a unique and head-on approach to his condition, and the judges appreciated it so much that they had no qualms voting him on to the next round!
Listen to the whole audition in the clip below, and share his hilarious act today.