Comedian Tina Friml Challenges Stigma With Jokes About Her Disability

Feb 12, 2018

Tina Friml, an up-and-coming local comedian, set the stage of a recent performance by describing herself as “a bit of an enigma.”  At age 24, she has quickly gained popularity for her unique — and almost taboo — style. She avoids some of the more typical comic fodder like dating and the workplace. Instead, Friml jokes about what it’s like to live with a disability.

In the opening minutes of a November performance at The Skinny Pancake in Burlington, she explained, “People don’t really know what's happening, they don’t really know what to say — but that doesn’t stop them.” Throughout her set, she made her audience both giggle and groan as she shared what it felt like to be the recipient of well-intended insults and described how she is perceived by strangers.

Friml has been performing stand-up for about a year, and in that time she has been featured in multiple showcases at the Vermont Comedy Club, performed at the Boston Comedy Arts Festival and Boston Comedy Chicks and even co-launched a monthly comedy and variety show called “Casual Friday Live” at the Marquis Theatre in Middlebury.

Friml spoke with Vermont Edition in December. She discussed how she got into comedy and how she developed her set. And she shared a few of her audiences’ favorite jokes.

Broadcast live on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.