I first knew I wanted to be a comic when I was in the fourth grade. It’s all I ever thought I’d end up being. There was no Plan B. I remember hanging out in the basement watching a repairman fix our ancient furnace, wearing the black paper witch hat that I always wore back then. I didn’t have on slippers which made my mom lose her mind. After a brief scuffle on the staircase with an increasingly nervous repairman wondering if he was going to have to call Protective Services, I thought I could outrun my mad Italian moma on my Big Wheel. Nope. She caught me within a block and systematically destroyed my beloved headwear by stomping and tearing it apart like an angry bull. I thought to myself, “Someday, I’m going to make people laugh about this.” I love my Mom.
Fast forward to today. I’ve worked all my adult life as a comedian and storyteller. I love the creative process of changing my act from year to year. I am religious about trying out new material. My act has evolved to where it is now – stories of truth from my life. Why would that be so funny? Well, I was born with cerebral palsy which helped shape me into the unique person I am today. It has thrown me into many interesting situation and gave me an opportunity to slow down long enough to observe life. I wouldn’t have become a comedian otherwise, but it is only a small fraction of my story. Having a disability is truly a blessing. From an angry god.
I’ve been lucky all my life. I stepped to the stage for the first time in 1989 at the age of 17. Two years later, I began touring after winning the Portland Laugh Off – the youngest comic ever to do so. Since then, I’ve traveled all over the U.S. and love performing at all kinds of venues – from dive bars to historic theaters. Recently I played an Elk’s lodge to an audience that looked like the cast of Cocoon. I even played a church. I’ve performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and at the New Orleans Comedy Arts Festival. I’ve appeared on radio and podcasts and have my own weekly podcast called “From the Nook” where I rant and tell ridiculous stories from my breakfast nook in Portland, Oregon. In 2011, I won the Shades of Laughs Comedy Competition – a grueling month long tour of the Pacific Northwest. My final night, I performed right after a group of 15 year old girls lipsynching One Direction in Vancouver BC. Then, I literally crawled up on the stage and told a story about how my son cleans his room now that he has Type 1 diabetes. You just hide his insulin somewhere in his room. I think I’m the only white guy to ever win that competition. I love my life.
I’ve been labeled many things – edgy, dirty, or X-rated, but I don’t think I’m any of those labels. I’m just honest. I like to say I’m uncensored. Life is uncensored so why should a comedy show be any different? Recently, I did a show at a casino where I couldn’t swear or say god’s name in vain. It was a challenge, but I did it. I really had to get creative though.
What I am – honest, curious, uncensored, funny, physical, and kind of weirdly lovable (according to my fans). What I’m not – mediocre, bored, predictable, or coordinated.
Tell me your story and I’ll tell you one too.
What others say about Lonnie Bruhn:
–DOUG STANHOPE FROM COMEDY CENTRAL’S “THE MAN SHOW”
“As laughter exploded around him, every face was beaming in his direction”
“Lonnie Bruhn gives a black-eye to comedy.”
“Another ‘craft of comedy’ clinic. Such a thing of beauty to experience and then Lonnie makes you forget about the clipboard and you just laugh til you cry and go home wondering how he makes that magic happen so consistently. He ruins the excuse of a ‘bad audience‘
–MICHAEL T. JORDAN
Tours, Festivals and Theaters:
- The New Orleans’s Comedy Arts Festival: 2012
LaNuit Comedy Theater: New Orleans, LA
- The Ability Explosion Festival: 2010 and 2011
The Colony Theater: Miami, FL
- The Bridgetown Comedy Festival: 2009, 2010, and 2011
Portland, OR Comedy Festival”
featuring heavy hitters like Janean Garofalo, David Koechner, Marc Maron, and Andy Dick
- The Cripple xXx Comedy Tour: 2006-2008
Regional and National Tour supporting United Cerebral Palsy: Lonnie Bruhn and Joe fontenot (Northwest, Midwest and east coast)
- Fist of Rage Tour: 2008
Regional Tour (Northwest)
- The Raunch Tour: 2004
With David: Nickerson, Chris Porter and James Inman
- The Uptown Theater:
Kansas City, Missouri
- The Kelso Theatre
- The Mystic Theatre
- Sabala’s Theatre