HomeDisabilityDeaf comic makes quarterfinals on AGT

Deaf comic makes quarterfinals on AGT

Season 17 of “America’s Received Expertise” kicked off on the finish of Could, 2022. After being impressed by different deaf contestants, deaf comic Hayden Kristal (they/them/theirs) introduced that they needed to “pursue this for [themselves].” Kristal is now a quarterfinalist after performing a wickedly joke on episode three of this season’s AGT.

Multitalented Deaf Comic 

Deaf comic Hayden Kristal — who identifies as deaf, bisexual, queer, and Jewish — was born into an all listening to household in Colorado. After majoring in signal language and zoology and pursuing a profession as a zookeeper, Kristal determined that comedy was their true ardour. Kristal jokingly introduces themselves as “a Brooklyn-based former zookeeper who gave up a profitable profession in salamanders to pursue comedy and public talking” on their web site.

“I feel…early on, I discovered that comedy is a language all people understands,” Hayden mentioned in her pre-performance interview.

“Comedy is a language all people perceive”


Path to Success

Earlier than auditioning for “America’s Received Expertise” (AGT) this 12 months, Kristal appeared on “Stand Up NBC” and made it to the semifinals. 

“If I say one thing and also you snicker at it, that’s a connection,” Kristal mentions earlier than occurring stage. “I all the time love that feeling.”

For many who have by no means watched the nationally televised present, America’s Received Expertise is a expertise competitors the place contestants from all around the nation carry out. Celeb judges determine if a contestant can transfer from one stage to the following till a winner is topped with one million {dollars} in prize cash. Presently being filmed within the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Los Angelos, season 17 is now on its thirteenth episode. 

Kristal introduced on week three of AGT a brief, but hilarious, retelling of their utility to the Gorilla Basis. The muse took care of the well-known gorilla Koko, who knew signal language. Whereas utilizing self-deprecating wit, Kristal recounted that their utility was rejected attributable to their deafness. Kristal outlined the discrimination that folks with disabilities nonetheless obtain. Additionally they strung collectively an ironic story that impressed each the judges and viewers. 

Whereas Kristal began the efficiency in signal language, complicated the viewers and judges, Kristal introduced the remainder of their story verbally with the assistance of signal language interpreter Julie. Though Kristal jokes that “I do like to start out [with sign language] ’trigger [it] makes heckling me a ADA violation,” Kristal performs most of their comedy units in English. 

On YouTube, Kristal’s efficiency has over 745K views. One person commented, “Now that’s what I name comedic timing! She put me on the ground.” Simon Cowell, identified for being exhausting to please, added that it was “brilliantly humorous.” Evidently, Kristal earned an unanimous vote to proceed to the following stage of the competitors.

Impressed by Previous Comedians 

When requested why they needed to compete on AGT, Hayden talked about previous opponents whose performances inspired them to pursue stand-up comedy. “This is among the largest levels on the earth, and watching a number of the people who AGT has given alternatives to has given me extra confidence to pursue this for myself,” they mentioned within the audition video.

Throughout her efficiency, Kristal known as out two explicit comedians as her inspiration: D.J. Demers, a Phonak “hEARo” and deaf comic who appeared on AGT in 2016, and Drew Lynch, a comic with a speech obstacle, who was runner-up of the tenth season.

“After I see different folks with disabilities on this stage and thriving, I do know that they got the instruments to have the ability to succeed right here,” Kristal mentioned earlier than their AGT efficiency.

Learn extra: Speaking with deaf comic D.J. Demers on World Laughter Day


As deaf comic, Kristal can be an activist. Over the previous few years, they’ve spoken at many conferences and faculties throughout the nation. In 2016, Kristal hosted their first Ted Speak on Intersectional Incapacity. With 660K followers on TikTok, Kristal makes use of their platform to discover “the intersections of capacity, gender, sexuality, and entry, significantly inside the spheres of activism and social justice.”

Kristal’s previous applications have included “Laughing Out Loud: Bridging Social Gaps By Comedy” and “Classes From My Deafblind Canine.” As one person commented, “So pleased with Hayden. I observe [them] on TikTok and as soon as I discovered [they were] on AGT I used to be so joyful for [them] and I simply needed to go watch it!”

Kristal will not be certain what’s ready forward, however as they mentioned after the profitable AGT audition, “to be right here [performing], it’s unbelievable and I felt like I already gained simply making it to tonight.”

“America’s Received Expertise” airs each Wednesday at 8pm EST on NBC.

Learn extra: A listing of deaf stand-up comedians




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