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Chris Fonseca

Stand-Up Comedian. Despite his wheelchair and cerebral palsy, nationally renowned comedian

What do you do with adversity? I laugh at it. For three decades, under the stage name, Chris “Crazy Legs” Chris Fonseca has have had the thrill of sharing laughter with audiences. It’s always a challenge for audiences to get over their initial perceptions of what I’m going to do and what I’m capable of.…

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What do you do with adversity? I laugh at it. For three decades, under the stage name, Chris “Crazy Legs” Chris Fonseca has have had the thrill of sharing laughter with audiences.

It’s always a challenge for audiences to get over their initial perceptions of what I’m going to do and what I’m capable of. We’re brought up not to make fun of handicapped people, but there I am asking a crowd to find me funny. People aren’t sure how to react at first. In my opening joke I always try to say without really saying it: ‘I know I’m handicapped and it’s OK.

I was born with Cerebral Palsy, due to my mother dying during my birth, so my path has never been an easy one. Adopted by an elderly uncle and aunt (my mother’s sister), who spoke broken English at best, made the climb a bit steeper.

My family is of Mexican descent. Add the rural setting of Fort Morgan, Colorado. A small farming community, success in entertainment was far from a realistic goal.

I attended college on a scholarship from Dow Jones, as a result of being one of four national winners in a minority journalist writing contest. The journalism department of Trinidad State Junior College, was on the third floor with no elevator. I tackled the stairs numerous times a day. I should have won the award just for climbing the stairs. Upon my graduation, they finally installed an elevator and named it the “Chris Fonseca Elevator.”

I began doing comedy as a sophomore in college and was soon hitting open mics all around Colorado.

After a very successful college journalism career, which included a Collegiate Journalist of the Year award, I did the logical thing. I started a comedy career. Quickly moving up in the comedy circles, I began touring in 1987, and in the ’90s, I began making appearances cable TV shows, and then hit late night. I was a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show and The Late Show with David Letterman, and performed at the prestigious Montreal International Comedy Festival and the American Comedy Awards on ABC.  Oddly enough I even appeared on the hit series Baywatch. They had me riding a customized, motorized wheelchair on the beach, which was great. But they also had me out in the water on a Boogie Board. Considering I don’t swim, it was quite an adventure. I was supposed to look like I was having fun, and I guess that’s where I did the real acting.”

In March of that year, I was involved in a car accident, which required surgery and months of physical rehab. I hit the road again in a wheelchair. I formerly used a chair as a kid, worked my way to a walker, then ditched the walker as a freshman in high school.

The mobility device often misleads people to believe Cerebral Palsy is a mental condition. For example, ordering at a restaurant can become a task, when waitstaff pre-determines that I can’t order for himself. At that point, one of my five children gladly intervene and order Dad the thing he’d hate most on the menu.

I have done numerous benefits alongside names such as President Jimmy Carter, Amy Grant and more. As a person with a disability, I have received recognition from many places. I got to perform at the Kennedy Center for President George Bush Sr. and George W. Bush for the 15th anniversary of The American with Disabilities Act, also performed on the ABC special “An Evening of Hope—Christopher Reeve.

I was given an award from The National Association for Speech Disorders, and I was an ambassador for World Cerebral Palsy Day in 2012.

I am very close to my children and live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I’m an avid San Antonio Spurs and Denver Broncos fan.

Currently I am working on a book, “Daddy, Where Do Jokes Come From” and a new CD, “You’ll Like Me When I’m Angry.”

I know it’s unusual to see a handicapped person up onstage, and if I do well, the crowd may get something out of it besides the laugh. But I’m not out there on any kind of a mission to promote disabled people and demonstrate what they can or can’t do. I’m a comedian, and I’m just trying to be funny.

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Chris Fonseca - Ontario Improv - Pablo Francisco Show (Drew Test Mix)

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