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.…
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.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
An Evening With Chris Fonseca
Chris Fonseca - Ontario Improv - Pablo Francisco Show (Drew Test Mix)
1 HOUR OR LESS