Asperger’s Are Us, a comedy troupe of self-described “openly autistic people,” will perform Sunday in Philadelphia at PhilaMOCA in Center City. Their comedy is not about spreading awareness.
Asperger’s Are Us is a four-person sketch comedy group from Boston. Inspired by The Kids in the Hall, Monty Python, and comedian Mark Proksch, New Michael Ingemi and Noah Britton describe their style as absurd. (Jack Hanke and Ethan Finlan are the other members of the troupe).
Here’s how two of the members responded during an interview when told they were not live on the air:
“We’ve finally passed on,” said Ingemi.“Well, then I guess I can put my hand into this furnace — it won’t matter,” answered Britton.
Being on the autism spectrum can be an asset when it comes to comedy, he said.
“It makes us have very associative brains, so we can make puns so much quicker than a lot of neurotypicals because they’re thinking of stuff more linearly,” he said.
Britton, who was diagnosed in his 20s, met the other members of the troupe when he was their counselor at a camp for kids on the spectrum.
“I was like, these people get it. This is fun, this makes sense, this is intrinsically motivating, and I’d go home and be so happy from cracking up with them all day,” he said.
Don’t come to the show expecting a crash course in autism. Instead, Ingemi and Britton advise coming to have fun and enjoy the absurd sketches — like the one about a couple looking to adopt a foster kid, only to meet their own biological child whom they gave up before.
And though the troupe doesn’t like it when people come to “expand their horizons,” if that does happen, Britton said, it’s not the end of the world.
“Cause money doesn’t care where it comes from,” he said. “We’ll use it to buy stuff no matter what.”