Turning Tragedy Into Comedy: Rare Footage of Amazing Deaf Comedian Bringing Her Audience to Tears (VIDEO)
When it comes to life handing out lemons, deaf comedian Kathy Buckley hit the motherlode.
And while she may be laughing now (and making millions of others laugh right along with her), she wasn’t always.
A five-time American Comedy Awards Nominee for Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne, an award-winning actress, motivational speaker, AND a best-selling author, Kathy’s list of accomplishments is inspiring.
But it took taking a lot of unbelievably hard hits — literally — to get there.
She shares her incredible journey in rare old video footage that will have you crying and laughing. And laughing and crying.
But most of all, it might inspire you to know that if someone can face such overwhelming obstacles and still survive — so can you.
Deaf Comedian Kathy Buckley’s Life is No Joke
Kathy was born in Wickliffe, Ohio in 1958. When she was young, her parents chalked up communication challenges to her being “slow.” Turns out, she was actually hearing impaired.
It wasn’t until Kathy was in grade two that her teachers and parents realized the truth. “And they call me slow,” she jokes about it now.
School wasn’t easy for her. Not only did she struggle academically, often unable to lip-read what the teachers were saying, but she also struggled with bullying and being accepted.
“I just wanted to be accepted. I just wanted to be a part of something,” she says.
Eventually, she graduated from high school with a one-point average.
Lost and confused and battling depression, she attempted suicide FIVE different times by the time she turned 20.
While she may have been done with life, life wasn’t done with her.
The Hits Kept Coming — Literally
At 20 years old, Kathy was sunbathing on the shores of Lake Erie when life really pulled out all the stops.
A 3,500-pound lifeguard jeep ran her over.
“Talk about not knowing what your job description is,” she jokes in her comedy act.
Her injuries, however, were no joke. The jeep ran over her face, stomach, chest, thighs, and back. She believes she died at the scene of the accident. “I saw life after death.”
Paramedics revived her but she was laid up for five years, in and out of a wheelchair for 24 months. Doctors told her she’d never walk again. She refused to listen. “I figured I didn’t hear them,” she quipped. “I got up and I left.”
She walked right out the door and ended up in sunny California.
And just when you think it couldn’t get any worse… it did.
A Life-Threatening Cancer Diagnosis
One year after recovering from the jeep accident, life dealt her another crushing blow.
Doctors diagnosed her with cervical cancer. They performed surgery to remove it. Six months later, the phone rang. They didn’t get it all. Without another surgery, they gave her six months to a year to live.
By this point, Kathy had had just about enough. (No kidding.)
In her short 27 years, she had known endless ridicule and bullying, suffered depression, been sexually molested, almost died being run over by a jeep, faced living life in a wheelchair, finally learned how to walk again, and was now facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.
“The gift of choice is the gift that’s given to you that nobody can take away from you. You have unlimited choices. If you make the wrong choice you can try to correct it with another choice and make it right.”Kathy Buckley
It sounds like the stuff of a crazy lifetime movie. But this wasn’t Hollywood.
Instead of giving up, Kathy got angry. And she decided to do something about it.
She took control of her life. She stopped listening to all of the people who told her “You can’t.” She changed her diet and her attitude and kicked cancer to the curb.
She changed her life. And turned her lemons into lemonade. With a comedic twist.
Deaf Comedian Turns Tragedy into Comedy
Despite suffering setback after devastating setback, Kathy refused to let them define her — even finding the humor in her otherwise very dark circumstances.
Hysterically funny and wickedly witty, Kathy found her calling after entering a comedy stand-up contest at a charity event and snagging one of the top spots in a large group of professional comedians.
Since then, she’s taken the U.S. comedy circuit by storm, becoming America’s first deaf comedienne.
She’s appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside Edition, CNN, HBO, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, An Evening At The Improv, and Howard Stern.
She’s been off-broadway and also starred in her own original award-winning PBS special called ‘No Labels, No Limits.’
Additionally, she travels the world as a motivational speaker, inspiring audiences with her amazing story of courage, resilience, and overcoming. And she empowers millions to take control of their own lives, just like she did.
Kathy took the absolute worst life had to throw at her and turned it into comedy gold.
Can you do the same?
“You got one shot at this gift called life. What are YOU going to do with it?”Kathy Buckley