This Standup Comic Turned His Disability Into Comedy Gold
Chris Crespo was born with a rare physical condition that left him with half-length arms – and a killer sense of humor.
Appearing second-to-last one night in June at Stand Up NY – a comedy club on Manhattan’s Upper West Side – is 28-year-old North Bergen, New Jersey, native Chris Crespo. The five-foot-nine, sleepy-eyed Crespo takes to his tippy toes and gingerly removes the mic from its stand, his torso leaning forward heavily. Crespo was born with complicated syndactyly, a condition affecting one in every two or three thousand babies, leaving him with arms ending just past his elbows and clubbed hands with but a few gnarled digits. When he was a kid he had surgery to separate some of his fingers, giving him slightly enhanced gripping capabilities.
After getting the mic propped between his right hand and the bottom of his bicep, he takes extra time to pick up the mic stand and place it behind him, using his left arm. He opens every set this way to purposely build tension throughout the audience.
Then, calmly, Crespo says into the mic, “Don’t worry, I’m just like you guys… I put my …