Ryan Niemiller will present his act to a celebrity panel on tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent. Niemiller is a comedian who refers to himself as “unarmed and dangerous” due to a disability he has in both arms. Learn more about the comedian and his background ahead of tonight’s performance.
Niemiller grew up in Northwest Indiana, and he studied theater at Indiana State University. He incorporates his disability into his act, and he told Stream of Caitlinness that his arms give him a unique talking point in the comedy world. “I’d say it’s 80/20 advantage to disadvantage. My arms make me unique,” he explained. “I can guarantee there are no other comedians just like me in the world. I’m not just a late 20’s single white guy comic. I have something that helps me stand out, a hook if you will (pun intended). I have something I can immediately bring the audience in on.”
Niemiller Is Comedian With a Disability In Both Of His Arms
Niemiller also credits his arms with getting him into stand up comedy in the first place. “I’d like to say [I would’ve still been a comedian], but honestly, I doubt it. I developed a sense of humor as a defense mechanism,” he revealed. “I’d make all the jokes before anyone else had a chance to. If I was ‘normal,’ I doubt that would have ever developed the way it did. I’d probably be an accountant or something equally lame. Ha ha.”
“I make money off it. I travel the country telling jokes about it, and then they hand me a check afterward” the comedian added. “For me, it’s hard to get much better than that. And recently, I’ve just started cutting out a lot of the negative energy in my life. So if you’re not with me, you’re against me. That’s how I own it.”
Niemiller Shares a Hometown With Former ‘AGT’ Comic Drew Lynch
According to Niemiller’s website, he tours the country year-round and covers topics “such as dating, trying to find employment, and attempting to find acceptance in a world not designed for him.” He also has a YouTube channel where you can watch several of his taped comedy sets. The most recent set, posted in December, sees him talk about an incident where a new job required him to document his fingerprints as part of his background check.
In a recent interview with Indy Star, fellow comedian Drew Scott praised Niemiller and his bravery onstage. “I can’t tell you one thing he’s asked for help doing when I’ve been around him,” he said. “He’s more functional than I am, and I have both of my hands and arms… He has to address it, but he’s not a ‘shtick’ act. He doesn’t just do material about his arms. He addresses it because if he doesn’t that’s what the audience is going to wonder about the entire time.”
Niemiller is not the first comedian from Indianapolis to audition for America’s Got Talent. Drew Lynch, who was the runner-up during season ten, also hails from Indy. Lynch was last seen competing in the spin-off series America’s Got Talent: The Champions.