When it comes to being funny, Greg Walloch is one of Hollywood’s funniest comedians. Not one to lean on his physical disability, Greg makes it a point to highlight the “elephant in the room” and use it to make others laugh. Here, we get to know the superstar comic and what’s been up to lately.
Welcome sir! Please tell us who you are and why you chose comedy as your career path.
I’m Greg Walloch, a writer and performer currently living in Los Angeles. I think I have a very unique perspective because I have cerebral palsy and I’m gay. In a lot of ways, that’s what motivated me to pursue the path of telling my story. When I started out, people would come to my shows and say, “Oh, you’re like a comedian. But, there’s also some serious parts, and parts that are moving and interesting.” So, I embraced that and went with comedy as the way I would present my story. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I changed my story, but it changed the venues I would do, so I started doing more comedy clubs.
So, how did you get your “big break”.
That came when Gary Dell’Abate saw me at Stand Up New York and asked me to come onto the Howard Stern Show. So, Howard Stern was really the first one to give me exposure to a very large audience. It was great because, before that I had never been on a platform of that magnitude, or scale.
Wow! That’s a very big opportunity. I have a good friend/brother named, Jessie, who lives in Central Valley [California] and has cerebral palsy. So, I was super excited to be able to speak with you and share how CP doesn’t mean you can’t be “normal”. How has comedy helped you address any misconceptions about you and others with CP?
Yes! Whatever our station is in life, we always hold those preconceived notions about one another. What’s great about comedy is that it allows me to take those preconceptions and sort of turn them on their ear in an interesting kind of way. Because, in our culture today we tend to look at our differences in a negative way. One of the great things about sharing your story and your perspective is that, there could be someone who is totally different from you and may not even like what you’re about, but when you open up your world to them it can help to lower their guard a little and see what you see. I think that comedy allows us to do that on a grander scale, as opposed to a one-on-one level.
So, when I approach the stage and people are like, “he’s on crutches,” that’s a fun moment for me. When I go up to the mic and people realize that I’m funny and intelligent, I think people are surprised. I get the unique opportunity to cut back some of the misconceptions that people might have about those of us with physical disabilities.
That’s awesome! Now, you do more than just comedy right?
Yes! Thanks for asking. I host of a live show on the first Thursday of every month at the Standard Hollywood called, Eat Your Words. The show is about food, and the reason I why is that everybody can relate to food. So, with Eat Your Words, I wanted to create an evening that gives folks a real feeling of community. It’s like when you take a break at the end of your day, and you’re sitting at a table sharing a bottle of wine and some great stories. It’s a great way for us to connect and meet with great comedians, and we even have local chefs on to share information about their restaurants. It’s a great time.
Sounds like it. If someone wants to connect with you online, how do they do that?
Anyone can go to my website www.gregwalloch.com and get information about me and access my social media pages. But, my Twitter is @GregWalloch, and my Facebook is also GregWalloch.
(Originally published October 2014)