Niek Theelen – Comedy is a Crutch

Niek Theelen is a stand-up comedian living and performing with Cerebral Palsy. He has mined humour from the differences and difficulties in his experience; it’s a unique aspect of his material that he must manage with his audience. Niek immediately communicates to the crowd that it’s okay to laugh at him almost dropping the Olympic torch, or how he attracts attention simply trying to buy cereal. He then has to mindfully walk the line of humour and ensure the audience stays comfortable. “I don’t want to get too into my struggle, I don’t want to make anyone sad.” BUT, that does not mean that he is afraid to push the issue of his disability. Catch him at a Roast Battle and see that he’s committed to challenging all parties involved, even if he has to choreograph getting his canes kicked out from underneath him.

Niek and his experience with disability have added to a strong and animated voice to the Alberta comedy scene, but he doesn’t want that to define his comic identity. He’s happy to shake up his set and try a challenge, like developing 12 minutes of just puns – sounds like a walk in the park – or trying to fill another void in the comedy world: llama jokes.


Niek is a regular at Heritage Lanes Comedy Zone on Sundays and Cheers Your Neighborhood Pub’s comedy nights, last Tuesday of the month. He will also be at the Medicine Hat Comedy Fest in August. Follow Niek Theelen Comedy on Facebook for dates as they’re announced.

Written by Tyler Walline

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