If you and your friends declare yourselves, in all truth, to be the world’s first sketch comedy troupe whose members are all on the autism spectrum, you’re bound to attract curiosity. So it should come as no surprise that the Boston-based quartet Asperger’s Are Us have found themselves, as of late, the subjects of a documentary film, “Asperger’s Are Us: A True Story,” soon to appear on Netflix, with a second in the works. We talked with Noah Britton, Ethan Finlan, Jack Hanke and New Michael Ingemi about the film and their upcoming national tour.
Was there ever any reluctance to do the movie, from any of you?
NEW MICHAEL: Yeah, there still is.
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ETHAN: It's a good film, it's just that the focus is not our comedy, and that's okay.
NOAH: The process of filming itself was weird, because, obviously you're letting a total stranger into a very, very private part of your life. I think it's a good film. It’s not as funny as our live show, so we recommend anyone who saw the movie, if you want to see the real us, come see us on tour.
Yes, I also wanted to make sure we talked about your tour.
NEW MICHAEL: The purpose of the tour isn't to promote our documentary. We need to make that clear...
NOAH: True. The purpose of the tour is for us to do what we do, which is be funny. All our shows will end with a Q&A, so people who want to know about autism and stuff like that can come and ask us questions… Most of the show will not reference autism at all—it will just be funny.
At your shows, you guys sell t-shirts, and one of them says "I DON'T WANT YOUR PITY." Could you elaborate on what that means?
NOAH: We don't want people to come out of pity. We don't want people to come and say, "Oh, it's so courageous." We had someone at the most recent screening of the movie who was saying, "Oh, I want to congratulate you all on being so courageous," and I was like, "If you were watching Jerry Seinfeld you wouldn't say it was courageous, you'd either say it was funny or not funny," and that's the extent to which we want to hear feedback.
JACK: We want fame, money, glory, and pity, in that order. Like, once we've gotten the first three, we can get pity — at that point, we'll take it.
If you go:
Note: Asperger’s Are Us’ comedy is appropriate for ages 13 and up
Aspergers Are Us
July 6, 8 p.m.
216 Hanover St., Boston
Aspergers Are Us w/ Joe Pera
July 11, 7 p.m.
Caroline’s on Broadway
1626 Broadway, Manhattan
Aspergers Are Us
July 13, 8 p.m.
Punch Line Philly
1004 Canal St.