“I was at a party once with a group of people and I said ‘I’ve got an artificial foot’ and this woman went
‘Can you still have sex?’
Well, yeeeeeah… What does your boyfriend do!? Does he have a run up!?
And the guy next to her went
‘So, er, do you take it off to have sex?’
… That always gets a bit of a laugh and then it stops, cos I reckon everyone goes
‘Haha… Do you?’
The answer is yes I do. But there is no sexy way to remove a leg. I can’t do a strip across the room, lower the lights, unbutton the shirt, play some music, (sings) (mimes tripping over his own foot

You know, I’ve only ever been heckled twice when talking about my foot. The best heckles I’ve ever received. One was in Edinburgh, two o’ clock in the morning, I walked out on stage to compere this show, this guy’s leaning on the front with a pint of beer in his hand, I just went
‘Hi I’m Adam.’
and he just went
(Scottish accent) ‘You’re shite.’
Jeez, give me a chance to prove it!
‘I’m from Australia.’
(Scottish accent) ‘Australia’s shite!’
Everything I said for ten minutes:
(Scottish accent) ‘That’s shite! You’re all shite! Shite shite shite!’
Ten minutes in, I go
‘Oh, I’ve got an artificial foot.’
He went
(Scottish accent) ‘Oh shite…’
Got up on stage, took the mic and went
(Scottish accent) ‘No, give ‘im a round of applause, that’s brave that is.’

But without a word of a lie, the best heckle I’ve ever received about my foot was in London about a year and a half ago. I was chatting away on stage, and I said after about ten minutes
‘Oh, by the way, I’ve got an artificial foot.’
and this guy three rows back, who was an Aussie, just went
‘Has is got a piercing?’
… The whole room went
and he went
‘Has it – got – a – piercing?’
‘N-n-noooo… Why?’
and he went
‘Mine has!’
and pulled off an artificial ear. And held it up. Held it up above his head. And I went
‘That’s amazing! Can I ask how you lost it?’
and he went
he put the ear back on, and I said
‘I have to ask, how did you lose the ear?’
and he went
and I went
and he went
‘You idiot…’
and I said
‘Mate, I can’t go on, I have to find out how did you lose the ear?’
and this is what he says, he says
‘Well… Put it this way… You know when your mum and dad tell you not to stick your head out of the car window? Don’t do it…’
and everyone went deadly quiet except for this one Northern English guy at the back of the room who just paused and went
(Newcastle accent) ‘Your mum and dad cut your ear off as punishment!?'”

Adam Hills identifies people’s suppositions and assumptions about disability. People who are able bodied do not understand, necessarily, how disabled people ‘operate’. If someone is different to you, people often want to understand what makes them different and how it affects them. Children are very good at this, questioning the world and openly identifying and questioning things they don’t understand. We are taught that this can be deemed very rude, but Adam knows that people want to know what it is like to have an artificial foot, and is willing to openly tell people, to inform them about it. In this joke, he contrasts himself with another person with an artificial body part, and expresses the same intrigue. He highlights people’s misunderstandings and questions (‘Do you take it off to have sex?’ ‘Hahaha…… Do you?’) and even his own. The climax of the joke works on the idea that someone didn’t understand what usually doesn’t need to be said. We can allude to things, but if people don’t understand it they will often ask what people would usually assume to be ridiculous questions. Adam Hills uses people’s natural curiosity and ignorance about difference to create comedy.


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