Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Comedy is Autistic (Episode 54)

Comedy is Autistic (Episode 54)

Hannah Gadsby & Fern Brady - a deep dive on two Autistic icons
Listen to Autistic podcast hosts discuss: Comedy is Autistic. Hannah Gadsby & Fern Brady - a deep dive on two Autistic comedy icons

*At the time of the recording, Angela and Matt used she/her pronouns for Hannah Gadsby based on the research materials for the episode (mainly: Hannah’s memoir, stand-up specials, and a few interviews). We have since learned that Hannah’s pronouns are they/them. TACP fully supports gender diversity and respecting people’s pronouns. We apologize for the serious error we made and offer our sincerest apologies to Hannah and our listeners for our mistake and any harm it has caused. In this instance, we failed to live up to our mission of radical inclusivity. Please respect your own boundaries and triggers and listen with care.

In this episode of The Autistic Culture Podcast:

Hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria and Matt Lowry, LPP, discuss the memoirs of two Autistic comedians: Hannah Gadsby from Tasmania and Fern Brady from Scotland.

Angela highlights the many parallels between Hannah and Fern's lives—their struggles getting appropriately diagnosed, dealing with gender-based violence, sexual abuse, homophobia and ableism. Both found their way to comedy as a survival mechanism and ended up having great success, especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

A: So about 20 years before she was diagnosed…she read a description and she was like, ‘oh, that's totally me.’ She knew it. But no matter what she did, she got diagnosed with everything else: bipolar, depression, schizophrenia—like you name it, she was diagnosed with literally everything else.
M: Did she make eye contact and arrive in a car that she drove herself?
A: Yeah. Also, she's pretty.
M: Oh, there you go.

The hosts discuss Hannah and Fern's issues with employment, homelessness, and disordered eating. They also touch on differences in meltdowns vs shutdowns and masking through comedy.

“And so she goes back to living above the fruit and veg store, but stays in the relationship too long because she doesn’t want to be homeless again or unhoused again. So that is—I think—a cycle that we see a lot.” —Angela

They discuss a quote from Hannah Gadsby, in which they share about diffusing tension through comedy as a survival tactic from childhood mistreatment. The hosts praise both books as reclaiming the narrative and gaining self-understanding. They highly recommend reading the memoirs together and watching Hannah Gadsby's comedy specials.

Do you relate to these Autistic comedians? Do their stories remind you of your own?

Hannah Notes:

Fern Notes:

More Autistic Culture:

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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit