The ability to make others laugh

Published: Aug. 31, 2019 at 10:19 AM EDT
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August 31 is the final night of the Vermont's Funniest Comedian Competition at the Vermont Comedy Club. The event is being hosted by last year's winner Tina Friml.

Tina Friml took the stage at the Vermont Comedy Club and told jokes during an open mic night. Nearly three years later, she's taking the stage again. This time, as a headliner.

"To have an audience that wants to see me, leaves their house to see me, is crazy," says Tina.

What's not crazy, is how Tina struggled with her cerebral palsy while growing up in Middlebury.

Tina says, "When I was a kid and teen, I thought it was making me into a tragedy."

She jokes, "People see me and they don't know what's happening. They don't know what to say..but that doesn't stop them."

"It's so funny that now talking about it is not only daily activity, it's my career," explains Tina.

In one of her jokes she says, "I go out. I go to the bar. Well, not to drink, but to be around other people who have been drinking. I just fit right in."

She attended the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal four years ago and was hooked.

Tina Friml says, "I had no idea that comedy had such a diverse and rich energy and industry."

She was recently named a new face at the Just for Laughs festival. The same festival, Tina attended as a patron just a few years ago.

Tina says, "Obviously, performing in front of 800 people is just a highlight."

"I know that if I bomb and no one laughs, it's still like a TED Talk," she says in another joke.

Tina says, "I really found that tiny way, that it can be okay."