On Saturday, May 4, some of the Pacific Northwest's funniest people will take the stage at the Egyptian Theatre as part of The Stranger's Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy showcase. Andy Iwancio! Dan Hurwitz! Chris Mejia! Monica Nevi! Juno Men! Bernice Larson! Kermet Apio! And headliner Sam Miller! Plus, the whole night will be hosted by Emmett Montgomery, beloved weirdo, host of Friendship Dungeon and Joketellers Union, and one of 2023's Undisputable Geniuses.

It's going to be very funny! I hope you come! Tickets are available here! Exclamation points!

This week, ahead of the show, we're getting to know all the comics. Our final interview is with Dan Hurwitz, founder of Seattle's Disabled List! Hurwitz co-produced the second annual Disabled List Comedy Festival in January, which featured performances by Comrade Tripp, Hayden Kristal, and fellow Undisputable Genius Andy Iwancio. Hurwitz and comedian Kayla Brown also produced the short film This Is Spinal Injury, which is a mockumentary based on the behind-the-scenes work required to organize "the greatest, most accessible, yet simultaneously least commercially viable comedy show." It premiered at Local Sightings in 2022. Follow the Disabled List on Instagram for info about future shows.

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How does it feel to be declared an Undisputable Genius of Comedy?

When I was 17 I took the SATs and got a 1210. Not satisfied with that score, I kept studying and took the SATs again, this time receiving a 1200. It was at that moment when I realized that any classification of me as a genius would be disputable at best. So this is gratifying but quite unexpected. 

The show is at the Egyptian, which is rumored to be haunted. Do you believe in ghosts?

I try not to believe in things that, were I to believe in them, would scare me. So short answer: No. Long answer: Let's talk about something else.

You and Kayla Brown produced a short film called This Is Spinal Injury, which premiered in Local Sightings a couple of years back. Do you have any other film plans in the works? Also, is the film available to stream or watch anywhere online?

Unfortunately, Spinal Injury isn't online yet, but will be soon? Kayla and I also recently produced a police procedural for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. We've got some other ideas bouncing around our collective noggins. The key to good acting is to not seem like you're acting, and I definitely seem as though I'm doing something other than acting when I act. 

The film was inspired by your founding the Disabled List, a collective of disabled comics, in 2018, right? I know there are still so many entertainment venues in town that don’t really meet any kind of accessibility standards beyond the bare minimum or what’s legally required. Is that starting to change at all?

No, not at all. Get your shit together people. Nate Jackson's, in Tacoma, is a great example of a club that takes accessibility seriously. Not only is the space accessible for audience members, but the stage has a ramp and is accessible to performers as well. But Nate's unfortunately is an exception to the rule.

I also think it's important to expand notions of accessibility beyond wheelchairs. We've had ASL interpreters at our past two Disabled List Festivals and plan to make that a more regular occurrence at our Disabled List shows. I also think there is work to be done with adding audio descriptions. I know that considering these things requires foresight, and sometimes it's hard. But you know what else is hard? Getting a slightly worse score each time you take the SATs.

Somewhat related: From the outside looking in, it looks like Seattle’s comedy scene is really thriving, maybe the most robust it has been in years. Does that feel accurate to you?

Yeah, I think so. I think there are a lot of really interesting comedians doing interesting things. I think a lot of credit goes to the comedians and producers who work really hard to make cool stuff happen here (tip of the hat to the Upper Left Comedy Fest, among many others). Seattle has always had great comedians, though. I remember seeing Sam Miller (crushing) at Jai Thai before I even started doing comedy. I knew Kermet [Apio]'s reputation as a legend before I ever got to meet him. Everyone I'll be sharing the stage with on Saturday is someone I admire, and almost everyone is a person I was too scared to talk to when I started out.

What’s your favorite place to see comedy in Seattle right now?

Anywhere I'm not performing. 

The Stranger presents the 2024 Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy Sat May 4 at the Egyptian Theatre, 8 pm, $25, 18+. Tickets are available here.

Read our other interviews with Sam Miller, Bernice LarsonChris MejiaAndy IwacioMonica NeviKermet Apio, and Juno Men.