You Don’t Look Funny | April Macie | TEDxNewport

“My grandmother had a stroke when I was in second grade and only retained the use of the words, ‘good, boy,’ and a few swear words, so I was surrounded by somebody who was certifiably kind of crazy,” says April Macie. She grew up in the 1980’s with schizophrenia, suicide, AIDS, and alcoholism in her immediate family. And, she says, “I was the girl in high school that had a horrible sexual rumor spread about her, so I spent most of my high school years eating tater-tots alone in the bathroom at lunch because I didn’t have any friends.”

“Growing up, the only time there was any kind of joy in my house was if I was the one dispensing it. So, I guess that carried over into my career. But, I still wouldn’t trade it because it gave me a really cool adult life.” Today, April travels the world peddling her jokes.

April has been a professional comedian since 2005, but she believes that making people laugh has always been her only life skill. She thinks that humor heals but that people don’t laugh much. “People come up to me after shows and say, ‘oh, I needed that. I haven’t laughed in months.’ Months!?” she says. “Once in a while, you get some letter from someone who was dealing with the spouse that had brain cancer and thanks you for just taking away their pain for 45 minutes at your show. I think there’s some beauty in that.”

April’s TEDx Newport talk, “You Don’t Look Funny” reveals life as a lady-comic, and how to heal with humor. “I feel like my life was capsized as a little girl, and it’s my job as an adult to patch the holes in my own boat. You can fix your own boat, turn it over, and steer it in the right direction.” Comedian, Traveler This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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