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Dear Comedians: My Concussion Is Not a Punchline

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It’s happened again: I’m watching television, and my disability is the punchline of a joke. This time it’s John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight, where Oliver uses humor to keep audiences engaged in his in-depth critiques of otherwise dry subjects like the post office, elder care, or corporate taxation.

In last week’s episode — a probe into the business of ambulances — Oliver introduced his chosen villain, the head of a private equity firm, by criticizing the poetry she shared on Instagram.

Her writing, he said, feels “less like real poetry and more like someone with a concussion trying to remember Kesha lyrics.” My body went tense.

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