Comedian Keith Wann to 'Sign' Jokes at Genesee Community College

Keith Wann, a comedian who uses sign language to convey his experiences as a hearing person growing up with deaf parents, will perform at Genesee Community College on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the Stuart Steiner Theatre in Batavia, NY. As a child of deaf adults, or CODA, Keith’s childhood included many moments where the hearing and deaf worlds collided, providing a rich inspiration for his comedic performance.

As a small child, he remembers wanting to attend the deaf school, but his parents made him attend the school for hearing students, which he complained was discrimination. He felt that people at the hearing school were “all handicapped” because they could not sign. Memories and experiences like this are interspersed throughout his act, as well as his humorous American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation of pop songs such as Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby. Wann explains his love of music stems from his deaf parents blasting the radio in his ears as an infant, when they were trying to determine if he was hearing or deaf.

Keith tours the country performing several shows, tailored for children or adults as his audience requires. Keith performs using ASL with his wife providing a spoken translation for those in the audience who aren’t fluent in that form of communication. He also performs as a storyteller at festivals nationwide, telling his tales using ASL. Wann has appeared in several commercials and has had parts in a few television shows as well, including Law and Order.

“We are thrilled to have one of America’s funniest comedians come to Genesee,” said Annette Blanchard, Advisor of Genesee’s Dactylology Club. “This is a unique opportunity for our students and the community to get a fun, yet truthful glimpse of a lifestyle they may not know very much about.”

Keith lives in Brooklyn, NY and works part-time as a certified interpreter. He completed a program at Julliard on interpreting Broadway plays and plans to continue exploring more options in the performing arts as an interpreter and artist. For further information go to:

Sponsored by Genesee’s Dactylology Club, which studies signed languages, tickets for the show are $20 presale, $25 at the door, or $15 for students with a valid college ID. Seating is limited to 300 people. For more information about the Dactylology Club, contact Annette Blanchard at 716-560-3955, email: or Nick Russo at 585-734-5278, email: