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Stand-Up Comic With Tourette Syndrome Performs at Baptist College. It Doesn't Go Well — but Not for the Reason You're Thinking


"Then the cops came in."

Samuel J. Comroe, just after his HBU show. (Image source: YouTube)

Stand-up comedian Samuel J. Comroe said he arrived 30 minutes early for his performance at Houston Baptist University and asked an administrator about off-limits subjects.

"They said, 'No cussing,'" Comroe noted in a online video he posted following the gig. "I didn't cuss."

Samuel J. Comroe, just after his HBU show. (Image source: YouTube) Samuel J. Comroe, just after his HBU show. (Image source: YouTube)

Comroe — who has Tourette Syndrome — said the school even told him he could discuss sex as long as the content wasn't vulgar.

But during Wednesday's show a student asked Comroe what sex was like with his condition — and before he could answer, school officials cut short the comic's performance.

Comroe said on his post-show video that the administrator he talked to stood up in the back and yelled, "No, you're not going to answer that question." Comroe responded, saying that he would answer the question.

Then Comroe claimed police were called and a student informed him that he had five minutes left, to which Comroe replied that he'd use that time to answer the sex question. A minute later, he said his microphone was cut off — and then Comroe said he talked to the crowd without a microphone but still didn't specifically answer the sex question.

"Then the cops came in," Comroe claimed on his video. "They did that cop, like, power stance...What are you going to do? 'Get him, he's shooting us with his jokes!'"

While Comroe called it "the most disrespectful show I've ever done," he had high praise for the students, whom he said approached him after the show and apologized for what happened and even gave him a standing ovation.

As for the university's, one administrator said the agreement wasn't followed.

"We agreed upon what was OK to speak about and what was not, and that was not on the OK list," Whit Goodwin, vice president of student life at the university, told the Houston Chronicle. "We didn't feel the show upheld the agreed-upon standards."

More from the Chronicle:

Comroe, a Los Angeles native, has been doing stand-up since high school. He often riffs on his life with Tourette. "You don't know what it's like when a haircut becomes a life or death situation," he jokes in one routine. In 2012 Comroe was named the winner of a comedy competition by actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, which netted Comroe an appearance on Conan O'Brien's "Conan."

Barbara Holliday, the comedian's manager, said the question about sex is the one most commonly asked during Comroe's question-and-answer sessions.

"What's great about comedy is he can address it in a funny, positive, non-sexual way," she told the Chronicle. "He has a great funny response to that question that doesn't enhance the sexual nature of it. It stifles it. But he never got the chance to answer."

Comroe concluded that HBU simply shouldn't have booked him. "If you can't handle my stand-up comedy, don't ever book a comedian," he said on his post-show video. "Because I'm one of the cleanest...just book a f*****' juggler next time."

More from the Chronicle:

Goodwin said HBU has had comedians at the school before without incident. The school has a student code of conduct, which is "dedicated to the development of moral character, the enrichment of spiritual lives, and the perpetuation of growth in Christian ideals."

Among its policies and regulations is one for "offensive entertainment," defined as "entertainment played or displayed publicly on University premises or at University-sponsored activities that contain levels of violence, profanity, and sexual overtures that would be found offensive and/or in conflict with community standards."

Here's the video Comroe posted to YouTube after his performance. (Warning: Profanity ahead...):

(H/T: Houston Chronicle)

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