Indiana's Ryan Niemiller talks about life before and after his AGT performance

Ryan Niemiller performs on "America's Got Talent" (America's Got Talent/YouTube)
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DEMOTTE, Ind. (WTHR) — A local comedian is embracing his birth defect as he shares his story. Ryan Niemiller made his appearance on America's Got Talent last week, but his audition is still taking everyone by storm.

"I love being a stand-up comedian, this is always what I wanted to do,” Ryan said. “I have had other jobs in the past though, I used to juggle chainsaws. It went well for a while."

After his audition, Ryan not only got all four judges on their feet but also the whole theater.

"That was the largest crowd that I have ever performed in front of as far as people in the audience let alone the 10 million that got to watch it live and then online since,” Ryan explained. “I am still a little shocked that it happened, but I am excited for more."

Even with all this excitement and anticipation for what’s next, Ryan will always remember his home in northwest Indiana.

“I grew up in a small trailer park and I sort of use that,” Ryan said. “It’s literally coming from as low as you could to being on these big stages, being on this big platform. I don't forget where I am from."

Ryan said he has noticed that people with disabilities are being underrepresented because they aren’t the “normal” TV. But he has found a way to us his disability to make people laugh.

“People ask me dumb questions all the time. I get this one a lot, ‘Hey, Ryan is that genetic?’ Yes, because my mom is Irish, and my dad is a lobster,” Ryan joked.

Growing up he never saw anyone like him on TV. His goal now is to change that and AGT is helping him do that.


“I never thought I was going to be able to get that kind of opportunity especially when you have a disability like this, people don’t want to throw you on television,” Ryan said. “I am going to be forever grateful to them for taking that opportunity and giving me that platform to do it."

Since his appearance on the show, Ryan's social media following has blown up, and he's getting recognized everywhere he goes.

"Now suddenly everyone knows who I am. It's really crazy to know the seven minutes where my life completely changed,” Ryan said.


He hopes everyone gets a laugh or two from his jokes, but he also hopes they get something else out of it.

"I think I can be used as an example,” Ryan said. “No matter what your lot in life may be, you can make it."

Watch "America's Got Talent" Tuesdays at 8 p.m. only on Channel 13. Ryan's next appearance on the show will be in July. Until then he will be preforming around the Indy area.

Here's a post with where those shows will be:

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