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D.J. Demers is a stand-up comedian from Toronto and is quickly becoming a rising star in the comedy world. He gained fame in the US when he appeared on CONAN in December, and he even has his own online series. Oh, and did we mention he wears hearing aids?

After his CONAN routine went viral on Reddit in January, Demers himself showed up to a Reddit Q&A session, called an “AMA,” Ask Me Anything. He discussed his hearing aids, his comedic influences, and even his favorite breakfast (Cheerios with banana slices).

Living Life with Hearing Loss

Demers has been wearing hearing aids since age four, and wears them “all day e’eryday.” He  reports positive experiences as a kid growing up with hearing loss. A Reddit user, whose own child wears hearing aids, asked if he was ever bullied for wearing hearing aids. Demers response: “I didn’t, actually. Looking back, I wonder why not. The bullies were not on their ‘A’ game at my school, I guess.”

Demers also talked about others’ reactions to his hearing aids. One of the side effects of wearing hearing aids, he said, is people yelling loudly when he takes his hearing aids out. “Then,” he wrote, “I tell them they don’t have to yell, and they start speaking too quietly.” Another common response from online jokesters is writing to him in all capital letters, as if they’re yelling. One Redditor, giantsfan97, asked about it:

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The Quiet Side of Hearing Aids

In his stand-up routine, Demers talked about the advantages of having hearing aids—for instance, being able to enjoy silence whenever he takes his hearing aids out. “It really makes you wonder who has the disability,” he told the audience. In his AMA, he reported that he has Bluetooth in his hearing aids and can talk on the phone using them. “I’m a full blown cyborg. It’s incredible,” he jokes.

A Lifelong Love for Comedy

Demers performed at the world-famous Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal in July 2013, which is what lead him to American late-night television. Conan O’Brien’s producers saw Demers’ routine and knew they had to get him on the show. Demers called it “a highlight of my career/life” when he met Conan after the show, saying that the TV host was “very nice and supportive of my comedy.”

In his AMA, Demers wrote that he’s wanted to be a stand-up comedian all his life—more specifically, “since I was a wee lad,” and discussed his first night on stage, in which he “loved the high so much, I knew I had to do it.” He listed some of his favorite comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Dore, Dave Chappelle, Chelsea Peretti, and Norm MacDonald. In Demers’ words, “Norm is the king.”

DJ Demers calls himself “The Hearing Aid Guy,” but his comedy proves he is more than just his hearing aids. Demers is a great example of living positively with hearing loss, and is successfully building a career on and beyond his hearing aids. He’s got a lot planned for the future, and we here at Audicus look forward to seeing him more and more!

By: Elena McPhillips