Athletics is Melanie Sergiev’s life. Athletics changed the life of Drew Lynch.
The former is a world-class cross country skier. The latter, who is her husband, became a stand-up comedian after suffering a traumatic brain injury while playing softball 11 years ago.
Lynch, who will perform Friday and Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club, was a fledgling actor in Los Angeles but everything changed during an afternoon on the diamond.
“I was playing softball and a hard hit ball took a bad hop and struck me in the throat,” Lynch said. “I fell and smacked my head on the ground. That led to my career as a stand-up.”
When Lynch, who was concussed and diagnosed with a neurogenic stutter, couldn’t keep his audition appointments, his agent dropped him. “I got the cold shoulder and I realized that I wanted control while I rehabbed and that’s when I discovered stand-up,” Lynch said while calling from his Los Angeles home.
Lynch, 31, turned lemons into lemonade by making self-deprecating jokes about his speech patterns and stuttering.
Just three years after his life-altering injury, Lynch appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”
Veteran comic-actor/AGT panelist Howie Mandel championed the Indianapolis native to reach the quarterfinals. Lynch finished second overall on “AGT”
“What I accomplished on ‘America’s Got Talent’ validated me as a comic,” Lynch said. “It was an amazing experience and I can’t tell you how great it was to get such great feedback from Howie Mandel, who I have so much respect for. That show gave me a big boost in terms of my career and confidence.”
Speaking of the latter, his elite athlete wife is brimming with confidence. “You can see why since she is so great at what she does,” Lynch said. “She can run for miles and she has to be incredible since she trains so hard so she can win by a margin of a nanosecond. She pushes her body to do incredible things.”
Lynch, who is on his “Short King” tour, looks up to his wife, figuratively and literally. “She’s taller than me but that’s alright,” Lynch said.
Don’t expect the couple to have children. “I would ruin those kids,” Lynch said. “I’ve been bad at sports most of my life.”
Expect Lynch to riff about being a newlywed. “We’ve been married a couple of months and it’s been great,” Lynch said. “My wife is from Bulgaria. I’ve learned so much about Eastern Europe.”
Lynch enjoys connecting with the crowd. “There’s an interactive element to my show,” Lynch said. “The great thing about live performance is that anything can happen and I love that. I love to see how the audience feels and going with that.”
It’s evident that Lynch has found his niche. “It all worked out for me,” Lynch said. “It’s crazy how life is since my career came from a head injury.”