After getting underway on May 31, the auditions stage of America’s Got Talent season 17 is now in full swing. On week 3 of AGT, a brand new potential star entered the fold – deaf comedian Hayden Kristal.
So far in the early stages of the season, we’ve seen audition success stories from the likes of Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer recipient, Sara James and country singer Drake Milligan.
But last night, Tuesday 14th June, it was the turn of Hayden Kristal to blow away fans and AGT judges alike.
Kristal is a deaf comedian with an impressive knack for self-deprecating humour and they’ve made an instant impact online.
Deaf comedian Hayden Kristal wows the AGT judges
Kristal conversed with the judges through the use of an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and told Cowell and co. that they were inspired by the likes of other disabled comedians such as the 2015 AGT runner-up, Drew Lynch.
Kristal didn’t require her translator for the actual set and they were able to hit it off instantly with the crowd, who couldn’t have been much more receptive.
The main theme of Kristal’s set surrounded their rejected application to work for the Coco Foundation, which was the team that looked after the late Koko, a.k.a. ‘The sign language gorilla’.
Even the infamously hard-to-please Simon Cowell was enamoured with their performance, giving a very confident ‘yes’ to both Kristal and their interpreter, Julie.
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Kristal’s performance goes down well online
As well as the AGT judges, the online world seemed to greatly appreciate the deaf comedian’s efforts – with their performance gathering over 130,000 YouTube views in just a matter of hours.
There was also one bit of crucial feedback that Kristal was able to pick up online.
Iconic comedian and long-serving AGT judge, Howie Mandel, who missed last night’s episode after picking up COVID, also joined in on the Kristal praise.
He tweeted fellow judge Sofia Vergara to express how much he had enjoyed the performance.
“You’re right, @SofiaVergara, I loved this #AGT” said Mandel.
High praise indeed from someone with the stature of Howard Mandel!
Kristal’s interesting career path
Prior to their AGT success, Hayden Kristal actually made another TV appearance doing stand-up comedy – featuring as a semi-finalist on NBC’s ‘Stand up’ reality series.
In terms of education though, Kristal has a very intriguing past.
After initially majoring in sign language, something they described as a “freebie”. Kristal then went on to study zookeeping.
There certainly aren’t many comics out there with qualifications in both American sign language and zookeeping.