Stand-up comedian Kevin Schwartz took a big risk by leaving his home in Madison, Wisconsin to audition for “America’s Got Talent” — not because he wasn’t funny, but because he’s agoraphobic. Before he stepped onto the “AGT” stage during Tuesday night’s episode, he declared, “It’s still with me, this fear. But instead of just watching other people live, I want to live.” His stand-up routine, which consisted solely of unrelated one-liners, was a bit rough around the edges, but he soon had judges Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough rolling in the aisles. Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read the judges’ comments below.
Howie: “I can see that you were really nervous, but you were so wonderful. I love you and welcome out of the house.”
Julianne: “I felt like it was a little bit of a rough start, and then honestly you got me. I can get very distracted, so the fact that they were these one-liner jokes were perfect. But I loved it. I thought it was really, really funny. Good job.”
Gabrielle: “I think all of us have seen so much stand-up comedy [but] you came out here and you killed. You gotta know, you’re a star. You’re a freaking star, man.”
Simon: “The first half I’m kind of thinking, this isn’t going great. And then the second half was really funny. I like you a lot.”
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “When Kevin Schwartz took the stage he was following another act that failed to impress the judges because of her nervousness. For Kevin, “fear has ruled [his] life” due to severe anxiety that eventually turned into an agoraphobia diagnosis, but once he discovered comedy he was able to fight against those fears. His set consisted of small quips and one-liners that garnered a handful of laughs each time while confusing others at first. Though it took a while for the audience and judges to understand his style, by the end they were on board with him and loved his act. His reaction to receiving a YES from each of the judges and a standing ovation from the audience as he left the stage was as dry as his humor, but I think he was proud of himself!”