First things first, I’m a realist. As is Ian Simpson, a wheelchair bound Aussie comic who does standup comedy sitting down. So real, we’re doing this interview as the ball falls on New York’s New Year’s 2015. Literally, “Seacrest, out” – Ryan, you’ve been he-bitch slapped, and it ain’t been by Taylor Swift. BY NICOLE RUSSIN

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When Lady Gaga wanted a break, Ian Simpson bravely stepped into her shoes with a Louis Vuitton wheelchair and Gaga-esque wig. He looked really hot for a man. Lady Gaga still hasn’t returned. Is she alive? Hey, that explains why she doesn’t have good songs anymore. Ian did her whole tour….


Ian Simpson cradles his book like a baby.

I just did, like, 50 serious and totally boring journalism interviews in a row the past two weeks. I feel like punching a tiny newborn baby to release the built up tension. Do you think I should? Where can I find such an infant?

I hear you on the whole repetitive interview thing. It’s like waking up to ‘I got you Babe’ on the radio every fucking morning. While I understand your frustration, those pesky judicial types may not share your vexation or your response to said vexation. Speaking for myself as a teacher, I’ve always found that charges of child abuse sit poorly on a CV.

P.S.–. If you touch my baby, I’m coming after you.

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Ian Simpson never has this problem. His wheelchair is a disguised hovercraft. It also has a hidden AK-47 firearm.

In the past, I’ve had issues with temporary diabetic blindness. When I was blind for four months, it was depressing but it’s also cool. I can now blame all poor dating decisions on past blindness. How is being in a wheelchair cool like that?

I can empathise with that blindness gig. I once spent ten glorious minutes sharing a shower with eight very naked Swiss (female) volleyball players. Love those unisex change rooms. My eyes were so overworked I suffered a temporary spell of visionary impairment myself.

Look the wheelie card has one of the best reward systems known to mankind. There’s the awesome parking spaces right in front of the shops, the ‘on the “house” dessert that I occasionally get at a restaurant, the 'sorry officer, my lungs aren’t strong enough to blow into the breath testing bag’ line … I could go on and on. My personal favourite though, is “accidentally” dropping something in front of me thus compelling ladies of a ‘certain persuasion’ to pick the item up and in turn offer me some of the greatest views since the invention of cleavage.

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Large Marge from Pee’s Big Adventure, or Nicole Russin after doing too many interviews? Not sure.

Not only that. When I get approached by snobbish and physically disfigured men who think I want to date them because they’re either super fucking 90something old and rich or EW, young and ugly but rich pro athletes, I get lots of the ugly white American guys. I now say, “What the fuck? No! Do you think I’m still blind? I’m not cheating on my diet anymore. As in, I clearly see how unfortunate your face is. Am I supposed to put a supermarket bag on it?” How do you turn away ugly losers with the wheelchair excuse?

I’ve got three words for you — “irregular bowel function”. They’ll be long gone before you even think about reaching for the bag.


Most men asking out Nicole Russin look a lot like this. What is it? A taxidermy mistake found on Tumblr. Which sums up most guys who give professional athletes a bad rap.

Can I ask you something a bit…oh, private? These guys look like a wheelchair ran over them and then that same wheelchair person forgot to buy cheese at the store, so he ran them over again. Did you by any chance do that to men who ask me out?

Whoa, I’m getting a chill down my spine, well the part I feel anyway. I did actually forget the cheese on the weekend. Thanks for the tip.As for your question; how did you find out my strategy? With the proverbial ‘perfect face for radio’ I’ve been trying to bring the dating competition down to my level (in more ways than one) for years. You might say, I like to level the playing field.


Ian Simpson inspired Tim Burton’s classic character, Dr. Finkelstein, from The Nightmare Before Christmas. In reality, he does have a sawed off head and sightly resemble a disgruntled robotic duck.

What secret 007 weapons does your wheelchair come with?

Not a lot but with Christmas approaching here’s my wish list. A modified version of the ejector seat — let’s call it an extender seat — would be useful. There are some days I go to the supermarket and everything I want seems to be one foot from the ceiling. Those spinner hubcaps that doubled as tire slashers would be useful, especially for the next person who says, ‘you’re so brave.’

But best of all, if the obese old bugger with the red suit could put Little Nellie under the tree I’d be stoked. Remember the mini chopper from You Only Live Twice? You think you got it bad in LA traffic, get yourself over to Sydney. It’s so fucking slow that little sprogs are now being conceived and born in the one trip.

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Ian Simpson is known to dress like this sad sack – even when it’s not Halloween. He likes the attention.

How is your wheelchair a chick magnet? Or dude magnet? Or both? Look, I’ll ride a wheelchair some days if it means a better dating pool. I bet your arms get awesomely muscular. Yeah!

It might not quite by answering your question but do you think I would have got away with, ‘Would you mind soaping my back?’ to one of the volleyballers if circumstances were different?

Call me Nostradamus but I’m sensing a few dating issues here. Where were you 20 years ago? We coulda cruised down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and shacked up in the Heartbreak Hotel.

What’s in your book that’s all oh so clever and fascinating?

The message that guys and gals who are in wheelchairs are normal people, not three-headed aliens from another galaxy. Most of you able-bods fall into the first category but there are still a few space cadets out there. These are the dudes, a lot of whom were born five years before Moses, who come up and call you ‘brave’ and all that shit. I could be a mass murderer for all they know, that’s just Mr Stereotype talking. I mean disabled folks commit crimes too … hello Oscar if you’re reading this from your one-bedroom condo in Pretoria.

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Ian Simpson has a really cool book. The fact his name is on any book means he probably knows how to read. He is the only man in Australia ever recorded holding a book, aside from the prime minister.


IAN SIMPSON wrote a book so terrible, it’s probably amazing. Titled ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES, you can read more about it here. It’s been said “his story will have you laughing and crying—and often on the same page.” Author Sue Murray says, “It’s a frank and honest account of the author’s life, told in a charming, self-deprecating tone that makes it easy for ABs to easily appreciate his remarkable life journey. Simpson doesn’t pull his punches, but handles his readers with kid gloves. Bravo!”

NICOLE RUSSIN has a spectacular Twitter account. Add her.