Whipping up the crowd at a recent show, the master of ceremonies howled, “Put your hands together for my man ... Mr. Mike Bolland!”
Bolland displayed for the audience the obvious: He has one hand.
“Thanks, Lamar: Put your ‘hands’ together,” Bolland said, with a mock frown.
“I don’t want to judge the audience,” Bolland continued. “I think you’re great – but I have heard better applause at a one-handed convention.”
Welcome to the world of Mike Bolland, who loves to make jokes about being born with one hand.
“Don’t make me count to six!” he’ll say to his two daughters.
Bolland is about as unique as they come. Years ago, he became the first one-handed bowler on the pro bowling tour.
Does he love a challenge?
Before hitting the bowling circuit, his first job was doing something many with two hands struggle with: changing tires.
A longtime Mesa resident who graduated from Mountain View High School in 1983, Bolland thought about trying out a comedy act for years.
Then, when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, he decided “it’s now or never.”
“When you have cancer, if you’re going to try something, you have to try it now,” said Bolland, 56.
After his cancer treatment, he made good on a promise to himself and took the stage at the Comedy Spot in Scottsdale. It was terrifying … but thrilling.
Since then, the self-described “one-handed comedian” has become a regular at comedy clubs around the Valley.
Saturday, May 1, is a key date: His first headlining show, at JP’s Comedy Club in Gilbert – a short drive from the Dobson Ranch home he shares with his wife, Trish. They have two adult daughters.
Bolland also has a Youtube series called “How To Do Things With One Hand,” showing how he opens sugar packets, puts on bandages and does things in the kitchen.
Being in front of the camera is nothing new: His Youtube channel also shows his one acting role, in the 1974 flick “The Trial of Billy Jack.”
“I sang a shot and got shot and killed,” Bolland said.
More recently, he invented the Two-Fisted Drinker Beer Mug, which has been a hot seller on Amazon.
Now that pandemic-related shutdowns have been loosened, Bolland is eager to continue his live comedy career.
“I truly like having one hand,” he said. “I have never felt slighted in any way because of it.
“I cannot imagine myself with two of those things!”
If You Go...
Who: Mike Bolland
Where: JP’s Comedy Club,
860 E Warner Road, Gilbert, 85296.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, May 1
Info: jpscomedyclub.com; 480-547-0137