For most of Jody Fuller’s young life, children made fun of his inability to spout off a sentence without severely stuttering. For most, this cruel treatment would cause them to withdraw and just remain silent, but not Jody.
About the time Fuller was entering his formidable years, he realized the stuttering was always going to be a part of his life, so he was determined that the teasing wasn’t going to define him – but like it or not, the stuttering would.
“As far back as I can remember, I was teased for my speech impediment,” Fuller said. “Then, around the seventh or eighth grade I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to let it bother me anymore and I began to dish it out faster – and better – than the perpetrators.”
Fuller armed himself with comedy and was ready to react to every remark.
“For every comment a kid would make to poke fun at me, I had a better line to shoot back at them,” Fuller remembered. “I knew every stuttering joke there was, so I always had a funnier one than what they had dished out.”
Fuller says he was a “respectable class clown” as a student at Opelika High School and was actually asked to speak in school assemblies.
“I introduced students running for student government,” Fuller said. “I remember one time when my candidate followed ‘Mr. Everything’ – a guy with more accolades than I even knew existed. When it was my time, I said ‘in the eighth grade my candidate made the A-B honor roll – once – so here he is…. ‘ Everybody thought it was hilarious and we won the election. I think it was then I realized the power of comedy.”
Perhaps it was also then that the seed was planted for the now famous Stuttering Comic.
Fuller graduated from OHS in 1990 and joined the United States Army where he served on active duty from 1992-1996 as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He was stationed in Germany at Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center for two years where he was involved in the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia.
After four years, Fuller returned to Opelika – and back to the job at Kroger he held all through high school – while he took courses at Southern Union State Community College and completed a Bachelor’s degree from Auburn University – Montgomery in 2001.
After graduation, Fuller wasn’t sure what he wanted to do – until the terrorists crashed U.S. airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York City. It was then Fuller knew for sure what he had to do; he rejoined the Army and was accepted to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA.
Just three months after arriving at Fort Lewis, Wash., 2nd Lieutenant Fuller was deployed to Iraq where he served with the First Stryker Brigade for a year. While on this mission, the soldiers would often put on informal talent shows to ease the tension of being in a war zone so far from home.
Fuller’s unit encouraged their favorite funny man to take the stage. Fuller did and was an instant hit. From those appearances, one of the soldiers entered Fuller’s tape in a Wendy’s (Restaurant) Funniest Comic online competition and against thousands of entries, Fuller made the Top 15 putting him on the website for America to vote. The Top 5 vote-getters would win a trip to perform at The Flamingo in Las Vegas, and as you might have guessed, Fuller made the Top 5, performed in Vegas, and recorded his first DVD appropriately titled The Stuttering Comic.
“My material is all original and pretty much a story of my life,” Fuller said. “I talk about dealing with everyday life as a stutterer, my years working at Kroger, what it was like growing up in Opelika, and my military experiences.”