Quotes by Zach Anner

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You can never walk a mile in someone elses shoes, but you can walk a mile in your own and be proud of it. more...

No Atlantis is too underwater or fictional. more...

What's great about this hotel [Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, CA] is that I stayed here for a month when I was competing on the Oprah reality show. So it's like coming home. more...

Everyone who was here [Sheraton Universal Hotel] when I won still works here, so the two biggest moments in my career are intersecting. It's so cool that I can say "hi" to everybody. more...

We'd done a couple of road trips with my big chair, and it was such a hassle if we didn't have the van with the foldout ramp. I figured: There's got to be some option that I can use on the go. Now I can go anywhere with my friends, which is a big, life-changing thing. I can sit on it for as long as I need to. more...

You want the world to be set up for you, but sometimes it just isn't. more...

It's up to us to make the accommodations for all sorts of different travel scenarios. It's amazing how many companies aren't really in tune to the needs of different travelers. There's just so many embarrassing situations that you go through when you travel. You have to have a sense of humor about it and take it in stride. My whole approach is to embrace spontaneity. more...

Nothing like quoting Silence of the Lambs for people to question what kind of disability you have. more...

I have one of the worst voices in the history of recorded time. more...

The waiter just flashed me something that said, "Chew bubblegum." Every morning, when I was about to go to the Oprah competition, my friend used to say this line in a video game to me: "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum." There's a strict policy that you can't encourage anyone on a reality show, that would give them an edge. more...

I'm currently doing a Soul Pancake show called Top of the Monday, which is basically a good morning news show. It's just me being silly, telling people about good news that's going on in the world, putting them in the mood to start their week. more...

I would love to get an international version of Riding Shotgun going, because that's what I've been angling at ever since I wanted to do a travel show in the first place. more...

My experiences of traveling abroad and going to Italy with my father, having to break down a gigantic electric chair to get on trains. You've got three minutes. You go to Pompeii and there are shockingly few accessible hotels in a city that was covered in volcanic ash. more...

I thought this should be a travel show, because a lot of people with physical disabilities get discouraged. more...

Even if you have an ADA room, every disability is so different that people need different things. A lot of times they'll put something on the toilet to make it higher, and for someone transferring from their chair that's fine, but I transfer from the floor so it causes more problems. more...

When I got my Oprah money, the first thing I bought was a really nice electronic bidet toilet seat. It just feels like this is what we should be doing. For everybody who uses it, it's like there's no goin' back. more...

Writing was not my medium. I preferred to do video. more...

I ended up [doing video] meeting Gillian [Grassie] at the same time that we were getting together a book. We ended up working on it, and she recognized that I had a flair for certain things, and we've worked through it together so that the writing could be really good. It was the perfect partnership, just finding my literary voice and figuring out how comedy translates to the written word. more...

I just love all the music. My grandma was a church organist for 40 years, and she got me into jazz music and great songwriters, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, all those folks. I can't do it, but I have a profound respect for it. more...

I had to write a comedy set and film a show at the same time. And it's the second time I've been up on stage as a stand-up comedian with untested material. I was saying it out loud for the first time that night. It didn't go how I expected, but in the best possible way. more...

Writing every day across nine time zones because Gillian [Grassie] was in Berlin, and we were working together via Skype. It was pretty intense. I'm really happy with how it turned out. more...

My friends from the University of Texas. I've had the same friends for over a decade. My brother films a lot; he usually edits my Workout Wednesdays. All the people who work on my projects are amazing. more...

When I was a kid, I thought I would be an action-movie hero. I was like, "They're gonna be able to CGI my legs by that point." And then I realized that it was probably better if I stayed a little closer to who I actually am rather than trying to be Bruce Willis. more...

I realized that I was a really, really terrible actor. I was like, "I'd better be myself." more...

I haven't found anything that I've wanted to say that I couldn't do through either the Internet or the reality shows that I've done. more...

Most of my work is comedy; it's meant to inspire empathy in people and help them find joy. more...

I used to be an insult comic, and I didn't end up liking the way that I felt about myself. more...

I didn't feel like I was putting anything good into the world, even though it was funny. I wanted to do something more positive that would have an impact. So even when I'm doing naked push-ups or whatever, it's astounding to see how people respond to it. more...

We did a book signing and people came up to me. There was an expectant mother who was like, "I think we might name our child Zach because of your work." more...

There's a tendency to treat anyone with a physical disability as inspiring. I call it a pedestal of prejudice, in that you're lifting people up to dismiss them. My whole thing is bringing us down to everyone else's level and saying we're all the same. The struggle is the same. more...

You may not have a physical impairment, but you have things, whether it's finances, self-esteem, it doesn't matter. It's cut from the same cloth. more...

The biggest disabilities are when you sabotage yourself mentally, those personal demons that get on your shoulder and you can't shake 'em. more...

I didn't have a girlfriend until I was 29, and I thought it was because I'm in a wheelchair. And I realized that it's not that, it's because I listened to what the dismissive part of society was telling me and accepted it as truth. There was nothing that was keeping me from dating or falling in love other than the fact that I was scared of being rejected. And everybody has that fear. That's a universal thing. more...

There's a whole chapter about my unfortunate manscaping accident. I was so focused on, "I've got to look this certain way and do this to be ready for this." So I missed out on a lot. more...

I talk about Breaking Bad being the most brilliant show ever, and even minor characters have subtle nuances and are fully drawn. more...

Having a son with a disability helps makes Walter White a more sympathetic character. There's no story line that shows Walt Jr. going through the things that you go through as a teenager with a disability. It's always his relationship to other characters. That was my issue with it. more...

There was an agent who wanted to book me for Glee. He lied and said I could sing. He was like, "If you need a guy in a wheelchair who has a great voice, I've got your guy!" I was like, "What are you talking about?" . more...

When I read the script [of Glee], the whole premise was that all the high school kids were being cruel to this kid in the wheelchair, and then the quarterback comes along and has a heart of gold and takes him out of a Porta Potty. That's too often what I see in media, that the characters with disabilities are there to make other people seem like heroes for treating the character with a disability with respect. Those are the kinds of roles that are out there. more...

I haven't spoken to Oprah herself. She had so much going on, since her network show was wrapping up at the time we were shooting. I can't fault her for that. more...

The most important thing is to have the conversation, and let people who do make mistakes feel comfortable enough to continue the conversation. more...

Technically I can get out of my wheelchair and crawl around and do things, but when I've traveled and they've lost my wheelchair in transit, I feel like I need to be bound to it. My functionality and autonomy are often bound to this. more...

Call yourself and define your relationship to your chair the way you want to, or your disability the way you want to. more...

I think that's where it comes into play, when you are just looking at a document or whatever and you see the word "disability." Does that automatically trigger something in you that denies someone their personhood? more...

I always say, once I get in a room, I can sell myself just fine. I know that not everyone who has a disability has the social skills or cognitive skills that I do, and it may be harder for them to navigate through. more...

I feel a lot of personal responsibility to undo the negative stereotypes. I know that it's not coming from a bad place. It's coming from an ignorant place. I can sort of be an ambassador in a subtle way to say, "This is what I am: a comedian, a show host, a writer." It will still always be part of the conversation and people will want to focus on it because there is a culture that is so embedded that if you have a disability, you're someone to be either admired just for living, or be pitied for having to struggle. more...

CP is a struggle, but it's also been quite the tool for me to find success and deliver a message. It's something about me that's unique, so it'll open a few doors as well as keep a few closed. If you have the other tools that you develop as an individual, talents, things like that, you can harness this to do positive things in the world. more...

The thing to do is just make sure that as part of a disability community, we're not isolating ourselves by drawing differences for the sake of progress. more...

If everything was perfect, it would always be a person-first conversation, but whenever I have the opportunity, I lead with my personality. If they're looking and seeing the disability first or the chair first, I know that I have the ability to change that. more...

I do a lot of conferences, and I did a campaign with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation called "Just Say Hi." They get celebrities to record little messages about how you start a conversation with someone who has a disability, which is to "Just say hi." more...

I've come to be pretty selective about the type of advocacy that I do, because I kind of feel like it's stronger to just do my work and let it speak for itself. more...

I make funny shows and put a positive message out there, showing people who have body image issues that... you don't have to look a certain way. more...

I have a confession: I have no faith. more...

There's always going to be some hate on the Internet. more...

What I don't like about the way the media portrays religion is that they seem to weaponize it and use it as a tool to divide people. more...

I feel that religion can be used as a tool to guide your life and help you connect with other people. more...

You really just have to have a good attitude, challenge yourself, and you can accomplish great things, more...


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