Tommy Edison

Last updated
Tommy Edison
Tommy Edison (cropped).jpg
Personal information
BornTommy Edison
(1963-07-17) July 17, 1963 (age 57)
YouTube information
GenreComedy, Review, Life Stories
(September 2020)
Total views93 Million
(September 2020)
Catchphrase(s)No spoilers. I don't even know what happened.
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers2013
Alma mater University of Bridgeport

Updated: August 2020

Tommy Edison (born July 17, 1963) is an American YouTuber, radio presenter and film critic known for his blindness and self-deprecating sense of humor in his internet presence. [1] From 1994 until 2013 he worked as a traffic reporter for the station Star 99.9 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. [2]


Although he had never driven a car or seen a traffic jam, as a traffic reporter he used what he heard about traffic on police scanners and in calls with listeners on the road. [3]

Motivated to review films by his frustration with their visual language, [1] he started a YouTube channel called Blind Film Critic with his friend Ben Churchill in 2011. His reviews focus on script, music and sound effects. [4] The first film he reviewed was Scream 4 ; [5] his favorites include Hugo , Goodfellas , Clerks and American Hustle . [1] In 2013, audio description allowed him to watch his first silent film, which he joked was "eye-opening"—however, he does not use it when preparing his reviews. [1] He was endorsed by Roger Ebert in 2011, and has been featured on The Howard Stern Show and CNN. [1] He also made videos answering viewers' questions about blindness on another channel entitled The Tommy Edison Experience, and has covered topics such as dreams, [3] colors, [6] Braille [7] and assistive technology. [8]

Early life and career

Edison has been blind since birth, and was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve. [1] He was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, and attended Canterbury School and the University of Bridgeport, where he studied music. [2] He has credited his parents for treating him the same as his sighted sisters during his upbringing. [9] His mother went to great lengths to make sure Tommy was put into a normal class rather than the school recommended special education class, stating "Tommy has a normal Cognitive Function, He is normal just like the other students, he just so happens to be blind." [10] After developing an interest in local and New York radio stations, he was hired as a disc jockey for the station WJAZ in Stamford, Connecticut in 1987, becoming its traffic reporter two years later. [2]

In 2016 he and his producer Ben Churchill moved to the Los Angeles area and began the next phase in his career as a public figure.[ citation needed ]

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  2. 1 2 3 Weizel, Richard (September 28, 1997). "Connecticut Q&A: Tommy Edison; On the Air About Traffic, and Blind". The New York Times . The New York Times Company . Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  3. 1 2 Painter, Kim (May 23, 2012). "Blind movie critic Tommy Edison educates the masses". USA Today . Gannett Company . Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  4. Bunbury, Stephanie (December 3, 2014). "Meet Tommy Edison, the blind film critic". The Sydney Morning Herald . Fairfax Media . Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  5. Gibson, Megan (May 19, 2011). "Q&A: Tommy Edison, The Blind Film Critic With a Big YouTube Following". Time . Time Inc. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  6. Dahl, Melissa (July 2, 2014). "Could You Describe 'Red' to a Blind Person?". New York Magazine . Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  7. von Baldegg, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr (May 7, 2012). "How Tommy Edison, the 'Blind Film Critic,' Became a YouTube Sensation". The Atlantic . Atlantic Media . Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. Ellcessor, Elizabeth (2016). Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation. New York University Press. p. 157. ISBN   9781479867431.
  9. McCurley, Mark (August 20, 2011). "Don't miss it: Milford blind film critic's website a must-see hit (video)". New Haven Register . Digital First Media . Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  10. The Tommy Edison Experience (2017-09-13), Going To School As A Blind Person , retrieved 2018-01-27