DELRAY BEACH – Leave it to a comic to try to make others laugh at his own near-death experience.
That’s exactly what Avi Liberman intends to do when he finally gets back to the stage following a horrifying South Florida car crash that nearly cost him his life.
Even as he undergoes continued treatment, Liberman is already crafting jokes about the experience.
“I fully expect I should be able to do those,” Liberman said.
In May Liberman, who left Los Angeles for Israel during the pandemic, was the passenger in a car that was T-boned on the passenger side at an intersection in Aventura.
“I don’t remember getting hit,” Liberman said. “I do remember coming to for a very brief moment and hearing someone yell at me, ‘Can you get out? Can you get out?’”
Medics ultimately extricated Liberman and rushed him to a nearby hospital where he immediately underwent successful emergency brain surgery to relieve a hematoma.
“They said I was 20 to 25 minutes away from being dead,” Liberman said.
The surgery left Liberman with 36 staples in his head. It kept the comic hospitalized for a week.
Upon release, Liberman returned to Houston where he is staying with his parents while he continues treatment.
He’s still experiencing paralysis on the left side of his face, but doctors expect Liberman to make a full recovery.
During a phone interview on Tuesday Liberman spoke with his same rapid pace and verve that make his performances engaging and entertaining.
“I have to mentally take it sort of day by day,” Liberman said. “It’s a steady progress.”
Liberman hopes to appear at a few Houston area open mics soon, and eyes a July 19 show at the Tropicana in Las Vegas as his full time return to the stage.
In the meantime, Liberman fans will have to settle for videos of his performances – one of which appears above. The video was recorded in May, shortly before the accident, when Liberman performed at the Sadman Comedy Speakeasy Lounge above Arturo’s Ristorante in Boca Raton.
Liberman performed a few South Florida shows in May, biding his time before returning to Los Angeles once pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Despite the accident, Liberman harbors no ill will toward South Florida or the South Florida comedy scene.
“I really enjoyed my time there,” Liberman said. “Everybody there is great. I’d love to come back there to perform.”