Brett Leake worked as a stand-up comedian from 1983 until 1997, when he began performing as a sit-down stand-up comedian. In 1991, he became the first comedian with a disability to appear on NBC's The Tonight Show. In 2003, public broadcasting stations began running his hour-long comedy special, Laughing Matters with Brett Leake. Most recently, Leake received both the National Humor Treasure Award for his contributions to the field of life-affirming positive comedy and the Governor of Virginia's Caregiver Recognition Award for his role in providing live-in care for his dad. Leake has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a hereditary, progressive neuromuscular disease.