Aw' shucks. Writer & editor emeritus of The Times News here, wrote an
extremely nice column about my work that appeared in paper (below).
He's the "local treasure" in my opinion but I really appreciated his nice comments. I could say that now I'll have to dress up to go to the grocery store but we all know who goes to the grocery store out of this house. :)
Thanks, Don. Mighty nice of you.
Local humorist still on tour
I have no idea where Jeanne Robertson is right now.
The last time I talked to her she was in the airport in Las Vegas. That’s in Nevada.
But I know that since then there have been sightings in San Diego, Anaheim, and Oklahoma City.
And wherever she is, she is talking and people are laughing.
Just never know where she is going to be next, as this past year has been the busiest and most successful of all 47 (really, that many?) years she has been doing this speaking thing.
Jeanne speaks, you know. Speaks to gatherings all over the nation — corporate meetings, conventions — really big and really important meetings. She probably has more air miles than many airline pilots.
And she has been one of the most successful and best known in the industry. Lots of folks here might not realize that, but she is one of the biggest names in the speaking world. She’s a humorist. She makes people laugh. And she is darned good at it. She got her start, remember, as Miss North Carolina in 1963, representing Graham, going on to be Miss Congeniality in the Miss America Pageant.
But why so busy this past year? Her 47th? (Really? I can’t believe that. 47?) She stepped things up a notch and went on tour — a tour titled Comedy With Class, and she has played theaters across the country and has filled most of them. In some 30 events, there have been only three which were not sold out — three locations in Ohio. Ohioans have no sense of humor?
And these are not shows in which Jeanne is one of the acts on the card — she is the only act. She goes out and talks for an hour and a half and leaves the audiences — 800 to 1,000 people a night — with an hour and a half of laughs.
In addition to the tour, she has done some theater shows on her own, and she did seven casino shows in Vegas — but she says there will be no more of those.
How did this increased activity come about? Some time ago, Sirius Radio began to feature her in a regular spot. People who heard her loved her family, homespun humor, and then there was YouTube. She is just short of 12 million hits on YouTube right now — 12 million!! And of course people traveling on bus tours have learned that watching her videos is one great way to pass the miles away. People wanted more.
With this new fame, she was contacted by a company in Nashville, Outback Concerts, and they put the tour package together.
Jeanne’s shows are squeaky clean. Not even a hint of the stuff that fills so many comedy routines today. She writes all her own material — and it comes from things in her daily life. And she makes sure her shows fit the needs of the people who tell her “I want to bring my mama.”
Just recently fellow speaker Scott McCain wrote on his website McCainViewpoint.com about the show Charlie Sheen did in Detroit. Sheen has made millions in the TV and movie world, and following a lot of less-than-desirable publicity recently he did that show in Detroit. He was greeted with a standing ovation, but before the event was over, McCain said people were leaving in disgust. He was booed and jeered, according to McCain. He said Sheen expected his “mere appearance” to satisfy his crowd, offering no planned program.
He said there was another program about the same time in a Midwestern city by a woman many have not heard of — Jeanne Robertson, a program in direct contrast to Sheen’s. Jeanne got a standing ovation as well when she walked on stage, but, unlike Sheen, she got another at the end of her program. She had the respect of her audience, and she respected them as well and really gave them a memorable evening for their money. They love her.
I like to write about Jeanne now and then, because most of her work is done elsewhere, and there are many people here who do not know the extent of her fame across the country. And everywhere she goes, she always mentions Graham, Alamance County and Elon University.
She is among our local treasures. Wherever she is right now.
Don Bolden is editor emeritus of the Times-News. His column appears every Sunday. He can be contacted at DBolden202@aol.com.
For more on Robertson, visit her Web site at www.Jeannerobertson.com.