Humorist Jeanne Robertson coming to Foundation

2013 Women Together event includes art exhibits
Jan. 26, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

When nationally renowned speaker, Jeanne Robertson brings her show to the Foundation on Saturday, Feb. 2, the humorist and former Miss North Carolina promises, "people will leave after laughing their heads off. They will have a good time."

Robertson is the featured speaker for the 2013 Women Together event presented by Rutherford Regional Health Foundation. Her performance begins at 3 p.m.

Women Together also includes special art exhibits presented by Lilly Oncology on Canvas and Statesville Stained Glass. The exhibits, also held at Isothermal’s Performing Arts Center, will be open to the public Friday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. (See related story)

During a telephone interview this week when Robertson was on the road, the Graham resident and 1962 Miss North Carolina, said she will not tell jokes when she performs next Saturday. "I don't think I could, but I can tell true life experiences and that's what people want."

"I'm a humorist, not a comedian," Robertson continued. "The humorist weaves the longer stories with a point. We don't go 'after' anybody... I'm telling my life."

Robertson said a comedian's goal is to "make the majority of the group laugh at an appointed time ... they are always attacking something, race, religious, sex, using four letter words ... pushing the envelopes.

"But I'm not a comedian. I'm a humorist and the show is appropriate for everyone.You can bring your teenagers and your Grandma," she said.

Robertson said one of the joys of sharing her life experiences is, "they are everybody's stories ... People will call or write me to tell me that's exactly what happened to them or their grandma. That is what people love to hear. People relate to the stories."

Robertson said she will remind the audience, "We find what we search for every day. If we look for the negative, we'll find the negative. If we look for the humor we'll find it."

For more than 45 years, Robertson has been speaking at conventions and theatres across the country.

She has also has performances on YouTube, described by some as "Grandma's gone viral" that has over 1,600 hits.

"North Carolina has been good to me," she continued.

Standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall — her height at age 13 — Robertson said when she discovered she was also funny and could tell stories.

"I was funny" and it has had its benefits along the way and in her career, she said.

"The week I was crowned Miss North Carolina, I spoke at four meetings and I never looked back. I kept speaking."

The former President of the National Speakers Association, Robertson had more than 100 speaking engagements last year and has no plans to stop.

She has spoken to 1,250 senior adults at a rally in Dallas, Texas and just returned from taping performances in Nashville, Tenn.

Robertson has been to the Foundation once before and was in Forest City the year she was crowned Miss North Carolina in 1963. She was a guest at a horse show and later at a swim meet in Forest City.

"The Queen has a Jubliee, this is my Jubliee year," Robertson said of being crowned Miss North Carolina.

She also competed in the Miss America Pageant where she was named Miss Congeniality.

“We are so pleased to present a nationally-known humorist like Jeanne Robertson,” said Jill Miracle, executive director of Rutherford Regional Health Foundation. “She is the perfect fit for our annual theme of ‘Living, Loving and Laughing.’ Our guests will leave the show with smiles on their faces and the knowledge that they have helped provide care for women who need care during a pivotal point in their lives.”

Proceeds from the 2013 show will be used to pay for mammograms for uninsured women in the area and to sustain the Cancer Patient Navigator program.

Tickets for Robertson’s performance are $29 and $34, and are available by calling Isothermal’s box office at  286-9990 or online at foundationshows.org.