A broken femur a couple of years ago couldn't derail comedian Jeanne Robertson, so much so she decided to rename her tour because of the malady and turn it into a bit of humor.
Robertson's turned her excursions to various theaters and performing arts centers into the "Rocking Humor Tour," complete with a large rocking chair to sit on as she dispenses with personal stories to make an audience laugh with recognition and delight.
Expect Robertson to rock the Perot Theatre with the positive spirit of her comedy on Saturday, Jan. 12, starting at 7:30 p.m. Her return engagement to the Perot is part of the Perot Theatre Series organized by the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council.
Of course, she's no stranger to Texarkana, having started out as a convention speaker. She also performed at the Perot three years ago. "I'm thrilled to be coming back," Robertson said, noting that broken femur led to operations and a rocking chair on stage but didn't limit her encouragement that people look for humor.
"We just rolled with the punches," Robertson said, referencing how someone once told her she'd "do anything for new material." She may stand six-feet two-inches tall, but she doesn't tell tall tales. Instead, she mines real life for funny material.
Experiencing physical ailments like a broken bone can be a bond with the audience, too, she said. It's something with which many can relate. She turned 75 this past September and had shows then where she encouraged people to bring Toys for Tots, and she appreciates the opportunity to help like that.
Robertson recently cut another DVD, and claims she's "just floating around" enjoying life. "I look at it as fun," she says about life as a humorist who feels fortunate to be doing the job she's doing. She always enjoys traveling, too, which brings an extra source of material.
Robertson is a former Miss North Carolina (in 1963) and competed in the Miss America pageant, where she was honored as Miss Congeniality. She graduated with honors from Auburn University in 1967 and followed that with teaching. She taught physical education and coached basketball.
After nine years of teaching, she transitioned to become a full-time speaker, even becoming president of the National Speakers Association.
Robertson's accolades include North Carolinian of the Year 2001, NCAA Southeastern Conference/Auburn University's Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2000, 1989 Cavett Award and CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame member.
She'll hit 63 million views on her YouTube videos soon, she said, and still enjoys finding new areas to mine for humor. There's an audience for what she finds funny, and people come up to her after shows and remark that they have their own funny family stories.
"I just put up family-appropriate, clean humor," Robertson said, noting it's important for people to share their stories now while they can and tell the younger generations how to get it right.
"I want people to sit in the audience and say, 'The same thing happened to me,'" Robertson said.
She doesn't get into politics, but she does point out what we have in common. We need to laugh a bit more, she believes.
"It's been fun to do that through humor," Robertson said, adding she likes for an audience to leave the theater thinking, "I really needed that."
(Tickets: $57, $45, $35. Discounts available. Call the Perot Theatre's box office at 903-792-4992 or visit TRAHC.org to get tickets.)