Robertson finds more humor in life than jokes

Jeanne Robertson isn’t a comedienne, but she does want to make you laugh.

Robertson, a nationally known speaker and YouTube sensation with regular play on Sirius/XM Radio, will be coming to the Struthers Library Theatre in downtown Warren on Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Warren,” Robertson said. “I just am looking forward to it as an early kick-off to the holiday season.”

Robertson, who said she recently turned 70, has been doing speaking engagements for approximately 50 years, but she isn’t a motivational speaker either.

“I’m not a comedienne. I’m a humorist,” Robertson said. “I don’t tell jokes. I tell stories, somewhat embellished, and hopefully people find them funny. But there is a point. Look for the humor around you. I want people to laugh at the things around them. I’m not a motivational speaker. I try to make people laugh.”

Robertson said she draws her tales from events in her life and the world around her. It’s an approach, she said, audiences can relate to and reflect on.

Robertson comes from a speaking background that got its start from a unique life experience.

Robertson said when she was 19 she entered what she called her first and only pageant. Winning that contest eventually led to Robertson being crowned Ms. North Carolina. That crown led to the Miss America pageant, where she won Miss Congeniality.

“The young woman who wins Miss North Carolina takes a year off to speak,” Robertson noted. “Within the first week I realized I could make people laugh.”

From there, her speaking career blossomed through word-of-mouth recommendations, and continued even through a stint as a teacher.

“After nine years of teaching, I decided to see if I could do this full-time,” Robertson said.

She spoke at conventions for years, racking up hundreds of appearances and numerous awards before being approached with the proposition of booking shows and selling tickets, rather than just performing for pre-scheduled groups, something she has pursued ever since.

Robertson said she had a special interest in doing a show at the Library Theatre.

“I hear it’s quite historical,” she said. “It’s always fun speaking in places like that.”

Robertson said she hopes people will give her unique brand of humor a chance.

“I welcome people to go to the YouTube clips and see if my type of humor is something they enjoy,” Robertson said. “The main thing is, your family can come. You can bring your mama or you can bring your teenager or junior high student. In Warren, we hope to have a full house and we want people to feel like, ‘I’m really glad we did that. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.'”