By Anastasia Marchese
Mendham residents didn’t have to visit a comedy club in the city to get a good laugh. The humor was brought right to them at their local library.
Marion Oxenhorn, a senior citizen from Rockaway, appeared to a full house audience at the Mendham Township Library on Thur., Sept. 8. Born and raised in Brooklyn, one can still hear traces of her Brooklyn accent in her voice even though she moved to NJ more than 45 years ago.
Oxenhorn is called, “America’s Funniest Grandma,” but being a comedian wasn’t always on her radar. At the library gig, she presented the story of how she became a comedian entitled “It’s never too late” before launching into her comedy act.
Oxenhorn was 68 years old when she decided to try a new career as a stand up comedian. One would think that a woman at her age who chose to embark on such a unique career later in life must have spent her earlier years engaged in a variety of exciting pursuits. However, Oxenhorn emphasizes that the majority of her life she had striven to live a conventional life, wanting to do “what was safe” and what she thought people expected of her.
That all changed when she went to a “Girls’ Night Out” comedy performance of all women comedians. She didn’t like it at all. She thought the comedy was overly raunchy and not all that funny.
“I think I could do better than that,” she thought to herself. Every time she would see a stand-up comedian after that, she would think to herself, “I think I could do that.”
The idea stuck and she decided to take a class on stand-up comedy at The Learning Annex, in “Gilda’s Club New York City (GCNYC) founded in memory of the talented “Saturday Night Live” comedian, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.” In addition to being part of the Cancer Support Community (CSC), which is the largest cancer support network in the county, Gilda’s Club holds stand-up comedy competitions.
Oxenhorn was chosen as one of the 15 finalists to be selected for the actual contest. She then went on, to her great surprise, to win the competition!
Even after winning such a noted competition, Oxenhorn found it very difficult to break into the comedy scene at the stand-up clubs. That is when she was asked to appear at an event for The National Council of Jewish Women. She was very well received and has since found her niche.
She now does mostly private shows, where she can do her entire routine, instead of just five or six minutes. She can also share her very interesting and colorful life story, which the audience loves to hear, just as much as her comedy routine.
To find out more about Oxenhorn, or to book her for a private appearance go to www.lafflady.com.