Jeanne Robertson, 77, home comedian with a history of competition, dies

Jeanne Robertson, who turned her title from Miss Congeniality in the 1963 Miss America Pageant into a speaking career and who went on to...


Jeanne Robertson, who turned her title from Miss Congeniality in the 1963 Miss America Pageant into a speaking career and who went on to find success as an impeccable comedian with a large YouTube audience, died on August 21 at her home in Burlington. , NC She was 77 years old.

The cause was unknown, said his son, Bailey Bowline.

Ms. Robertson’s comedy videos on YouTube, where she had more than 340,000 subscribers, and her appearances on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s comedy channels have made her a beloved figure in family comedy. She has also performed nationwide, performing in civic auditoriums, churches, and theaters, including the Grand Ole Opry.

Ms Robertson, whose first name was Jeannie, referred to herself as a humorist, not a comedian or comedian, because, she said, she focused on telling stories rather than chuckles.

She maintained her pageant veneer in speaking appearances; she didn’t swear or make crude jokes, instead focusing on the details of everyday life and trivia about her family and friends. Much of her material centered around her husband, Jerry Robertson, whom she affectionately referred to as Left Brain in homage to her logical, process-oriented way of thinking.

She spoke about her son, nicknamed Beaver, being grounded for misbehavior and encountering broken escalators at the Philadelphia International Airport, and she laughed at her own Southern accent. Her stories had titles like “Don’t Bungee Jump Naked” and “Mothers vs. Teenage Daughters”.

Ms Robertson posted her most popular YouTube video in 2009, a Left Brain story titled “Don’t send a man to the grocery store” which 12 years later had recorded more than 16 million views. In the video, she says she wrote a shopping list for her husband and numbered the items needed. He took the task at face value, thinking the numbers were quantities, and brought home 25 pounds of sugar and enough flour to fill a supply.

After the video’s success, demand for Ms Robertson as a stand-up comedian increased and she worked with Al McCree, a speaker and musician from Nashville, who became her manager after they met at a National event. Speakers Association. Touring quickly became a big part of his professional life. By her death, she had booked more than 50 future shows, Mr McCree said.

Ms Robertson’s humor played well at corporate banquets and with crowds who avoided cutting-edge jokes for healthy entertainment and were drawn to her graceful demeanor, Southern accent and clean humor. Recordings of his speech have been shown on SiriusXM’s Laugh USA and Blue Collar Comedy channels.

Jeanne Flinn Swanner, one of three sisters, was born on September 21, 1943 in Boston to Jim and Cora (Lipscomb) Swanner. She grew up in Graham, North Carolina, and has lived in that state for most of her life. His father was a captain in the Marines during World War II and a former engineering professor who later ran a gas company. Her mother was a housewife and helped run the business.

Jeanne attended Graham High School, then Auburn University in Alabama.

She started competing and winning a few in college, becoming Miss North Carolina in 1963. At 6ft 2, she often joked about her height and said she was the tallest contestant. to Miss America of all time. At the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, NJ, other contestants and directors praised her behind-the-scenes humor and grace on stage, making her a natural for Miss Congeniality.

“People started to say how funny I was and people wanted to hear me talk,” Ms. Robertson told The Sentinel of Carlisle, Pa., In 2011. “That year I had to give up school because there was so much going on. I gave over 500 presentations that year, most of them related to her role as Miss North Carolina.

She returned to Auburn and in 1967 obtained a bachelor’s degree in physical education. She has taught physical education in high schools for almost a decade and has spoken on weekends, often with her son. She then began speaking full time at conferences, for government organizations, and at competitions, where she was a popular MC.

She married Walter Bailey Bowline III in 1965, when they were both students at Auburn. The marriage ended in divorce in the early 1970s. She married Mr. Robertson in 1974. He passed away in June.

In addition to her son, she is survived by two grandsons and her sister, Katherine Swanner.

Ms. Robertson was a trustee at Elon University in North Carolina and active in groups like the National Speakers Association, which awarded him the Cavett Award, its highest honor.

Ms. Robertson had a sense of purpose when it came to telling funny stories. As her son said, “She felt like if people took themselves less seriously and the world around them less, everything would be much better.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Jeanne Robertson, 77, home comedian with a history of competition, dies
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