Humorist Jeanne Robertson died suddenly on Saturday, but she left behind a long legacy of much-needed humor.
If you never heard of Jeanne Robertson, I would be happy to introduce you to her work. She was a humorist and speaker who gained fame for her storytelling. I only heard of her within the past 10 years or so because of a YouTube video.
Fortunately, she shared plenty of clips from her most popular stories. When you’re in need of a laugh, she can certainly deliver.
Robertson died at 77 on Saturday, just two months after the death of her husband, Jerry, at 83. It’s important, before you watch, that you know one thing about Jerry: she lovingly referred to him as “Left Brain.”
As she said in one of her videos, he “over-degreed himself” in college.
“But I don’t care how many pieces of paper you frame and hang on the wall,” she says in the first video. “If you have a left brain, it’s gonna kick in on you.”
She would often preface any mention of “Left Brain” with a clear but important message.
“I love that man. He’s my best friend. And I wouldn’t talk about him if it hurt his feelings,” she’d say.
Here are a few examples of Jeanne Robertson’s wit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
1. ‘Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store’
This is the first video of hers I ever watched and I found it so entertaining that I started looking for more.
I won’t spoil the surprise, but this video explains more about how a “left brain” might just kick in when you don’t realize it.
In this case, an innocent misstep when hurriedly writing out a grocery list led to little mayhem!
By the way, you can find her pound cake recipe on her website.
2. ‘We Don’t Sell Vanilla Milkshakes’
Here’s a little story about her encounter with a younger person working a milkshake stand. She said they didn’t sell vanilla milkshakes. But what she did next left Jeanne scratching her head.
I know I’d have had the same reaction.
“And then I thought, ‘What are people my age still doing on earth if we’re not here to help the youth?'” she said.
3. ‘The Great Marmot Standoff’
Jeanne tells a story that mentions her adult son, who’s nicknamed Beaver. No, he wasn’t named after the title character on Leave it to Beaver. Instead, he was named for Red Ryder’s sidekick, “Little Beaver.” As a result, she started collecting beaver figurines.
When she was on a tour in the Pacific Northwest, she saw a Beaver stuffed animal in a hotel gift shop and couldn’t resist.
But the hotel’s cleaning staff mistook the stuffed animal for a marmot.
4. ‘You Don’t Know Garth Brooks?’
When Jeanne had the chance to attend a Garth Brooks concert, she immediately suggested her husband fly with her to see it. His response to the proposal serves as another comparison between Left Brains and Right Brains.
From the video, I’ll offer this quote from her: “Left-Brained people really are people who like things in order. Right-brained people, when we hear the word order, we are waiting on food.”
5. ‘The “Interments” of Cousin Rudolph Elroy’
Here’s a great family story that recalls a famous saying: “If mother’s not happy, no one is happy.” But you have to feel sorry for someone who can’t stay buried.
I really hate I didn’t get the chance to see Jeanne Robertson in person.
But I’m so glad we have these clips to remember her by and to laugh when we need it most.