Laugh with Gert the Joke Lady on Tempe stage - East Valley Tribune: Performance

Laugh with Gert the Joke Lady on Tempe stage

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Posted: Saturday, May 24, 2014 7:40 am

At 90-something years young, Gert the Joke Lady is just getting warmed up.

The Holocaust survivor, who came to the United States from Austria in 1939 and trained as a stand-up comic in 2011 with Tempe comedy coach Tony Vicich, will perform Saturday night at Tempe Center for the Arts.

The 4-feet 7-inches tall Gert Schuster’s comedy career blossomed after she came out of a 30-day coma in 2004 for an ailment that went undiagnosed. Deciding she was going to enjoy life, she began doing stand-up comedy.

She performed for private groups, passengers on cruise lines and at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. She opened for Debbie Reynolds at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Mesa.

Thus, she became known as Gert the Joke Lady.

“Laughter is the most important thing, I think,” said Schuster in a 2011 interview with the East Valley Tribune. “I don’t try to force people to laugh. I just tell my stories ... Luckily, I get a good reception.”

Vicich said at that time that she was the oldest comedian to debut at the Tempe Improv.

“Standup comedy is any age, any time. If you can make us laugh, you have a place in this world,” he said.

Schuster’s show is recommended for ages 18 and older.

“It’s fun, and the people like it. As long as they like me, I’ll perform,” she said.


What: Gert the Joke Lady performs stand-up comedy

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 24

Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway

Cost: $10-$25

Information: (480) 350-2822 or

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