September 24, 2010

It's official, Bob Marley is the

Bob Marley sets a Guinness World Record by performing standup comedy for 40 hours

By Dennis Hoey
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — The jokes just kept flowing Thursday night at the Comedy Connection as Bob Marley finished the longest standup comedy performance on record.

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Maine comedian Bob Marley fist-bumps with the crowd after breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest standup comedy performance Thursday. The previous record of 38 hours and 6 minutes was held by Lindsay Webb of Australia.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Bob Marley

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

For 40 hours over two days, Marley entertained hundreds of people who paid $10 an hour to see one of Maine's best-known comedians set a Guinness World Record and raise thousands of dollars for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

At 9:09 p.m. Thursday, Marley passed the previous record, 38 hours and six minutes, set in October 2009 by Lindsay Webb of Australia.

"Listen up, this concludes the first half of my show," he said after being told that he had the record. The capacity crowd burst into laughter before giving him a standing ovation.

"I feel like I can do another 40 hours," he said.

He then kept telling jokes until 11:02 p.m., when he reached the 40-hour mark and claimed his framed certificate from Guinness.

"I feel like Forrest Gump right now," he said. "I think I'm going to go home."

Marley's marathon performance began at 7:02 a.m. Wednesday.

Under Guinness regulations, he had to have at least 10 people in the audience at all times -- and those people had to be awake. That proved to be a problem only once, when the show opened Wednesday morning with 11 people in the audience.

After that, getting people to come to the club never was an issue, said Oliver Keithly, owner of the Comedy Connection and Marley's manager.

Keithly said most of the evening shows sold out. On Thursday night, the waiting line spilled out onto Custom House Wharf.

Jim Ward of Portland, a radio show host who was chosen to serve as a witness, sat through Marley's performance from 1 to 10 a.m. Thursday.

Although the crowd dwindled somewhat after 3 a.m., he said, it never got close to 10 people.

Ward said the only prolonged break he saw Marley take was around 7 a.m. Thursday when the 43-year-old comedian took a 25-minute nap. Under the rules, he accrued five minutes of break time for every hour he performed.

"Watching Bob's progress last night and then coming back now (Thursday night), his intensity is still there," Ward said. "I think he has been feeding off the audience's energy. He has been getting his second, third and fourth wind."

Thursday's 6 p.m. show was packed as Marley poked fun at childbirth and the Easter Bunny. "God bless you ladies. The things (obstetricans) do to you, they shouldn't do to farm animals," Marley quipped.

At that point, Marley, who looked tired but showed no signs of slowing down, popped a couple of Advils.

That prompted one woman to yell, "Better living through pharmaceuticals."

"I have no idea what you just said," Marley replied as the audience burst into laughter.

He segued from poking fun at Halloween trick-or-treating into Easter.

"Easter's coming, at least it's here in this book," Marley said, referring to a playbook he kept on stage to guide him through his performance -- Keithly said Marley went 17 hours before he repeated any jokes.

Marley questioned whether there really is an Easter bunny.

"Where does this bunny live?" he asked.

One woman told Marley the bunny lives in a hole.

"He's creepy. When you go to the mall and look at him, he's just this big head with eyes that don't move," Marley said as he did his best to imitate the Easter bunny.

Just before the announcement that Marley was the new record holder, Carlos Martinez, head of records for Guinness World Records, gave a thumbs-up when Marley asked him if he had the record.

(Continued on page 2)

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