Sept. 23, 2010: Bob Marley – the Maine comedian, not the deceased reggae singer – sets a Guinness World Record by completing the longest standup comedy show ever, 40 hours, at the Comedy Connection in Portland.

Audience members paid $10 per hour to see Marley, 43, ridicule Halloween, the Easter Bunny and the length of his performance, thereby raising thousands of dollars for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

The previous record was 38 hours, 6  minutes, which Lindsay Webb of Australia set in October 2009. When Marley reaches 40 hours, at 11:02 p.m., he takes possession of his framed certificate from Guinness – and shortly after that, one might assume, a pillow and a mattress as well.

“I feel like Forrest Gump right now,” he says, in a reference to the movie of the same name, in which the title character runs across the United States. “I think I’m going to go home.”

Guinness regulations require that at least 10 people be in the audience and awake at all times during his performance.

Oliver Keithly, the Comedy Connection’s owner and Marley’s manager, tells the Portland Press Herald that wasn’t a problem. On the evening of Sept. 23, the admission waiting line grew so long that the end of it was outdoors, on Custom House Wharf.

The rules allowed the Maine-themed entertainer to accrue five minutes of rest time for every hour of performing, so he took a 25-minute nap around 7 a.m. on the 23rd. Other than that, it was wall-to-wall Bob, all the time.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]


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