Bob Stromberg is a story teller. A physical comic with a background as a mime. And he’s a Christian. “I don’t do Bible or church humor, but my faith informs all I do so I’m squeaky clean,” said Bob Stromberg. “Making people laugh is all I’ve done for 40 years. And I’m so looking forward to performing in Norfolk.”
Stromberg is set to take to the stage of the Johnny Carson Theatre in Norfolk on Sunday, June 14, at 7 p.m., as a prelude to the opening of the 2015 Great American Comedy Festival.
Being able to perform in Carson’s hometown will be a special treat, Stromberg said. “That person we saw on TV — his Midwest sensibility — I loved that guy. I would have loved to have sat down with him,” he said.
Stromberg said he grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. “I’ve always had this natural inclination to make people laugh. I would have been the class clown in school, but my father was the principal,” he said.
He’s turned his interest in comedy into a career that has spanned about four decades of stand-up comedy performances, as well as writing books and appearing on TV shows as well as theatrical productions.
The Los Angeles Times has described him as a “triple jolt of inspired craziness,” while the Chicago Sun-Times called him a “mesmerizing physical comedian.”
But for those attending his 90-minute performance in Norfolk, it won’t be just stand-up comedy. Stromberg’s show also features segments involving shadow puppets. Stromberg said making shadows on a screen may sound a bit corny to some, but he uses the medium to tell funny stories that delight the audience.
“They’re pretty amazing shadows, and it’s been one of the things in my career that I get requested to do all the time. In fact, sometimes I get requested to do shows where I just do the shadows,” Stromberg said.
His show in Norfolk will include not only the famous shadow puppets, but also a Power Point comedy bit that focuses on photos taken by his family as he was growing up. “It’s a gold mine of comic material,” Stromberg said.
His act is appropriate for and comfortable with all audiences, he said, from school-age children to grandmas and grandpas. “I always tell people, if you’re coming as a family, bring your children along. They will have a ball,” Stromberg said. “People ask me if it’s hard to do clean comedy. It’s easy to be clean, but you have to be good to be funny.”
His performance is being sponsored by the Norfolk Daily News and Norfolk radio stations WJAG, 106 Kix and Lite Rock 97.5. Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Norfolk Area Good Neighbors program.
General admission tickets for adults and children are available online at www.greatamericancomedyfestival.com or at The Abbey and Insurance Associates in Norfolk.
“I’m thankful for every single booking I have. I’m so looking forward to being in Norfolk,” he said.