Self-proclaimed stand-up philosopher Gregg Eisenberg performed a mix of comedy, poetry and song at Boulder’s Frasier retirement community on Wednesday. His set resonated with the audience, poking fun at human nature and encouraging positivity.
Eisenberg, 56, is the author of the self-published book, “Letting Go Is All We Have To Hold Onto: Humor For Humans.” The book consists of 750 jokes which he calls “Eisenberg Principles.”
His set included several of these principles, like, “My big plan for the future is to let go of the past,” in addition to two poetry readings and two group-singing sessions of songs he wrote.
This performance was the first of Eisenberg’s adapted script intended for audiences over 65.
“He’s just brought us some sanity this year,” said Frasier resident Roma Ritenour. “He’s the perfect anecdote for the times we live in.”
Some of the targeted jokes included, “If there’s a will there’s a way, and if there’s no will, everything goes to the state” and “life may be terribly hard and extremely lonely, but at least we’re all living longer these days.”
Both jokes provoked a burst of laughter from the audience.
Much of Eisenburg’s hour-long set centered around the “absurdity” of human nature.
“It sucks to be human,” he said. “You need five good experiences for every negative one just to break even.”
Dorothy Rupert, a four-year resident at Frasier, described the act as “honest.”
“I could respond to his heart,” Rupert said. “I walked away with a line or two that I’m sure will come back to me. … We’re learning from each other always and that, to me, is what makes life so wonderful.”
By the end of Eisenberg’s set, all of the copies of his poetry book and most of the copies of his comedy book had sold out. Eisenberg believed the success of his routine relied on meeting the audience at their level.
“Smart people want smart humor and there’s not enough of it,” said Eisenberg, who lives in Louisville.
The group singing sessions of lyrics like “everything’s gonna work itself out” and commentary on how people are happiest in their senior years inspired positivity among the audience.
“It was a wonderful feeling here,” said Frasier resident Kevin Bunnell. “I think he’s a varied talent.”
Eisenberg said that spreading this kind of positivity is essential.
“Ten thousand people in the U.S. turn 75 every day,” Eisenberg said. “They’re gonna need a lot of songs and humor.”
Eisenberg plans to return to Frasier again, hoping to lead a song circle next time. He currently has two shows scheduled at the Balfour Retirement Community February and one at the Carillon in April.
Moving forward, Eisenberg hopes to make a coloring book out of one of his songs and perform his poetry in Spanish, though he does not speak it.
“Can I really change someone? I don’t know,” Eisenberg said. “Can my books and my poems and my songs? Yeah, I think they could.”