They call him the “Wrinkled Rebel” but if that’s true, he says he’s “going down fighting.” He’s comedian Marty Ross who started his stand up comedy career late in life, so he may have to take a nap before the fight. Marty waited until he was almost eligible for Social Security before taking to the stand-up stage so “I could fully experience the misery of getting old” he says.
Ross shares this misery with audiences of all ages.. Young people enjoy the fact that though he looks like their grandfathers, but he certainly doesn’t act like their grandfathers… and old-timers? Well they can just relate, period. Like when in the midst of a political discussion with his family, he was asked his opinion of various presidents. The topper was when he mentioned that Washington was the father of our country and his grandson asked if he voted for George Washington.
According to Marty, “The truth is everyone ages but no one tells you what you’re in for when you’re “freakin’ old” so that’s Marty’s mission. Whether it’s sex, drugs, Medicare or dating, this senior has plenty to say about what it’s like to be older in America. When told that the Social Security Administration is running out of money, Ross’ response is “That won’t work for me. How am I supposed to afford my weed?”
Marty Ross was born, raised and first married in New York City. He moved to Peoria, Illinois to get his start in the clothing business, was promoted, moved to St Louis and then Chicago before finally settling in Los Angeles where he married again and again, and divorced a few more times. He’s always had the performing bug. In the late 60’s he worked by day and took the stage at night in black out comedy sketches. By the 1970’s, he had taken his comedy to radio. He dabbled with open mics in the 80’s and 90’s while still holding a day job, but when he turned 65 his life underwent a huge transformation. In the middle of yet another divorce, he realized at his age he was now un-hirable in the clothing industry, so he joined the stand-up comedy circuit full time. Looking for some way to get going Marty found Barb and Steve North and joined their workshop. Just six years later, he has become a seasoned comedian with a full blown stand up comedy career.
Marty is now single, older, still very much alive and delighting audiences all over the Western United States and on the Las Vegas Strip. Last year he recorded a pilot for Vin Di Bona Productions and he has just launched his first comedy CD, “Wrinkled Rebel: Going Down Fighting, But First, A Nap.” The condo retirement communities also embrace his work and he is fully enjoying his new profession. “Old people come up to me after every performance and tell me that they’re so happy someone is talking about things they are living every day. And I can’t believe how many young fans I have” says Ross. “They tell me they can relate too, because I’m just a wrinkled old teen-ager.”