Baltimore-born comic showing up everywhere



Introducing "My Most Surreal Experience," by Jeff Marder", Baltimore-reared comedian:

He was the closing act of a show in Las Vegas last month, before an audience of Mobil Oil service station dealers from around the country. The act on just before him was a veteran: Ronald Reagan.

"Here's the great communicator telling jokes and still avoiding questions. He gets a standing ovation and then they say, 'And now welcome Jeff Marder.' It was very strange, I almost didn't know what to say," recalls Marder, over the phone from California.

What he didn't say were any of the Reagan jokes he sometimes uses in his stand-up act. "They would have stormed the stage and torn me apart," he says, noting the Reagan years were good for the oil business.

Marder, 29, grew up in the Pikesville area and might be recognized by some viewers as the comic who uses two microphones in a funny left brain/right, brain routine. He is headlining an all-Baltimore show this week at the Slapstix Comedy Club in The Brokerage, with other locally generated comics David Cohen and Bill McCuddy (tomorrow through Thursday; call 659-7528 for information). Marder also is nearing the end of a pretty good year that marks his 12th in the comedy business.

He has just taped a "One Night Stand" for the HBO cable service, to be seen next spring, and also has done a pilot (which he calls, "a fifth "Evening at the Improv" for cable, and in August he made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson." Oh, and about a year ago, he did a pilot for ABC, "Marder at Midnight," which he says just missed getting the late-night slot filled by Rick Dees (12:30 weeknights, Channel 13). ABC liked him enough, however, that he is shooting another pilot next year.

Personally, Marder is expecting his first child (from a second marriage) next spring, noting, "Not only is it the miracle of birth, but it'll be another 10 minutes sometime" in his act.

Were there any kids from your first marriage, Jeff? "I was the, child in my first marriage," he quips.

MORE ALUMNI NEWS - Look for Mollie Golaner on Thursday's Thanksgiving edition of "General Hospital" (3 p.m. on ABC/Channel 13). A longtime figure at Center Stage who ran away, to Hollywood, she has established an identity as an elderly bit player and says she plays a woman leaving the soap opera hospital in a wheelchair. Golaner also was seen briefly last week as a speed knitter on NBC's "Grand."

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