Poking fun at everyone

bombeck 2Erma Bombeck, a popular newspaper columnist and writer for many years, captured with great poignancy and humor the daily life of a new American phenomenon: The suburban housewife. Believing that you had to laugh at life to get through it, she captured the essence of the housewife’s daily struggle in her column, “At Wit’s End.”

The column appeared three days a week, beginning in the mid-1960s, eventually in 900 newspapers across the country and in books, such as The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. In her writing, she let American women, who often felt invisible and taken for granted, know they were not alone, for she, too, was an American housewife.

Susan Marie Frontczak, who brought Eleanor Roosevelt to life on the Renaissance Theater stage two years ago, returns to PebbleCreek at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, to portray Bombeck, a native Ohioan, who lived in Paradise Valley from 1971 until her death in 1996. Frontczak says she is particularly drawn to Bombeck, because, as a teen, she competed with her mother to see who could snag the monthly “Good Housekeeping” magazine first to read Bombeck’s column.

Frontczak is a captivating living history presenter, who has given more than 800 presentations over the past two decades. Bringing literature and history to life, she portrays Marie Curie, Mary Shelley, Clara Barton and others.

 “The hardest part of presenting as Erma Bombeck is choosing what to include from a seemingly endless supply of priceless material,” Frontczak says, but she is willing to put up with this challenge as “none of my other characters has given me so much to laugh at along the way.”

Find out how Erma got started as a humorist. Chuckle along as she pokes fun at kids (“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out”); diets (“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage”); and especially herself (“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.”)

Tickets to all Premier Lectures are $15 per person and may be purchased onlineduring LLL Center office hours or at the door.

For more information:

Books by Erma Bombeck:

  • I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression
  • Just Wait Till You Have Children of Your Own!
  • The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank
  • If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? 
  • Aunt Erma’s Cope Book