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Comic John Heffron is aging rapidly and it’s fine

John Heffron will be at the Spokane Comedy Club this weekend.  (Troy Conrad)
John Heffron will be at the Spokane Comedy Club this weekend. (Troy Conrad)

John Heffron is in his early 50s and unlike many people his age, he couldn’t be happier getting those AARP mailers, crows feet, and offers of senior discounts.

Few entertainers embrace aging as well as Heffron. Many of the comic’s peers do all they can to stave off the inevitable by working out like fiends, opting for plastic surgery or choosing to dress much younger than their age.

“I don’t understand any of that,” Heffron said while calling from his home in suburban Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Why can’t it be OK to get older? I’m completely fine with aging.”

Heffron, 52, sincerely looks forward to residing in a retirement community. “I’m just a little under that age right now,” Heffron said. “But I’m ready for it. My wife works at a retirement village and it’s like a cruise ship. They have activities throughout every day. Their rooms are like college dorms. So yeah, I aspire to live in a retirement village. That’s my goal.”

Another goal for Heffron is to crack up the audience by delivering his autobiographical material. “What’s good about that is that my act will never get canceled,” Heffron said. “I don’t make fun of people. I don’t poke at anyone’s sexual preference and I don’t talk about issues, like abortion. A lot of comics think they’re Socrates but that’s not me. I talk about my life.”

Earlier in the year Heffron married for the second time and he is the step parent to five adult “children.” It’s a weird thing but it’s actually fine. I talk about what it’s like to be this kind of stepfather. I talk about COVID because the country requires that every comic should have at least one COVID joke. But my show is about being my age and trying to figure it out as a comic.”

Heffron’s take on getting older is no joke, at least partly. The winner of Last Comic Standing in 2004 wishes that comedy show times were scheduled earlier.

“I have nothing to say to those people who want to see comedy shows that are on late, like at 10:30,” Heffron said. “I of course do those shows but why go out so late when we can have a 4 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. show on a Saturday?”

The only problem with that for Heffron is that it will interfere with early bird special at his favorite restaurants.

As expected, Heffron was influenced by old school comics while growing up in Detroit. While watching “The Tonight Show” Heffron was impacted by clean storytellers, such as Louie Anderson and Paula Poundstone.

“I like delivering the anecdotes like my favorite comics did,” Heffron said. “That’s what so many of my heroes did when they were on with Johnny Carson back in the day.”

Heffron has morphed as a comic. “When I was married for the first time (from 2004- 17), I had a bunch of marriage jokes that were relationship heavy. Once I got divorced I couldn’t do those jokes anymore and I didn’t want to be the bitter divorce guy. I don’t even bring up my past life when I talk about my ex-wife. It’s funny because it’s like I have a brain fog from that period. It’s like I had a concussion. The good thing is that I’m so much happier now.”

When Heffron isn’t performing, he is working with his wife, Michelle Heffron, on their “My Grandmother Makes” children’s book series.

“When I would be reading books to my granddaughter, the children’s books just didn’t flow,” Heffron said. “So my wife and I are writing these books, which we really enjoy.”

Writing books aimed at grandchildren, dreaming of living in a retirement community and hoping for early stand-up shows makes Heffron a unique comic.

“I admit it and I embrace it,” Heffron said. “I don’t see what’s wrong with it. I don’t have to fit in. All I have to do is make people laugh and make my family happy.”

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