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‘It’s not that deep, we can laugh a little:’ Merit Kahn seeks to lighten life for audience with one-woman show at Manor Club

Merit Kahn performing her one-woman show. (Courtesy

Merit Kahn started in stand up on her 50th birthday, when she invited family and friends for an advertised one-night-only comedy show of her entire life. However, “Who Chiseled That!” was too fantastic to be contained to one evening.

“It was magic,” said Kahn. “I had to do it again.”

Her one-woman show comedically follows her entire life organized by decades, as she explains how she never encountered a dull moment.

With her success, Kahn’s most significant piece of advice to aspiring comedians is to never do it alone. Comedy is a team sport.

“It looks like it’s one person standing at a microphone doing a set,” Kahn said in an interview right after her Nov. 18 performance at the Manor Club. “My one-woman show looks like it is my thing, but there are so many people involved.” She described how comedy derives from workshopping material as well as going out into the world and living experiences that can turn into material.

The beauty about Kahn’s show is in the message she hopes to convey.

“None of this is about me,” she said. “Yes, it is my story, but it’s not really about me. It’s about everybody else. If I can help you lighten the load, if I can help you walk out of my keynote or theater show and think, you know, it’s not that deep, we can laugh a little, that is a good thing. Then I have done my job.”

Kahn’s comedic idols include Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin. On her list of idols, she also includes one of her mentors—and director of her show—Carole Montgomery, who has her own show, “Funny Women Of A Certain Age,” which creates opportunities for women over 50 who are stand up comedians.

“For anyone who wants to do anything similar to what I have done, take some classes, learn the art, learn the skills,” she said. “There is definitely an art to writing a good joke, to connect with an audience, to learn timing. You need to be very present. It’s not about getting my script right. It’s about listening to the audience’s reaction.” 

Near Where She Grew Up

Kahn is not a stranger to the Westchester area, as she grew up in White Plains. She found the Manor Club as a venue to play the night before she was to be a keynote speaker in Connecticut.

“I knew I booked the keynote in Connecticut, and since I knew I was gonna be here and the client was paying for the travel and all that, I was like, ‘Oh I’m gonna be there! I would like to perform somewhere near where I grew up,’” Kahn said.

Sheryl Hatwood, the president of the Manor Club, and Kahn were already connected on Linkedin, so Kahn thought a Manor Club show was destined to be.

With a business, books, keynote speeches and comedy shows, initially balancing everything was a juggling act. Now, however, she considers her comedy and business interwoven.

“So, my keynote audiences get a little taste of the show, and I hope that will inspire them to see the show. And then people that come to my theater show, you never know, maybe someone will hire me to do a keynote for them,”

Her schedule may be busy, but there are quieter days when she tries to enjoy the relaxation.

“The time I spend on stage is a very small percentage of what I do,” said Kahn. “Most of my career is getting the stages, and that is the hard part.”

Overall, Kahn enjoys being on stage and interacting with the audience throughout her shows.

“That’s the stuff I would do for free,” she said.

Kahn’s “Who Chiseled That!” is a mosaic of her witty comedy and her own allegorical stories and is a must-see. 


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About the Contributor
Sabine Bushong, Staff Reporter
Sabine Bushong is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a member of the volleyball team as well as the club Pelham Eliminates Plastic. Sabine is ecstatic to begin writing for the Pelham Examiner!

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