Last November, Marty Drexler of Canton took second place at Slim and Jumbos in the Fourth Garrettsville Comedy Show competition, which was a fundraiser for the Garrettsville Curtains Up Theatre. He has competed at numerous local venues for stand-up comedy. On Wednesday, February 27th, he had the opportunity to take his material to an all-new level when he competed in the final round of The View’s competition for America’s Funniest Teacher.
According to Drexler, he found out about the contest when his aunt and cousin saw the “Year of the Viewer– How Funny Are You? Hilarious Teachers” competition promotions and they encouraged him to send some of his material. Drexler, who is a math teacher at Akron Digital Academy (ADA) in Akron, Ohio, was shocked when he received a call from ABC’s The View inviting him to New York to compete live as a finalist in the event.
“My first question was ‘Are you sure you got the right guy here?’” Drexler said. “This whole thing has been like a whirlwind. You go from your everday routine to being on national tv.”
While Drexler was in New York for his 90-second live performance, his coworkers at ADA gathered during their lunch break to watch his performance. The charter school is sponsored by Akron Public Schools and focuses on helping at-risk students get back on track through credit recovery programs. ADA high school principal LaShawn Terrell said she and the staff are very proud of Drexler.
“I thought he did really well. I thought he was funny. He did a great job connecting it to his teaching,” Terrell said. “Working with at-risk students, you have to find a way to connect with these kids. When you’re dealing with math especially, you are dealing with lots of anxiety and the comedy allows you to bring kids back. I think it becomes a motivator to help get kids back on task and ease that anxiety.”
According to ABC’s Publicity Director Lauri Hogan, the competition was judged by Mario Cantone, Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar. Although Drexler did not win the competition, he could not be happier to have been included in the final round of the competition. “I loved every minute I was in NY. The View treated me like first class royalty at all times and I can’t say enough about them or the experience!”
The attention from participating in the competition helped fast-forward Drexler’s comedy career. According to Drexler, he has been working on setting up a paid event, but has often had schedule conflicts due to the demands of being a teacher, which is his favored career. His time on The View has helped him land his first paid show, which will take place June 4-8 at the Funny Stop Comedy Club in Cuyahoga Falls. Drexler hopes to secure an opportunity to perform at the Cleveland Improv this summer as well.