GABBIE WATTS • NOV 25, 2015  Play story Audio from WABE

In 1989, Atlanta comedian Jerry Farber did a very avant-garde thing. He opened the first non-smoking comedy club in United States. Ted Turner showed up with a cigar because he thought it was a joke.

Farber’s dedication to non-smoking venues and comedy, however, never wavered. At 77, he’s celebrating 55 years in comedy.

“I don’t pose in muscle magazines anymore,” Farber said in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Farber said it was his parents’ laughter that inspired him to become a comedian: “They would have a party, and I’d hear people laughing. I thought, what a good sound.”

When he actually told his parents that he wanted to be a comedian, they though it was a bad idea.

“Performance, it’s worked at a smaller level than say Jerry Seinfeld’s career,” Farber said. “It’s my career, and I’ve always done this and am looking forward to continuing.”

His comedy club at Landmark Diner, Jerry Farber’s Side Door, recently closed and the Punchline Comedy Club will now use the space. Farber continues to tour, however, and also hopes to open a yoga studio targeted toward elderly Jewish woman called “Stretch and Kvetch.”

One of his friends made a short documentary about his life as an older comedian on the road. It’s called “Jerry-atric: One Comic’s 77-Year Climb to the Top of the Bottom” and will premiere at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in 2016.

Farber said that he often faces age discrimination at clubs.

“I get dissed when I go on and there’s a young crowd. And as soon as they laugh a couple times, I can feel them looking at me and wrinkles would disappear because they are there to laugh, not to judge,” Farber said. “When I’m 88 I might have a different take.”

Farber be headlining at the Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross from Wednesday, November 25 to Saturday, November 28.