Marnita Marie Griffith was named after her grandmothers Juanita and Martha, and it was the only time they agreed on anything.
Figuring that Marnita is a little complicated. she goes by Marie Griffith at work and Ms. Westend Pookie at what she loves — comedy.
She will be performing with Louisville Laughs on the Thursday Comedy Night March 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aloft Louisville Downtown along with headliner Melissa Doran. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $30 for a reserved table that seats up to four and are available here.
Marie considers herself a motivational comedian and strongly believes that laughter cures — even if it’s just for an hour. She has practiced this method on family with mental illness and in the darkest part of West Louisville.
“I’ve seen an infectious laugh trump sadness and the feeling I got was electrifying,” she said. “That’s how I knew comedy was for me.”
Though she was named most humorous in high school (Pleasure ridge Park class of ’97), she didn’t perform comedy on stage until about 10 years ago when her comedian brother Demetrius Wheeler brought her up the first time.
Selling out her first show confirmed comedy was for this “mother of two and master of none.”
“From churches to after-hours spots, jails and nursing homes, comedy is welcomed everywhere,” she said.
Even Aliquippa, Pa.
“It was my very first time performing outside the tri-state area,” she said, “and I didn’t even know this place existed!”
Her “limo” to the show provided by Demetrius “Meech Dog” Wheeler was an old hearse.
“My name is Westend Pookie I got that name from moving a lot as a child … only in the west end, though.
We moved so much that we bought furniture with wheels on it. You call it a dining room table. We call it meals on Wheels.”Marie Griffith
Marie counts Moms Mabley, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx as inspiration and entertainers who take it to another level.
“I hope one day I’m added to those names, she said. “These are the ones that have my upmost respect for.
“My upbringing and having thick skin prepared me for this journey, however long it takes. “I promise to do what makes me happy. And you’re welcome to follow along for laughs, too.”
Find Marie Griffith on Instagram at @Mzwestend Pookie
She is on Facebook at Marie Griffith