Hilarious! Comic Jonny R. aka 'The Ojibwe Outlaw' is Fostering a Career in Laughs
Lydell Roberts pulls many of his jokes from his family. People laugh when they hear the comedian is raising eight kids, five of which foster children. “I didn’t even know I was a foster parent,” he says. “I just thought I was babysitting for a long time.” For the most part, Roberts is playing nanny. He and his wife Jessica have seen 24 children come through their home on a temporary basis in 22 years. “That’s where I get most of my material: Really living everyday life in a chaotic household. It keeps me busy; keeps me sharp.”
Known as Jonny R., or the Ojibwe Outlaw, the 39-year-old is entering his seventh year in comedy. Roberts travels more than 200 miles from the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota to perform at open mics in Sioux Falls and Minneapolis. He once flew to California to compete in a Native comedy competition at The Laugh Factory and do an open mic at the famed Comedy Store. He also has a dedicated YouTube show in his name, and many well-known Native entertainers have been guests.