99-year-old Iowa man spreads joy online one joke at a time

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 4:45 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A 99-year-old man in Mount Vernon is spreading joy online, one joke at a time. It started during the pandemic as people were isolated in their homes. He was 97 at that time. Now, nearing 100, Fred Lehman has made a tradition out of making people smile.

”We just put it on and took our chance that it would help somebody through the day and many people said that gets me through the day,” Lehman said.

With his wife Marion by his side and daughter behind the camera, the family dining room quickly became a recognizable backdrop for the jokes shared on Facebook.

”I was his videographer and I was one of the people that laughed in the background often,” said Jean, Lehman’s daughter.

At 99 years old, Fred has memorized 35 minutes worth of material.

”A fella said to his friend, I got these new hearing aids, state of the art, cost me $5,000. His friend said what kind are they? He said 12:30,” Lehman said with a smile.

His jokes have racked up more than 1,000 followers on Facebook and as many smiles, including from his wife of 73 years.

”She was my biggest fan,” said Lehman.

Marion died in August 2020 at the age of 95, but like the memories that keep flowing, so has Lehman’s mission to make people laugh.

”We miss her, but also we knew that the world was still turning and people were out there,” he explained.

More than two years in and no longer isolated, he hasn’t been posting every day. But jokes are still shared to the page often, reminding us all that sometimes laughter is the best medicine.

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