Jerry Farber's first comedy act was performed 62 years ago.

"It was at my bar mitzvah in March 1951 in Greensboro, N.C.," the veteran comic says. "My mother, who was born in Savannah 100 years ago, had hired an entertainer, and even I realized how bad the guy was."

Thinking about how her son always told jokes to his toys, Farber's mother pulled him into action.

"She said, 'We've got hundreds of people here from out of town. If you want a bar mitzvah, do something.'

"I spent 10 or 15 minutes telling funny stories," Farber says. "I don't remember all the contents, but it was exciting. It was the same kind of energy I felt when I wanted to be a football player."

Fast forward to June 5, 1960, when Farber's comedy career got off the ground.

"It was right out of college," he says. "I played the piano and told jokes. There were no comedy clubs then, and very few around the country.

"I played at some piano bar in Atlanta and was able to tell jokes between the acts," Farber says. "It's 53 years I've been doing this."

For many of those years, Farber has run his own comedy club, Jerry Farber's Side Door in Atlanta.

"We bring in people who looked like I did 50 years ago," he says. "They're young and anxious to make a mark."

Farber still tours with his own comedy act and will be in Savannah on Dec. 6 to perform for the Savannah Comedy Revue.

"It's usually a younger person's business, although not always," he says. "I love it and would do it all over again."

For a time, Farber wanted to be an athlete.

"I had the attitude of a football player and the body of a ping pong player," he says.

Those attributes work well in comedy.

"I was willing to take the pressure," Farber says. "I could win or lose and it would be all on me, as opposed to working in a sketch group. Stand-ups say, 'I'll take chances with myself.'"

Everything since then has worked out just fine.

"It's been a good long ride," Farber says.

"I was blessed 13 years ago. When I was 63, my wife, Roberta, and I created our son, Joshua.

"He plays sports and every moment is an awakening. He's got opinions and everything."

But what if Joshua decides to become a standup comic?

"Jews first want their son to be a doctor or dentist or own a sports franchise," Farber says.

"But all I want is for him to be verbal and humane. That's what I said at his bris. He is very empathetic - and he's noticing cheerleaders.

"I got this wonderful blessing late in life," Farber says. "He enjoys going to the club, but I'm not one of his favorite comedians. He's got a Top 10 Letterman list, and I'm not on it."

If Joshua chooses to do comedy, Farber will accept it.

"Whatever, it will be his call," he says. "But it won't be the comedy business the way it is today when he's grown. There's too much dirty comedy."

In his own comedy, Farber turns to the human condition for laughs.

"Blacks, whites, Jews, gentiles, sports, aging - it's really life, the moments from birth to death," he says. "It's observational. I tell jokes that sound like stories, and some are real and some are enhanced."

Farber's inspirations are Richard Pryor, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks.

"There is real genius among them," Farber says. "Before them were Jack Benny and George Burns."

The piano is still a big part of Farber's show.

"I imitate musicians like Elton John, Billy Joel, Ray Charles," he says. "The plan is that it's comical. I think it's an add-on to the show that separates it from the pack."

As for retirement, Farber has no intention of slowing down.

"I don't know what else I would do," he says. "I'm having a lot of fun for someone who will be 76. This keeps me quite youthful."

Age, after all, is just a number.

"I once did a show for a man's 100th birthday," Farber says. "He plays tennis every day.

"He's buried two wives and has had cancer, a heart attack and liver trouble. I'm usually the oldest one in the room, but I could have been his kid. Any day I can stand on my own, I'll tackle another day."

Continuing to work also means an income.

"I don't really have to use money that's been saved for retirement," Farber says.

Not that his son doesn't worry, Farber says.

"Joshua said, 'Dad, there is something I'm getting worried about. You're getting older, and I'm afraid you're going to die and I'll miss you and I love you.'

"I said, 'Joshua, our favorite movie is 'The Lion King.' We always cry, then we come to the club and laugh. You've seen my show a lot and seen me die on stage. Since I've done it so many times, once more doesn't really change it. Now let's go get ice cream.'"