This is the 10th story in the Icons of Maine series. People with suggestions are invited to e-mail

Birdie Googins isn’t running for governor. She wants to be queen.

“When I tell people at my shows that I’m running for queen of Maine, they always applaud,” Googins said in a phone interview. “My solution for jobs is to get them all back from Taiwan. Let’s get motivated. We can do it.”

Googins is the stage name for the comedian who portrays a favorite television bargain hunter — the Marden’s Lady. Long before Googins worked in commercials, she was a regular Mainer growing up in Norway.

“I went to Oxford Hills High School. Norway is a gorgeous town. That was back when every town had its own little ski slope. Everybody skied — even the poor people,” said the Scarborough resident.

Best known for her work in television, Googins is also an accomplished playwright. “The first play I ever wrote was a comedy called ‘Humpin’ Glory Bay.’ It was produced at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, but it’s never been produced in Maine. It’s about a shotgun wedding,” said Googins.

“I just finished [writing] a play called ‘Gold Rush Girls’ about ladies of the night in the Klondike Gold Rush.” She described the project as a mixture of sex and gold, complete with music. “Who doesn’t like sex and gold?” she asked with a laugh.

Googins has big dreams for her new production but knows that success requires a bit of luck. “I’d love to blow this [play] open and go to Broadway. It’s just a matter of how to get there from here. It’s like shooting down dark alleys,” Googins said.

“I’m an artist. You have to do anything and everything you can to make a living at your art. I feel lucky to have a job playing a character that resonates with people.”

Googins is often recognized in public as the Marden’s Lady. She loves her job, but said it involves one little-known hazard. “Any time I run across the parking lot to the store [in commercials], I’m taking my life in my hands, because no one is holding back the cars,” she said.

In interviews, Googins prefers not to give away too much personal information. “I like to keep the mystery alive,” she said.

But she’s eager to discuss her work. “People are just starting to find out that I have a stand-up comedy show that’s funny and interactive. We haven’t had a woman doing Maine humor before. It’s about time, don’t you think? I’m Maine’s first supermodel,” she said.

In addition to stand-up comedy, Googins appears at private events and fundraisers. Saturday, June 26, she’ll host the Dover-Foxcroft Whoopie Pie Festival. “It doesn’t get any more glamorous than that,” she said.

“Mainers are so eccentric. All I have to do is walk out my door, and I have material. This guy at the Blue Hill Fair called to ask me to appear there. I said that I’d love to stand by some big pumpkins and eat red hot dogs. He said, ‘You sound like some of my employees.’”

Between writing plays and appearing on television, Googins makes time for fun. A lighthearted approach, she said, is key to comedy. “Someone once asked me if I was actually having this much fun. I said, ‘Absolutely!’ Let’s keep having a good time, dear. I can’t think of anything better to do.”

While Googins dreams of seeing her plays produced on Broadway, she’s thankful for the success she’s earned and proud to be recognized in her home state. “There is so much talent here in Maine,” Googins said. “I have so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful to be Maine’s only supermodel. I’m grateful to have Boston Playwrights’ Theatre behind me, and I’m grateful to be an icon in VillageSoup!”

For more information about Birdie Googins and for her complete schedule of appearances, visit

Dan Harrington is a freelance writer who lives in Augusta.