Jake Johannsen, Comedian & E-Bicyclist Returns to Austin & I Meet a Seinfeld Writer

I got to see, hear and touch (just a handshake, mind you), professional funnyman and human being Jake Johannsen after participating in, well, just attending, his first show of a four-night stint 8/14-17 at at Capitol City Comedy Club. A couple of friends and I were fortunate enough to see his show. I wrote about his hilarious stand-up comedy act last year. Some of his material was the same (but just as funny!), and quite a lot was new. Many jokes were laugh til you almost cry funny. One woman even slapped her leg while laughing, and he commented on that, comicly, of course. And then we got to meet and chat after. Very cool. More after the More bar…

Still Wondering About Sex Robots

For a married guy, J J sure thinks about sex a lot. (That’s what I call him after two brief encounters, yeah, J J. He loves it, I heard. Well, I said it aloud, and I heard myself say it. So now that I read that out loud, it probably doesn’t count.) Anyway, I couldn’t do MISTER Johannsen’s jokes and stories the justice they deserve. He’s after all a seasoned pro who got his start in 1986, has had specials on HBO and Showtime, won awards, was on David Letterman 46 times. (And yes, Dave said “Get off!” each and every one of them). Man, I gotta cut down on my use of parentheses. And sugar. One of them is a lot easier.

Plus that’s like the whole point, that you should go to his live shows – webpage – Facebook – podcast – Twitter – YouTube – Instagram – house (ok, not the last one, I’m kidding!). But I think I can quote him with proper attribution and not be sued. I mean, it’s right there on the top of his webpage. (Does that mean he likes being on top? Asking for a friend, who’s definitely straight.) Damn, more parentheses!

“The difference between watching standup comedy on TV and seeing it live, is like the difference between watching a porno and actually having sex with a real person. You might enjoy them both, but one is a lot better.”


A Bit on the Craft of Writing Comedy

I got a chance to ask Señor Hijodejuan a few questions after the show. Like about his creative process. Some comedians throw out their act each year, he said, but he keeps honing his craft. He has to try it out and see what works. That’s maybe common to all comics. It might take two years before he’s moved on to completely new material. But what’s interesting is that he said, “I have to try to lead the audience to understand why *I* think something is funny.”


I asked if he sits down to write, just like a writer of a book, and he does. So as someone who fancies himself as a writer, and who just finished the first draft of my book, I take some inspiration from that. As I’m editing I need to try to really drill down to what is the point or essence of the passage at hand.

Because an actual editor will do that, and tell me to revise or just throw out whole sections if they don’t serve the purpose. In Jake’s it’s to be licked and loved, in that order. Excuse me, that’s a typo. It should say LIKED, not licked. Anyway, according to Sex Robots will rule the world soon, many things really won’t matter too much.

More About Jake’s Bits… I Mean More Tidbits About Jake!

A bit more on Jake: he’s from Iowa. (I thought it was Minnesota, but screw those Garrison Keillor-loving mo-fo’s!) As mentioned last time, he does ride a bike, although it’s an e-bike, therefore, basically a motorcycle. (A Dude ain’t none too fond of them contraptions. Til I’m old enough to need one, them I’ll jump on that bandwagon. I don’t think anyone really knows what that is, so I’ll maybe jump on an e-bike someday.)

He knew about RAGBRAI, which is on long bike ride and rolling party across the whole state held every July. The two Randy’s have done it. I asked the funny person if he might try RAGBRAI. By the way, Jake does still ride a bike four-five miles around his neighborhood in Los Angeles. (Albeit it’s on an electronically pedaled-assisted one when needed, he’s still out there risking life and limb for exercise. What are you doing, critiquing him or my little but awesome blog? Get a life, man!) Anyway, he said it would be fun to do with the family, but doubted he could ever convince them to.

I didn’t have the guts to ask for a photo but at least we’ll always have this memory.

My friend Saurabh bought the t-shirt last year that just said “SEX ROBOT.” You must see his show to understand the bit. But I alas have not received a paycheck in a good while, so I could not contribute to his various fetishes I mean products. (OK, I don’t know if he has any fetishes. Fetishii? But hey, I’m just trying to create some mystique about the guy over here, OK? So work with me already. Sheesh!) He does have a room with CDs and DVDs he needs to sell, so help a brother out, OK?

Seriously, though, Jake’s on-stage persona is still him, but a more animated one. At least in our few moments both times, he was super chill and nice. I wish I could go see his show every night, but as he recorded in a short Twitter video, “that might not be a good financial decision.” Well, you get the picture. Jake Johannsen: A funny, interesting, nice guy whom you should check out. And if Kumail Nanjiani (Portlandia, The Big Sick, Stuber) says he was a big comedic influence, you know that he is the real deal. Jake is real, not Kumail. Anyway, I heard Kumail is a robot. Probably the sex kind. (Yep! I said it first. Then I heard it. And now I’m hearing it.)

Tom Gammill, Seinfeld Writer

Tom Gammill came out as one of the opening acts and told a hilarious story about leaving his 12-year old son in a hotel room. He wasn’t on for long but I really enjoyed it. Afterwards, he was sitting at the bar with another of the openers. I went up and said hello and thanked them both. I offered my hand to shake – the same one Jake had recently touched, and which not 30 minutes before had been shoving cheese covered potatoes down my gullet (Funny Fries, the club calls them. So now there’s a one-degree separation between me and Jerry Seinfeld. That’s pretty cool if you ask me. I know it’s basically not important, but let me have my moment alright? Sheesh.

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