Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Chat with Don Johnson, Local Funny Guy

This is my friend Don, we had a quick chat after we'd shot his head shots back in June and I'm finally caught up enough to post it! Say hi to Don!

Me: First things first, Don, what book are you reading right now?

D.J.: I'm reading Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States.

M: Now that that's out of the way, tell me how you got into comedy! Who helped you along?

D.J.: at a very young age, first saw George Carlin when I was like 8 with my Mother at Melody Fair in Tonawanda. Life kept getting in the way if me trying it until about a year ago. When my best friend Kevin Thomas Jr (recently voted Buffalo's Funnest at Helium Nightclub) started, I would go and watch him at Milkie's. Back when we worked together we would egg each other on about trying comedy. Then a few years past we lost touch until I saw on fb he was doing comedy... the rest is history. 

M: I'd love to hear about your first show.
D.J.: Was at Milkie's on Elmwood. I went up right before my friend Zach Dietch. I ate my balls for dinner live on stage. It was horrible, it felt horrible... but I wanted to keep trying.

M: What's the best show you've ever seen?
D.J.: I saw Jim Norton a couple years ago in PA, Allie Brady opened and Rick Matthews featured. It was amazing. Best local show would have to be Kevin's performance at Buffalo's Funniest at Helium.

M: Do you have a favorite person you've opened for?
 D.J.: Since I'm fairly new I haven't really opened for anyone noteworthy, but I was honored to be on the Nietzsche's 10 year anniversary show.

(disclaimer: Don brought a prop air gun to the shoot which was incorporated by request. Mostly, he's sane and just wanted to use it as an analogy for the pressure performers feel to always "kill it" on stage)

M: Tell me about show you walked away feeling amazing after.
D.J.: Would have to have been my show at Babeville. It was a very warm and drunk crowd and I was high as a kite and more "on" than usual. It went well.

M: What was your worst show like?
D.J.: It's hard to remember my worst, Ive had some shit sets at Nietzsche's and Milkie's.
M: Lets revisit the South Buffalo one.

D.J.: It was the worst. Performing to literally 5 comics and two old local drunks who would try and heckle. The place has since burned down.
M: Anything you want to admit to? Like arson?

D.J.: They didn't even have beer on tap, they would just hand you a can like you're in your own basemen.

M: What's new and exciting for you?

D.J.: I get to be on the "Tales of Tyrone" show and you have no idea how honored I am to be apart of the Tits N' Giggles All Male Comedy Review at Rustbelt both at Nietzsche's in September.

M: Have a favorite joke?

 D.J.: My own favorite would have to be whatever I'm currently working on. I always get excited for new material. My favorite of someone else's would have to be Kevin Thomas's parking lot pregnancy test joke.

M: Tell the people know how to stalk you!
D.J.: fb, twitter, and instagram and I can be found hosting the filthy stage of Tudor Lounge every Monday, hanging out and performing at Nietzsche's & Helium most Tuesdays, Milkie's on Wednesdays and Goodbar on Thursdays.

M: And finally, if not this than what?
D.J.: Failure is not an option. Is all this going in a suicide note for when you stage my death?
M: Of course, first we need to get some insurance policies open...
D.J.: I'm not economically viable...