I found out about stand-up comedian and writer Jonny Taylor, Jr on Twitter through one of his funny tweets. I’ve since followed him and often get a laugh from his witty insight. Read below for his answers to questions I asked him about stand-up comedy!
Travis Blair: What do you enjoy most about stand-up comedy?
Johnny Taylor, Jr: The connection. It gives me a chance to connect with people that I don’t really find in my day-to-day life. When someone, especially a perfect stranger laughs at a story that I’m telling or finds a joke that I’m saying relatable, that’s a connection made that nothing else really rivals.
Travis: What was a pivotal moment that led to you becoming a stand-up comedian?
Johnny: I had always wanted to try it. I put it off for a myriad of reasons. Day-jobs, relationships stuff, being far too busy. Blah, blah, blah. One day I decided to good “local open mics” and I found one at the Sacramento Comedy Spot. It was only a few blocks from my place, so I thought I’d go watch one week. It was bad enough that it gave me the confidence to try it out the following week. It didn’t go terrible and the rest is history.
Travis: How do you introduce new material to your performances?
Johnny: New material develops as new life experiences occur. Something will happen and I’ll think to myself “this might make a good bit”. Oftentimes I’ll try to take my initial thoughts about said subject to the stage that night. From there it’s just a process of working it out. Unless it goes awful, then I might just scrap it then and there.
Travis: How has social media affected your comedy profession?
Johnny: Twitter has been a game changer. The ability to go out there and write a condensed version of a bit and get immediate feedback on it is pretty huge for comedians. I write a lot on there and every now and then one will really hit. When that happens I’ll usually try to take a version of that to the stage.
Travis: If you could assemble a talk show panel of any five stand-up comics today, who would they be?
Johnny: That’s a tough one. Well I’d want my friend Keith Lowell Jensen there just so I have somebody I know. Strength in numbers, ya know? I’d definitely have Chris Rock there. He’s one of my all-time favorites. I’d love to talk shop with him. Stewart Lee would have to be there. I think Stewart is the best stand-up comedian in the world. Maria Bamford would be on the panel. She’s a comedic genius of the highest order. I met her once and she was really nice. That goes a long way with me. I’d round it out by having Joe Rogan there. He could facilitate between all the opinions. Also we could talk about fighting. I love fighting.