Watch Josh Johnson’s big break here:
Johnson’s comedic career originally kick-started in Chicago, where he did stand-up for two years. After winning Snubfest, he moved to New York to further pursue his dreams; where he won ‘Devil Cup’, was named one of Comedy Central’s ‘Comics to Watch’ and wrote for The Tonight Show as well as Empire News. He has performed across the country at the New Orleans Comedy Festival, Orlando, Indie Comedy Festival, Big-Little Comedy Festival, Cleveland Comedy Festival, and Epic Fest. Johnson was a semi-finalist in NBC’s ‘Stand-Up Diversity Showcase’, an ensemble member of ‘Under The Gun’ Theater in Chicago, and a regular at The Chicago Laugh Factory.
Back in 2015, ‘Comedy of Chicago’ did an exclusive interview with the comedic star; his responses providing wise introspection into the realm of comedy life. Johnson emphasized the importance of being true to yourself onstage,
“I think balance lies in the fact that you know what’s funny to you. It should never be because you think it’s going to be funny to them; cause then you’re just in limbo. If you are just saying things to impress a crowd of people that you don’t know, that’s when stand-up becomes the scary thing it is to outsiders. I hate when people feel like they need to be a certain way for a certain crowd. Just do whatever makes you laugh and whatever makes you feel good about doing stand-up.”
When asked how he dealt with negativity during his sets, he stated,
“If anyone’s hating on you, you’re probably doing something right…if you start getting some shade, it’s almost validation.”
In response to the frustrations of comedy, Johnson talks coping-mechanisms from a psychological stand-point,
“Comedy is not meritocracy, that is something you have to get over. You know your own hustle, you know what you need, and you know how to get better. Even if you don’t think you know, you do.”
His final thoughts and words of wisdom, were eloquently stated with admirable honesty and deep understanding,
“Let people know how important they are to you. Tell everybody that you love them, all the time. People never hear it enough. We lost Michael Shapiro this year  and I know for a fact I never told him I loved him, and I for sure don’t feel like I let him know how funny I thought he was. In that respect, I failed him as a friend. He was kind, and loved the scene more than it loved him back, sometimes… and that’s a testament to someone truly remarkable. So, any positive thing you think about someone, please let them know. Sometimes vibes aren’t enough. Let them know you appreciate them, that you think they’re funny, and that you’re glad they are here. Just do that for someone once-in-a-while.”
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) February 23, 2017
From the look of it, those words have continued to ring true for Johnson – flying his favorite teacher out to the show to see his set and thanking him for his encouragement and support throughout high school.
In the world of comedy, it’s one thing to be funny; another thing entirely to be coming from a profound place of genuine and unapologetic wisdom. We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for this promising young comedian.