California-based comedian Anjelah Johnson is kicking off her four-week standup comedy tour at Seattle’s Paramount Theater this Saturday.
Johnson made a huge splash with her viral comedy video, “Nail Salon” (more than 26 million views on YouTube). This was one of the most-viewed YouTube and Google videos of 2007, and propelled her to new heights of touring and television. Her second Youtube video “Bon Qui Qui at King Burger,” a MADtv sketch has also drawn millions of hits. Johnson also had a recurring role on FOX’s MADtv and was nominated in 2008 for an “Outstanding Female Performance in a Comedy Television Series” ALMA Award.
A wildly successful stand-up comedian, Johnson has had the privilege of performing for our troops in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and continues to tour the country, playing to sold-out comedy clubs. We caught up with Johnson, who was filming a commercial in Texas this week, for a quick chat about her upcoming visit.
Your year seems to be off to a busy start with the tour kicking off.
I feel like I’m always on tour. I just finished a three and a half week tour and now I’m back on the road.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened on tour?
A few years ago, I was doing two shows in Texas and had to travel from Houston to Dallas. There was a really bad storm and my flight was delayed, so we drove for five hours from Houston to Dallas. It was crazy because we drove through the eye of the storm. There was so much lightning and thunder. We drove up to the club at, like, 7:45 p.m. and I had nothing because my suitcase was already on the plane. I just wore the clothes I travelled in on stage and had someone quickly do my makeup. It was an adventure.
I see you were in Seattle before. How long ago was that?
I go about once a year to Seattle. I have friends who live there.
When you were in town last time, I saw you ordered “the very first Starbucks ever made.” Describe that experience.
Oh yeah, I had to go to the first Starbuck. I had to do the whole experience because Starbucks gets a lot of my income.
What kind of impression did you get from the people of Seattle?
I love Seattle. The crowds are amazing. They are just so good to me and so culturally diverse. They just get it. I really like that about Seattle.
What are you most looking forward to when you return?
My sister is coming with me this time and it’s her first time coming to the city. I’m going to take her around to Pike Place, the first Starbucks, maybe throw a fish.
Are you working on any side projects? What can fans look forward to after the tour wraps up?
Just a few commercials in Texas. I’m finishing up my third batch right now. After the tour, I’ll take a break and head back to L.A. for pilot season.
Who’s the next big thing?
Nate Bargatze. I bring him on the road with me whenever I can. He’s a fantastic writer and has appeared on Conan O’Brien. He’s definitely the next big thing. Mal Hall, from San Diego is also really talented. There are so many good comedians out there that I love to work with, but these guys are definitely ones to watch out for.