Dr. Johnny Biscuit Presents Episode 4: Lord Mesmer Eyes

DrJohnnyBiscuitPresents

Ep 4: Lord Mesmer Eyes

Is hypnosis fakery? In a battle of hypnotists, what would happen? Master hypnotist Lord Mesmer Eyes says hypnosis unlocks your true self, tells us about how it works and gives stories from his shows. Also, Dr. Johnny Biscuit and Lord Mesmer Eyes play the seldom recorded and very dangerous “Hynotist Versus Hypnotist” game. Listener discrection is advised

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Dr. Johnny Biscuit Presents Episode 3: Kelson Burlingham

DrJohnnyBiscuitPresents

Ep 3: Kelson Burlingham

Does technology have it in for us? Our guest, Kelson Burlingham, IT Administrator for Leantimmer City says computers are stupid, so don’t get mad at them. He says a device can only do what we tell it, and most problems are user error. He tells stories from supporting IT users and shares his predictions for the future of technology.

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Dr. Johnny Biscuit Presents Episode 2: Keoni Kealoha, “Pops”

DrJohnnyBiscuitPresents

Ep 2: Keoni Kealoha, “Pops”

Keoni Kealoha, or “Pops” says life is best lived with a smile. Pops is the Volunteer Fire Chief of Leantimmer, and owner/operator of Big Brudda and Sisters Hawaiian Tours and Plate Lunch. Pops talk about his love of food, his Hawaiian tours and fireworks safety tips.

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Dr. Johnny Biscuit Presents Episode 1: Dr. Adam Strong

DrJohnnyBiscuitPresents

Ep 1: Dr. Adam Strong, Infinite You

Dr. Adam Strong, author, “Public Speaking is Harder Than You Think: A User’s Guide to Talking Out Loud.”

Dr. Strong says what the world needs is infinite you. Together we discuss social media making the most important thing you, and lots of it. Learn simple steps to blow your own horn that will blow your own mind.

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Comedy Stories — Utah Comedy and Comedians

When I opened Johnny B’s Comedy Club people told me I was crazy. They said a clean, non-alcoholic club would never work, let alone in Utah. That’s where they were wrong — Utah is probably one of the only places it could work. We weren’t the first comedy club in Utah and we weren’t the last, but we did give a lot of people a lot of laughs.

The first Utah comedy club I remember was Cartoons which was originally located in the Sugarhouse neighborhood  in a building that has been torn down. I started my club career there at an open-mic competition. How many times have you heard that story from a comedian? Lots. Did well in the competition and kept going. An interesting side note, Utah radio personality Todd Collard of the Todd and Erin Show came to Utah to manage Cartoons.

Eventually I opened Johnny B’s and things took off. One of the things I am proudest of is the opportunity we gave Utah comedy to grow. Many comedians performed on our stage honing their acts, and some are working comedians today. Other people just got the opportunity to perform, to get up on stage and try it. I still have people come up to me to this day and tell me about their experience performing at Johnny B’s. Some of them just tried it once or twice.

One of the comedians who performed on our stage was Keith Stubbs, who went on to open Wiseguys, a Utah comedy club institution. Like Todd, Keith has also gone on to become a Utah radio personality as well. I have performed at Wiseguys many times, Keith is a good guy. Wiseguys is where today’s hopeful Utah comedians can get stage time. You can see it all on Wednesday night open-mic nights. Additionally, Wiseguys brings in known comedians from across the country.

Utah is no different than other places, people need to laugh. Laughter is the pressure-relief valve for life. It wasn’t crazy to have comedy in Utah when I was running a club and it isn’t crazy today. Utah is unique, that’s for sure, but so is every place you go, you just have to take it as it comes and try to understand it.

I enjoy performing comedy. These days I enjoy performing for private events, conventions and parties. I have been at it for over 20 years and I have seen and done a lot, but every time I grab the mic it is a new experience. People hire me to entertain, to make them forget, to just have a laugh and I am happy to do it. It makes me feel good to put a smile on someone’s face. In a world that is increasingly acrimonious, that is something.

Comedy Stories — Popcorn, Candy and Sodas

When I started comedy I was in college and I had several jobs. One job was rather unique. I worked at a movie theater complex that had four screens (which at the time was considered a complex). Before the movies I would go in with a box full of popcorn, candy and sodas and sell them by talking to the crowd. More like yelling over the crowd. Kind of like a hot dog vendor at the ball game.

My friend Eric Kepo’o had started the idea and I came in as his helper. Eric really had a way with people and he would go in and talk and do his comedy and sell stuff. Then he invited me and we both did it. It was a great training in “street” comedy. Just going with the flow.

One interesting aspect of the job was going from theater to theater, audience to audience, one right after the other. One screen had a Disney movie, the next had a slasher movie. It was very interesting to see what kind of crowd came to what kind of movie. You had to be able to switch comedy gears immediately.

It was effective. I saw the sales numbers without us and with us, and they made more even after paying us. It was so scary. It is amazing the tough things young performers have to do.

Comedy Stories — The Dungeon

There was this one time… In over 20 years of comedy there are so many stories. I tell them to my wife and she says I should write them down. My dear father tells me to write them down. So here we go. Hmmm, where to start? How about the beginning?

To answer your question before you ask it, yes, I have always been funny. There were plenty of hi-jinks in high school and college, but this is a story about my life in comedy on a stage.

Some of my first performances were in dives. I remember one particular place that was in the basement of a sandwich shop near the University. The ceiling was so low that while standing on the 4 inch high stage I could put my hand flat against the ceiling. The walls were covered in dark brown, wood shake shingles. Attached to the walls were old, used horse accessories like a bridle, reins, and assorted rusted chains. It had a strange, S&M ish ambience. The stage was maybe 4′ by 4′ and tucked in a corner. The room sat about 75 people if you weren’t worried about fire escapes, and they weren’t. A thick smell of deep fat fryer oil wafted down from the sandwich shop upstairs. The name of the restaurant was the Rolling Scone.

Shows were on the weekend. They tried me out a few times before moving me up to a paid slot. There were two comics and an MC. The comics each did a 30 minute set and we were paid $10. Sometimes. My early set was made up of “funny” songs that I had written. That’s how my goofiness manifest itself before it was “trained”. I had a few jokes in between. Basically I was snarky, I was in my early 20’s. I played the guitar, I played a tiny Casio keyboard. I wore a vest.

The place was often packed. Of course, when you are in your 20’s you have lots of friends and if you invited a few, the place could fill easily. I remember good times. I thought I was funny, my friends thought I was funny and nothing really mattered. The comedy was pure, raw and ragged. There was no career to feed, no image to uphold.

I made some friends there that I still have today. Some of the people who came through that tiny venue have gone on to distinguished careers in showbiz. Surprisingly accomplished careers. You never would have known it watching us then, but that was back when we were young and  all we knew was that we wanted to, we didn’t have a plan or know where we were headed, and we didn’t care where we performed.

One time they brought in a real comedian to perform special shows for a couple of weeks. I remember performing there with him and thinking “What would an actual talented professional comedian be doing playing in a place like this?” But there he was, getting his free cokes and scone sandwiches in between shows. He talked to me, gave me advice about comedy. I remember he told me I should do song parodies instead of the originals I was working. I thought he was nuts. After his shows, I remember thinking that while he was funny, whatever he was doing in comedy it wasn’t heading anywhere. I dismissed him.

A few weeks later I saw him on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. This was back in the day when Johnny could make a career. After that appearance his career took off and he never looked back. His name is Louie Anderson.

So much for my ability to judge talent.

 

 

 

Utah Comedy

Johnny B, Johnny Biscuit, comedian for hire in Utah. I am clean, quick-witted and work the audience or company into the material. When I started Johnny B’s Comedy Club, I didn’t have a grand design to change the face of stand-up comedy in Utah, but that’s what happened. When I see some of the comics who either started at Johnny B’s, or passed through on their journey to their destiny, it makes me smile knowing I helped put laughs back into the community.

Today there are many comedians in Utah, and I am one of the originals who is still working. I have experience, I have many hours logged in the comedy cockpit. I’ve seen a lot of things. Utah comedy, comedy in Utah, is it’s own special animal, that’s for sure. Utah corporate comedy is another speciality. Find a comedian you like and enjoy them. Support comedy and support comedians!