The atmosphere in Wieden Auditorium on Feb. 3 was full of excitement. Roughly 100 people gathered in the auditorium to watch Josh Johnson, a stand-up comedian from Fort Worth, Texas, perform. Despite bad weather and the campus being closed from 3 p.m. onward, Johnson made it safely to UMPI and was eagerly waiting to perform.
The Student Activities Office recruited Johnson’s talent on behalf of the campus last year after watching him perform at the National Association for Campus Activities. “He was a pretty down-to-earth guy: you could relate to his comedy. He kept me laughing the whole time,” Chelsea Lynds-Beaulieu, who attended NACA last year, said.
Lynds-Beaulieu was right: the crowd was in hysterics during most of Johnson’s performance. He kept a good pace throughout his set. He was careful not to linger on one topic for too long.
His skits ranged from stories of dates gone wrong to throwing a surprise birthday party in the wrong apartment. Johnson has the gift of great storytelling. Johnson received great reactions from the crowd but one of his skits topped all the rest.
Johnson stood on stage with his back to the crowd in a sumo squat position as he told the crowd a story of how he avoided being robbed. Still crouched in his sumo squat position, he told us to picture him in this position, naked, shoveling cake which is still in the fridge into his mouth with his bare hands. With just this description in mind the crowd was roaring with laughter. Johnson wasn’t done though: while he was in this vulnerable state, he hears someone enter the house. When he turns, he sees a stranger, a robber, who felt so sorry for the sight of naked Johnson eating cake out of his fridge that he left without taking a single thing.
Johnson was confident on the stage. His presence was strong and he interacted with the crowd frequently. Johnson even joked about a gentleman in the audience who had a unique laugh.
“You sound like you need an inhaler back there!” Johnson joked.
The crowd was in stiches as Johnson poked fun and the man with the contagious laugh spread laughter throughout the auditorium.
“He was good at keeping the crowd involved. I am always impressed how comedians can get on stage and keep their thoughts straight. I think he did that really well,” Oliver Barratt, a forth-year student, said.
After the show Johnson stuck around to chat with anyone who wished. “I had a fun time performing here. The crowd was great,” Johnson said.
You can order Josh Johnson’s comedy album “Tabitha” online. The link can be found on Johnson’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, if you missed his performance or if you just didn’t get enough!