Johnny Taylor is AEW-some!

January 28, 2024

Photo Credit

Jim McCambridge


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


When it comes to where John­ny Tay­lor wants to plant roots, he’s like a rub­ber band, always return­ing Sacra­men­to, Cal­i­for­nia. The city holds a spe­cial place in his heart. It’s where he got his start in com­e­dy. It’s where he met fel­low com­ic, Kei­th Low­ell Jensen, with whom he shares a birth­day (it’s a close­ly held secret as to who his old­er) and a pod­cast they did for sev­er­al years, It’s Fun­ny Because. It’s where he returned after his four-year res­i­den­cy in Los Ange­les. It’s where he gets to teach sto­ry­telling com­e­dy class­es and watch new comics learn an art­form that Tay­lor has been per­fect­ing for years. And yes, he’s had and lost loves in the city.

Tay­lor loves com­e­dy near­ly as much as he seems to love Sacra­men­to. For his sec­ond appear­ance on our pod­cast, there’s been an evo­lu­tion in atti­tude and grat­i­tude since our last chat with him in 2018, when he was still liv­ing in Los Ange­les. It’s best if you hear it direct­ly from him, so cue up the head­phones and lis­ten to our pod­cast episode but suf­fice it to say that the pan­dem­ic turned a brash, opin­ion­at­ed Tay­lor into a more grate­ful human. The phrase you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” came up in the con­ver­sa­tion and he wasn’t kid­ding about how much the pan­dem­ic affect­ed him. The whole time pre-pan­dem­ic was write the stuff, per­form the stuff, get paid for the stuff. Then sud­den­ly the get­ting paid for the stuff and per­form­ing the stuff was brought to a screech­ing halt.” Depres­sion gripped him for the bet­ter part of a year until he could per­form again.

The whole time pre-pandemic was write the stuff, perform the stuff, get paid for the stuff. Then suddenly the getting paid for the stuff and performing the stuff was brought to a screeching halt.
Johnny Taylor

We’re grate­ful that we’ve been able to fol­low his many new endeav­ors which have helped him lift the depres­sion. His lat­est is the AEW-some Pod, a pod­cast bring­ing togeth­er him, Diana Prince (Dar­cy the Mail Girl), hor­ror direc­tor Bren­dan Petriz­zo, and Mis­tress Harley, a dom­i­na­trix. The quar­tet cov­er AEW wrestling specif­i­cal­ly, and the back­grounds promise a wild ride à la the set-up and sub­se­quent punch­line you’d get if you said, a com­ic, a wrestler, hor­ror direc­tor, and dom­i­na­trix walk into a bar…”. He’s been teach­ing sto­ry­telling com­e­dy class­es at the Punch Line Sacra­men­to club, where, as he tells us, he loves watch­ing peo­ple come up and watch­ing peo­ple improve”. 

As for his tale of com­e­dy, he’s still per­form­ing with­out the ben­e­fit of jour­nals or the peren­ni­al comic’s note­book, a feat I find per­son­al­ly astound­ing. How­ev­er, it’s come in quite handy as Tay­lor has found him­self tak­ing on more and more act­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. He was in pilot that was pitched at fes­ti­vals, and he recent­ly shot anoth­er film. You can also catch him act­ing in Melis­sa Villaseñor’s Cal­i­for­nia music video. Mem­o­riz­ing his sets, it turns out, is quite a use­ful skill when it comes to mem­o­riz­ing lines. 

His true love remains com­e­dy, which brings us back to the occa­sion of our inter­view. Tay­lor is plan­ning to record a new spe­cial this year, which is excit­ing for fans who’ve sub­sist­ed on Tan­gled Up in Plaid (2014) and Bum­min’ with the Dev­il (2018) far too long. Tay­lor is on tour as he per­fects the mate­r­i­al for the new spe­cial, which thank­ful­ly, includes a stop in Austin at The Velvee­ta Room and as a loy­al fan, I plan to be there.

I’m team standup comedy - wherever it is
Johnny Taylor

Speak­ing of fans, how amaz­ing must it be to per­form at the world famous Largo at the Coro­net with Pat­ton Oswalt? Pret­ty amaz­ing but add to that a lauda­to­ry Insta­gram post by Oswalt prais­ing Bri­an Posehn and Rachel Bloom (comics he already knew) and then, of Tay­lor, who he did not know before, writ­ing: And then there was John­ny Tay­lor — whose stuff I didn’t know that well but he came high­ly rec­om­mend­ed by Bri­an and good GOD now I have yet anoth­er young come­di­an I’m a mas­sive fan of. He has a long sto­ry about going to see Incubus at a music fes­ti­val that’s both hilar­i­ous and gen­uine­ly shock­ing (the audi­ence gasped at the punch­line).” You’re preach­ing to the choir Pat­ton! I was lucky enough to see the Incubus sto­ry in 2023 when Tay­lor last head­lined The Velvee­ta Room, and to say the bit is life-chang­ing is an under­state­ment. I vol­un­tar­i­ly lis­ten to Incubus now because of Taylor’s sto­ry­telling prowess because lis­ten­ing to one of their songs recon­nects me to the joy I felt watch­ing Tay­lor weave an incred­i­ble sto­ry on stage.

It’s been six years since our first inter­view with Tay­lor, and about a year since he head­lined The Velvee­ta Room. This will be his fifth head­lin­ing week­end at the Velv, and he clear­ly holds a fond­ness for Austin. He’s per­formed at Alter­ca­tion Fes­ti­val twice, and last year per­formed with Bri­an Posehn at Vul­can Gas Com­pa­ny. He’s got a thought or two about the Austin com­e­dy scene and the changes its expe­ri­enced, but at the end of the day, Tay­lor says I’m team standup com­e­dy — wher­ev­er it is”. We’re hap­py to report that we’re Team John­ny Tay­lor and you should be too.

Fol­low Johnny

John­ny can be seen and heard:

  • On Tour — The Velvee­ta Room, Feb­ru­ary 2, 8pm and Feb­ru­ary 3, 8pm and 10pm
  • AEW-some Pod­cast
  • Spe­cials
    • Tan­gled Up in Plaid (2014)
    • Bum­min’ with the Dev­il (2018)
  • Melis­sa Vil­laseñor’s Cal­i­for­nia music video
  • Com­e­dy Wham Presents 
Support Comedy Wham

Follow @ComedyWham on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitch, and Tiktok

If you'd like to support our independent podcast, check out our Patreon page at: . You can also support us on Venmo or Paypal - just search for ComedyWham.

Johnny Taylor