NUVOtv aired Anjelah Johnson’s TV stand-up special, 'The Homecoming Show,' last Saturday. The show took place in front of a live audience in her hometown of San Jose.
Anjelah’s career as a stand-up quickly led to her becoming a regular on MADtv, where her character Bon Qui Qui, a rude fast-food employee, became a success. Following this, Bon Qui Qui has spawned several online skits and music videos.
Anjelah graciously offered her time to discuss her career, stand-up special, and about working with NUVOtv.
TVRage: You have taken a bit of a different route to get into stand-up; could you tell us why you decided to become a comic?
Anjelah Johnson: It was a fluke. I took a free joke writing stand-up comedy class at a church. I didn't really aspire to be a comedian, it just kind of happened. I actually fought it for a really long time and now I can't seem to get off the road. Haha!
TVR: You had success early on, particularly with your nail salon bit, which people immediately responded to. Was it easy to use that positive reaction as a jumping off point for your material?
AJ: I definitely leaned on that joke for a while to get me in the door and get people to believe that I was funny.
TVR: Because your stand-up involves different characters, you must be a network executive's dream. With your success on MADtv, do you have any plans for doing more TV? Sketch comedy or sitcoms?
AJ: I do have plans to do more film and TV. Acting is a passion of mine. I love it. I love to play different characters. I love to draw emotions out of people whether I'm making them laugh or cry.
TVR: Can you tell us a little about what it was like watching your special on NUVO ?
AJ: It was awesome to see my special on TV! I watched it with a few friends and after the show we reminisced about how when I first started doing comedy I would stand in front of them in the living room and practice my jokes. We talked about some of the seedy places I had performed in early on. It was cool to think about how far I've come.
TVR: The special takes place in your hometown of San Jose. Is there any difference with performing there?
AJ: It's always fun performing in San Jose because I know that city like the back of my hand, so I get to use local references that I know only a person from San Jose would get and appreciate.
TVR: What has it been like working for NUVO so far, and do you have any plans of working with them more in future?
AJ: I have a great relationship with NUVO! They trust my vision for things and that's hard to find sometimes. From the marketing aspect of things, to shooting my Bon Qui Qui music video, they have really shown me that they believe in me and trust me. I love what this network is doing, and I look forward to working with them on many projects in the future.
TVR: Have you enjoyed bringing back your character Bon Qui Qui, and using her in web skits and music videos?
AJ: People love Bon Qui Qui and that's what keeps her alive! The more people want to hear from her, the more I will give them. Now Bon Qui Qui has a record deal with Atlantic records, so I'm excited to get started on that album!
TVR: Is there anything else you would like to mention such as upcoming tour dates or projects?
AJ: I'm always on the road with my stand up. You can see my calendar on anjelah.com
If you missed Anjelah Johnson’s special last weekend, don’t worry. You can catch encore presentations of 'The Homecoming Show' over on NUVOtv this upcoming weekend.