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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Comedian Josh Johnson headlines at Punch Line

Josh Johnson performs his set live on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, at Sacramento Punch Line. Photo credit: Nick Larson

Until now, I had never heard of Josh Johnson. All I knew were bits and pieces I had read online: stand-up comedian, writer for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” former writer for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and so on. 

So when I walked into the Punch Line Sacramento on Oct. 6, I had no idea what to expect. However, seeing the iconic mural of the Sacramento Capitol set in the middle of the stage, and pictures of previous comics who had performed there such as Jo Koy and Gabriel Iglesias, filled me with anticipation and excitement.

The room was at full capacity. Servers waded through the crowd, passing out orders. People greeted friends as they flooded into the room. Everyone waited as the minutes ticked by. 

Seven minutes after the show’s 8 p.m. start, the lights began to dim, and one of the staff announced the house rules. Once that was over, he began to hype the crowd, asking if they were ready for the show, which caused cheers to erupt from the crowd. 

Other comedians took the stage first to warm up the crowd. The first, James Morah, was the host of the show. With jokes mainly surrounding his biracial background and moments in his personal life, he was a great warm-up before the next two comedians. He brought an energy that kept the crowd lively and excited. 

The second performer of the night, David Studebacker, was entertaining from the start. James Morah, who had gone before him, had forgotten his name during the announcement. He needed help from the staff, and encouraged the crowd to cheer for all the staff’s help. 

Despite the hiccup, Studebaker started his set with a bang as he danced his way to the stage. He even danced with some audience members, earning cheers and laughter from the crowd. 

That was the theme of Studebaker’s set. He is a comic that involves his audience. He knew how to play into his surroundings and turn them into a joke; Morah forgetting his name when he announced him to the stage was an example of that. The highlight of his set was when he made a joke about men who pretend to not like Celine Dion’s music. He pulled the audience member he’d been interacting with the most during his set onto the stage with him to reenact the “I can fly, Jack” scene from the movie “Titanic,” with the audience member playing Jack and picking up Studebaker. The whole room exploded into loud fits of laughter and screams of delight.

Besides the show’s headliner, he was a great addition to the show that was guaranteed to leave the audience members’ stomachs aching from laughter. Studebaker is a spectacle I can’t describe on paper, and is best seen in person.

At 8:48  Johnson came onto the stage: the moment of truth. If there’s one thing I can say for certain, Johnson has officially left his mark as one of the funniest comics of our generation. There was hardly a moment where the audience wasn’t laughing. Johnson has a way of creating jokes with unexpected punchlines. Just when you think you know the punchline, he keeps you second guessing with a punchline that’s ten times funnier than what you originally thought. If he is not well known, he should be. Dare I say  Johnson is on par with the greatest comics in history like Dave Chapelle and Eddie Murphy. 

The audience was in for a long night of laughs.

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