With a subtle and intelligent comedic style, Jake Johannsen has become one of the most respected comedians for his ability to give the most common element new meaning. Not many comedians will devote six minutes to a single subject, especially one as seemingly mundane as a toaster or as strange as his conviction that extraterrestrials are working among us.
Jake was nominated as "Best Male Stand-Up Comedian" for the 1994 American Comedy Awards. His bizarre take on life has prompted critics to observe that he conjures up some of the strangest imagery this side of Gary Larsen's comic strip, The Far Side.
He starred in his own HBO Comedy Special titled This'll Take About an Hour, which he received an Ace Award nomination for best writing in an Entertainment Special. People Magazine's 1992 year end issue listed the Special as one of the Ten Best Television Shows, putting Jake in the same company as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Jake’s other television credits include HBO Young Comedian's Special and public television's Comedy Tonight series. He hosted Comedy Central's Two Drink Minimum and has appeared more than Forty times on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Jake was seen in the Robert Altman produced, Alan Rudolph (CHOOSE ME) feature film MRS. PARKER & THE VICIOUS CIRCLE distributed by Fine Line Features which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews. Jake had a co-starring role in a cast that included Mathew Broderick, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott.
Man vs. machine, extraterrestrials and relationships are just some of the eclectic themes that Jake reflects upon. According to Jake, his trademark is his long, convoluted stories. "I'm talking about things that everybody can relate to and I think I have my own idea of where the problem is. I don't feel I make them deliberately bizarre."
Born in Iowa City, Jake attended Iowa State University in Ames in the early 1980s as a veterinarian major, later changing to chemical engineering. "I started college when the emphasis was on learning something that would get you a job." After three years in college Johannsen decided to leave the safe confines of Iowa and relocate to San Francisco to be part of the burgeoning comedy scene with such upstarts as Dana Carvey and Bobcat Goldthwait. Shortly after his west coast arrival, Jake made his comedic debut at San Francisco's Cobbs Comedy Club during an open mic night. In 1986, he won the 11th Annual San Francisco Stand Up Comedian Competition.
Johannsen has established himself as one of the country's most prominent comedians and continues to headline across the country.