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Florida’s Funniest Q&A: Wes Johnson

A car crash that left him paralyzed is responsible for launching Wes Johnson's comedy career. In his first year competing, he's a Florida's Funniest finalist.

by ApplauseBreakAdmin

WEST PALM BEACH – Wes Johnson has been waiting years for the Dec. 28 finals of the Florida’s Funniest Comedian contest.

A comic for more than a decade, Johnson first learned of the contest when it rolled through Jacksonville a few years back. At the time he figured it would be fun to participate.

He’d have to wait – as everyone did – for COVID to clear. When the contest resurfaced this year, he quickly signed up.

“I was excited to see it back and just thought I’d throw my hat in there,” said the 37-year-old Johnson.

Applause Break is highlighting each of the 10 comics scheduled to compete in the finals, which will be held at the Palm Beach Improv.

Johnson has quite the story to tell.

APPLAUSE BREAK Q&A: Meet Wes Johnson

APPLAUSE BREAK: Why did you start performing stand-up comedy?
WES JOHNSON: I was paralyzed in car accident [2011] and used comedy as a way to let my family and friends know that I was OK.

AB: Who is your favorite comic and why?
WJ: That’s like asking who my favorite child is. I have know idea. The first comics I was exposed to were Jeff Foxworthy and Red Skelton. Then in high school I got introduced to Mitch Hedberg and Dane Cook. But if I have to pick I’ll go with Bill Burr. And my youngest child’s my favorite.

AB: What do you do when you’re not performing stand-up comedy? What is your job and hobby?
WJ: I sell appliances and appliance accessories at Home Depot, and I own a wood shop where I make everything from cutting boards to custom kitchen tables.

AB: What’s your pre-show routine?
WJ: Drive too fast because I’m late, struggling to find parking. Check in with the host and go from there.

AB: What can people expect from your Florida’s Funniest finals set? How is it different from your normal headlining set?
WJ: It’s a comedy assault. There’s not enough time to warm the crowd up and get to know them. You have to land the first joke and go full speed from there. I’ve got six minutes to go from zero to hero and that’s what you can expect.

AB: Where do you see your comedy in five years?
WJ: Headlining comedy clubs.


AB: Where did you perform in the first round of Florida’s Funniest? What do you remember from that show?
WJ: My first leg of the contest was at the Orlando Improv. I just remember thinking how much nicer this club is than the other clubs I’ve been to.

AB: What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
WJ: I did a show where a man passed out just out of my sight. The audience could see what happened and tightened up. I thought they hated my set. But what happened was fire and rescue came in and took the guy out on a stretcher.

AB: Of the other comics in the finals, who are you most looking forward to seeing perform? Why?
WJ: I’m looking forward to seeing Danny Johnson and Joe Latham. I think they’re both super funny.

AB: What would winning the Florida’s Funniest Comedian contest mean to you?
WJ: It would give me more work and exposure.

AB: What else should comedy fans know about you?
That I’m an open book if you have any questions you can ask them and I’ll make up answer.

Follow comic Wes Johnson on: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

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