Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy (2015) – Transcript

Not Fancy was filmed at the City National Grove in Anaheim, California. Anjelah Johnson talks about touring and prepping for her trip to Europe, her teen-inspired wardrobe (and jewelry collection), marriage and of course her family.
Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy (2015)

Not Fancy was filmed at the City National Grove in Anaheim, California. Anjelah Johnson talks about touring and prepping for her trip to Europe, her teen-inspired wardrobe (and jewelry collection), marriage and of course her family. The following is the full transcript of the show.

Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise for Anjelah Johnson!

Oh, hi. It’s so cool. Look at us, guys. We’re here, Southern California. ♪ Hoo, hoo ♪ Um, I don’t know if you guys notice anything different about me. Hey, short hair, don’t care. ♪ Hoo, hoo ♪ I cut my hair, y’all. You know what I noticed? People judge you based on your hairstyle. Ever notice that? Right? ‘Cause I used to have really long hair, and I’d wear it in a ponytail every day ’cause I didn’t know how to do anything to my hair, right? So just, ponytail every day. So… people thought I was a lesbian. Hey, where all my lesties at? ♪ Hoo, hoo ♪ Thank you for coming. All my lesties. That means a lesbian bestie. Lestie. I wore my hair in a ponytail. Everybody thought I was a lesbian, right? So now I cut my hair short. So… people still think I’m a lesbian. I think it’s more than my hair that gives off the vibe, ’cause sometimes I’m a little tomboy, right? Like, I call everybody “bro.” “Hey, what’s up, bro?” Everybody’s “bro,” no matter who I’m talking to. “Hey, Anj, how was the movie last night?” “Bro. Bro, it was so good. Seriously, Mom, you should see it.” So good. Or, like, if somebody gives me a compliment, I usually just say, “Oh, thank you,” right? But sometimes I’m like, “Oh, for real? That’s wassup.” “That’s wassup.” Who says “That’s wassup”? I’ll tell you. Boys, lesbians and me. That’s wassup.

I am married, though. Uh, to a man, to clarify. Um, and here’s the thing. My ring is fancy, right? My ring is fancy, but I’m not fancy, okay? I mean, like, my chandeliers? These are some fancy chandeliers, but I rented those. I mean, like, I’m not fancy. This is how fancy I am not, you guys, okay? I live in Los Angeles, so every now and then I have to go to these, like, red carpet Hollywood events where you get dressed up all nice and you walk the red carpet and they take pictures of you and they go, “Anjelah, who are you wearing?” “Oh, uh… Forever 21!” “I got these at Claire’s right here.” “They’re gold, but now they’re like rose gold.”

I’m not fancy. Even on planes. I’m not fancy on planes, you guys. Like, my husband and I just flew to Europe. And we flew first-class, but it was like a fancy first-class where, like, everybody got their own private, individual, like, spaceship-type seat and there was all kinds of buttons everywhere. So I was a little confused at first. I was like, “Wait a minute. Uh… am I flying the plane?” “Uh, excuse me. Um… I didn’t do real good in school.” And, like, all I wanted to do was lean my chair back a little bit so I could relax while I was watching my movie, right? So I’m trying to find the “lean back a little bit” button. “Okay, that’s it right here. That’s good.” “I’m laying down. I’ll just sit up. It’s fine.” “This how rich people sit?”

It was fancy. And they had hundreds of movies for us to choose from, right? We were going to Europe, so I wanted to be prepared for all I was about to experience there. So I decided to watch the movie, Taken. It’s a good movie. At one point, I leaned over to my husband. I was like, “Uh, babe… don’t get taken.” “‘Cause I ain’t gonna be able to find you.” Serious, this guy is so smart… Liam Neeson. He’s, like, the smartest guy in the world. You guys, if you ever hear about me getting kidnapped, don’t call the police. Call Liam Neeson, please. This guy is solving crimes from across the world on the phone. On a flip phone. He don’t got a data plan, nothin’. He’s gonna figure it out. Talking about, “Is the wind blowing to the east?” “Uh, which way the east, Liam Neeson?” If I ever meet Liam Neeson in person, I think I’m just gonna start crying… ’cause that means that he found me.

Told all our friends we were going to Europe, right? They started warning us right away. Like, “You’re going to Europe? Watch out for gypsies.” I’m like, “Gypsies? What’s ‘gypsies’? Like Egyptians?” “Are they mad at us? Did we do something to them?” They’re like, “No, gypsies. They will rob you and take all your stuff, right? They got all kind of gypsies. They got old lady gypsies, little kid gypsies, sneaky squirrel gypsies.” My road manager Lauren, she used to live in Europe, so she even told me… She was like, “Okay, listen. If a woman comes up to you and throws her baby at you, don’t catch it.” I’m like, “Just let the baby fall?” She’s like, “Yeah, ’cause as soon as you catch her baby, all her gypsy friends are gonna stick their hands in your purse and your pockets and take all your stuff.” I’m like, “Da-a-a-ng! Well, that’s dedication.” Shoot, at that point I think she kind of earned my stuff. Right? ‘Cause, like, if you’re throwing your baby at someone, that’s straight dedication to the game right there. Respect. Right? ‘Cause, like, if she’s gonna throw her baby at me, she’s gonna trust that, one, I’m gonna catch her baby, right? And that, two, I’m gonna give her baby back. You know what I’m saying? ‘Cause, like, what if she throw her baby at me and I miss? Now her baby on the floor with a concussion. Right? Or what if she got a really cute baby and I don’t want to give it back? You know what I mean? Like what if it’s a half-Black, half-Asian baby? I’m gonna keep that one. But now I have the upper hand in negotiations, right? Like, “Oh, you want your baby back? Now you want your baby back. Give me my iPhone.” “You can keep my wallet. I’ll cancel my credit cards. I need my phone book contacts.” ‘Cause I don’t know anybody’s phone number by heart. You guys know people’s phone number by heart? No, right? Like, I know nobody… my mom, my husband… nobody’s phone number. If I’m in an emergency situation and people are like, “Hurry, give us your mother’s phone number so we can call her,” I’d be like, “Okay. It’s ‘Mom.'” “Right. What’s her phone number?” “M-O-M.” Let’s just hope they don’t ask me for my husband’s phone number. “Hurry, give us your husband’s phone number.” “Okay, it’s Pooky Boo Lover Buns.”

By the time we landed, I was hyped. Like, I was ready to fight somebody. Right? Every time I saw a baby, I was flinching. Just, like, punching random strangers for no reason. I’d just finished watching Taken. I think everybody’s trying to kidnap me. We were checking in at the hotel. The guy at the front desk, he was nice. He was like, “Welcome. Would you like some help with your bags up to your room?” I was like… “No, gypsy.” “Hmm, nice try.”

Our first stop was Rome, Italy. It was awesome, you guys. We went to the Forum, the Vatican, the Colosseum. And, like, this trip really made me realize that I should have paid attention in school. For real, ’cause, like, all I kept thinking was, “Man, if I didn’t cut class all throughout high school, I would probably be having fun right now.” I mean, but it was still cool. Even if you’re not a history buff, like, it was still pretty amazing. Like, ’cause I was standing there in front of the Colosseum, just really, like, almost emotional, ’cause I’m like, “Dang, I cannot believe that, like, right here, years ago, is where they filmed the movie, Gladiator.” You know what I’m saying? Like, Russell Crowe could’ve been right here. Poof!

After that, we took an 11-hour train ride to Paris. Let me tell you, an 11-hour anything is terrible. To anything, like, even a massage. Everybody likes a massage. Go for an hour, maybe two hours. But 11 hours, your skin gonna fall off. And, like, I don’t know what I was thinking, ’cause we could’ve jumped on a plane and been there in like five minutes, right? But in my mind I thought it was gonna be romantic, right? I was like, “Oh, let’s take a train to Paris. It’ll be so romantic. Like, there’ll be a caboose in the back where they’re dancing, wearing flapper dresses, celebrating ‘The War Is Over.'” It’s not like that. If you’ve never been on an overnight train, let me just paint the picture for you. I almost died that night. The smell on this train was so bad, it literally almost choked me to death. Have you ever tried to hold your breath for 11 hours? I almost died. And there would’ve been nobody to charge in my murder. They would have been, “Oh, my God, who killed her?” “Smell.” “Smell killed her.” This is what it’s like. You get on the train, and they have cabins, and there are six bunk beds in each cabin. If you don’t buy all six bunk beds, they just stick some rando in there with you. So good luck, okay? So this is what it’s like. We get on the train, and in the first cabin there’s a Chinese family, then there’s a Haitian family, then there’s us Americans, and then there’s, like, an Italian family, then a French family. Like, there’s just all kind of different people, right? Like, it’s kind of like a buffet. Go with me for a second. Like, you know how sometimes you go to a buffet and they got the seafood and the Italian food, and then they got the Chinese food right next to the barbecue? And you’re like, “Wait, that’s too many smells. I can’t figure it out.” It was kind of like that, except it was like a two-week-old buffet. Yeah, it wasn’t fresh. And, like, I’m not really a diva, okay? I don’t consider myself a diva, but that night, it was questionable. ‘Cause, like, I just kept trying to find somebody that worked on the train. Like, “Hi. Excuse me. Hi. Um… can you point me into the direction where passengers can breathe?” “Yeah, similar to this, but preferably unscented.” “Oh, this is the only section? Oh, okay… ’cause we bought a first-class ticket and it’s not really a first-class smell.” “Okay.” “Just go back to my seat? Okay, thanks.” I felt like I was being human-trafficked into Paris. I kept looking for Liam Neeson. I couldn’t find him.

When we got to Paris, we went to the Louvre. That’s where they filmed that movie, The Da Vinci Code. I kept trying to reenact the scenes, but they don’t like it when you do that. And the bridge that you walk across to get to the Louvre is, like, the lovers bridge, right? Where you go with your lover, you get a lock, you lock it onto the bridge and then you throw your key into the river, and it’s supposed to be like you’re locked in love forever, right? So we did that, but our lock came with two keys, so I threw one in the river. I kept one in my pocket just in case this fool act up. You know what I mean? Don’t play with me. Click.

It was an awesome trip. My husband and I had a great time. And some of you may know that my husband is actually a Christian rapper. Yes. Uh, most of you probably didn’t even know Christian rap was a thing. Oh, it’s a thing. Yeah, it’s legit. Don’t get caught sleepin’ on that Christian rap game, homie. His last album went triple Pentecost platinum. Booyah. My husband is a Christian rapper, right? And I’m a Christian and I’m a comedian, but I’m not a Christian comedian. Let me explain. I don’t have jokes that are like, “So Matthew, Mark, Luke and John walk into a bar.” “Sinners.” It’s not my style. And, like, a lot of my comic friends, they always tell me, “Oh, you’re so conservative.” Right? And then my Christian friends are like, “Oh, you’re so edgy.” But, like, I just do me. You know what I mean? Like, I can’t be anybody else but me. Right? Just do you and do you well. You know what I’m sayin’? Like, I’ll tell you the truth. I love Jesus, okay? Yes, I do. But I will punch a ho. I mean, like, I don’t want to. You know what I’m saying? Like, I don’t want to fight you. Like, if you’re yelling at me, go ahead and yell at me. I don’t even care. You wanna say some curse words at me, say some curse words. I don’t even care. But if you are right here… in my face? Like, if our eyelashes… is braided together… I will cut… you. In the name of Jesus.

We’re in Southern California, so there’s probably some cholos here tonight. I see you, Boo. Uh, recently I was invited to cholo church. It’s kind of like regular church… but a little different. Right? ‘Cause, like, at regular church they’re very warm and inviting. “Hi. Welcome to Christ For The Nations Baptist Church. Come on in. Two of you? Okay. It’s your first time here? Come sit up in the front, closer to the anointing. Up in the front. Two seats. Thank you. Two seats. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.” It’s a different congregation at cholo church. The people at cholo church, the Lord has really brought them through some stuff. And by stuff, I mean 10 to 15. This is how the guy was giving the announcements when I first walked in to cholo church. “Yeah, what’s up, eh? Church about to get started. I’m gonna have to ask y’all to take your seats. If you don’t have a seat, one will be appointed to you.” “Yeah, what’s up, eh? You need some seats in the back? You need some seats? Sabes que, come right here in the front.” “Come right here in the front. What I say? Why you acting all scared for?” “Uh, you’re pointing at me with your hand shaped like a gun. It’s literally a handgun.” But this church was legit, though. I gotta give ’em that. They were straight-up. They were legit. Like, when I say you could see Jesus on him, I mean literally, ’cause he had Him tattooed right here. Straight dedicated.

My husband and I been married for three years. Thank you. I’m learning a lot, you guys. I’m learning about marriage, I’m learning about my husband. One thing I learned about my husband is that, um… he’s not real handy. Like, he don’t really like to fix stuff around the house. It’s not that he doesn’t like to, it’s just that he can’t. And, like, to me, a guy who could fix stuff, like, that’s hot. Any ladies in here agree that’s hot? Right? That’s hot. Like, you could be real ugly in the face… …but if you could fix my plumbing… …and rewire some cables… …ooh, girl, that’s hot. My poor husband. He cannot fix an appliance to save our lives. I’m serious. If our lives depended on my husband fixing the microwave clock for daylight savings… …we are gonna die. But it’s okay, ’cause you know what? What he lacks in handiness, he makes up for in actual hotness, ’cause he’s real purty. Don’t hate. He’s real good-looking. He’s, like, way better-looking than me. Like, in our relationship, I’m the one with the good personality.

Another thing I’ve learned about my husband is, uh, we don’t really like the same sexy-time music. It’s kind of important. ‘Cause recently my husband, he’s trying to set the mood, right? “I’m putting on some sexy-time music.” But to me, it sounded like a church song. I said, “Uh, babe, what is this?” He says, “A love song.” I said, “Yeah, but I’m pretty sure it’s a love song to Jesus.” “What we trying to do, get our praise on or get our freak on? What’s happenin’?” “You trying to multitask me? That’s what you’re trying to do?” Listen, you guys… I have some advice, okay? Take it or leave it. Whatever you want. If you are trying to have sexy time while listening to Pandora, upgrade to the commercial-free version, please. I mean, ’cause the last thing you want to hear is: “Hey, girl.” “Are you in good hands with Allstate?” Well, I was in good hands. But now I just wanna pay some bills.

I remember our first emergency. I had to rush my husband to the hospital because he had kidney stones. – Aww. – I know. And I had heard a while back… Somebody told me the most pain a man can ever feel is kidney stones, right? So, like, I’m trying to keep that thought in my mind as I’m looking at my husband who is, like, hunched over in pain, moaning, groaning, crying a little bit. ‘Cause I’ll be honest, you guys. There were a couple times where I did think to myself, like, “Mm, you need to man up.” Right? ‘Cause my husband, he’s over here like… “Babe, it hurts! Babe, it hurts!” And I’m just like, “Babe.” “What’s wrong?” “What’s it feel like?” “Like a cramp?” “Is it like a period? “Oh, you want me to take you to the hospital.” “You’re funny.” “Just grab the heating pad.” Ladies, I tried to tell him just curl up in a ball and rock back and forth. It didn’t work. And the thing was, we were about to go to bed, right? And I wasn’t feeling well, so I had just taken NyQuil. So I’m trying to rush my husband to the hospital, dozing at the wheel. By the time we get there, he’s dying in pain, I’m intoxicated. The doctor’s trying to communicate with us, like, “Uh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s going on here? Um, who drove you guys here?” And I was just like, “Um… Your Honor?” “Can I say something?” “I drove us guys here.” “But I have an excuse. I’m on NyQuil. He’s just a baby.” So they admitted us both.

It’s pretty expensive. Right now everybody’s talking about affordable health care, right? But, for me, my health care has always been affordable because my cousin June is my primary doctor. And, uh… Although June has never been to medical school before. She works front desk at a doctor’s office, so… she hears a lot. She wears scrubs to work. I trust her. Sometimes I call her for advice. I’ll be like, “Hey, June, I’m really congested. What should I do?” And she’ll be like, “Okay, this is what you wanna do. You want to get a cup of hot water, squeeze a whole lemon into it. One teaspoon of hot sauce, one teaspoon of pepper. It’ll clear you right up.” I’m like, “Okay, first of all, this prescription sounds delicious.” “I’m gonna be real honest with you. I’m probably gonna make some extra and eat it with chips later.” My problem was, I would take advice from anybody wearing scrubs just because they look smarter than me, right? I used to until I realized that there’s a store in the mall where anybody could buy scrubs. You don’t have to be a doctor, you don’t have to show a license, nothing. You just walk in, pick your favorite color, boom, Dr. Anjelah. So I’m gonna do it, you guys. I’m gonna go buy myself some scrubs, okay? I’m gonna use ’em as my pajamas. I’m gonna sleep in them at night. Then I’m gonna wake up early in the morning, throw on some tennis shoes, run over to Starbucks for my morning coffee where everybody keeps letting me cut in front of them in line ’cause they just assume I got off a late-night shift at the hospital, saving lives. Yeah. No, yeah, it’s a genius plan, you know, until there’s an actual emergency at Starbucks. Right? Could you guys imagine that? Some guy at Starbucks lying on the ground, having a seizure? Everybody’s looking at me like, “Oh, thank God you’re here.” Right? What am I gonna do? Tell him a joke, hope he laughs his seizure away? This is what I would do, you guys, okay? I would get in real low, right, so nobody else could hear me, and I’d just be like, “Um… excuse me. Sir? Hi.” “Okay, listen. Um… these are just my pajamas.” “Yeah, anybody could buy them. Okay, look, I’m not a real doctor, but don’t worry about it ’cause I’m gonna give it my best shot. All right, I got this. Everybody move back, please. Move back. I need some space. Everybody step back. Okay, you call 9-1-1. You, give me a skinny vanilla latte and a breakfast sandwich. You, I need a cup of hot water, some lemon and some hot sauce, stat.” Then I’d just start saying any word I’ve ever heard on Grey’s Anatomy. “Uh, you, uh, defibrillate his aortic valve.”

Another thing I’ve learned, being married, is we’re not always gonna see eye to eye on things, you know? No, we won’t. And like, for instance, okay, there is a hierarchy in the Latino culture. We don’t talk about it, but it’s there. There’s all kinds of different Latinos, right? Mexican, Puerto Rican, Salvadorian, Cuban, Colombian, Dominican, blah-blah-blah-bian, bleh-blah-blah-bian, bleh-bleh-bleh. All kinds of us, right? And, like, my husband, he’s Puerto Rican, okay? Any Puerto Ricans here tonight? Hey. All seven of California’s Puerto Ricans came out tonight. My husband, he’s Puerto Rican, right? So he thinks Puerto Ricans are at the top because they have J. Lo. All right. We get it. Team Puerto Rico: one point. Well played. Me, I’m Mexican, okay? Any Mexicans here tonight? So, pretty much everybody else. Okay. I’m Mexican, so I think Mexicans are at the top because we have the best food. These are just facts, you guys. Google it if you want to. We’re not even, like, the best in the Latino foods. Like, we jumped into regular food category. You know what I mean? Like, ask any of your friends what their favorite food is, and nine out of ten times they’re gonna go, “Oh, uh, favorite food: pizza, Chinese and Mexican.” They don’t say Latino. “Oh, I like Latino food. All-encompassing Latino food.” Nah, bro, they say Mexican. That’s wassup. I mean, for the most part, people don’t even know the difference between us. They think all Latinos eat Mexican food. Ask any random white guy, “Hey, name a Latino dish that is not Mexican.” “Uh, fa-jee-tahs.” No, that’s Mexican. “Kay-suh-dill-uh.” No, that’s also Mexican. “Nacho Bellgrande.” That’s American. Nice try. Team Mexico: one point. I may think Mexicans are at the top, but I’m not the top Mexican.

I still don’t speak Spanish. I know. I wish I did. Any other Latinos here that do not speak Spanish? Where you at? See? I’m not the only one. Air fives. Where the Latinos that do speak Spanish? Where are you guys at? Oh, congratulations. You’re better than us. I bet you put it on your résumé, too, huh? “Bilingual, Spanish and English. Happy face, happy face.” Well, good for you. Felicidades. I wish I spoke Spanish. I got Rosetta Stone. I’ve had it on my computer since 2006. I’m still on level one. Caballo, caballo, caballo. Bicicletas son verdes. Bicicletas son verdes. This is why I’m still on level one, you guys. Every time I hear that little computer lady say, “Bicicletas son verdes,” it sounds real rhythmic, like a song. “Bicicletas son verdes.” So I just keep pressing the button. Over and over. Bicicletas son verd… Bicicletas son verd… Bicicle… Bicicle… Bici… Bici… Bici… Bici…

♪ Bicicleta ♪
♪ Bicicleta ♪
♪ Caballo ♪
♪ Caballo, er, er, er ♪
♪ Caballo ♪

So I’m still on level one. I’m not really learning Spanish, but I do have a new favorite song. “Bicicletas Son Verdes.” ♪ Pa-pa pom-pom ♪ A lot of times people just assume that I speak Spanish, right? They’ll just start saying Spanish words at me really fast. And I don’t wanna come out right away and be like, “Whoa, whoa, wait. I don’t speak Spanish.” Right? ‘Cause I’m ashamed of myself. So what I do is I just like to go along with the conversation as long as I can. And then, like, at the end, I just give them like a go-to Spanish phrase like, “Ay, qué bueno.” But it usually has nothing to do with what they’re talking about. So they’re just like, “Huh?” “Claro que sí. Claro.” “No? No claro? Okay. Well, I haven’t learned that song yet.”

I still don’t have kids. I still don’t want kids. But I baby-sit a lot. I do. I baby-sit. My friends always ask me to baby-sit their kids. The one person in the group with no actual parenting experience. You know what? I learned that kids are smart. And by smart, I mean manipulative. They know how to get what they want. They know how to get out of trouble. “I run this house.” And they do. They run the house, right? Like, I was baby-sitting my godson Elijah, right? He’s four years old, right? He wouldn’t eat his dinner. I said, “Elijah, eat your dinner.” He just grabbed his food, put it up to his mouth, and then he put it back down. I said, “Uh, Elijah, I can see you. I’m a real person.” “You’re not eating your dinner.” He goes, “Yes, I am.” I said, “Elijah, I’m gonna call your mom. I’m gonna tell her you’re not eating your dinner.” You know what he said to me? He goes, “Okay. Can you tell her I’m thirsty, too?” What a jerk. I said, “Uh, I’ll tell her why I spanked you. I’ll tell her that, huh? Oh, your mom doesn’t do spanks? Well, she’s not here, is she?” And that was the last time I baby-sat him. Yeah. And my sister just had a baby last year. He’s so cute, you guys. Cutest baby in the whole wide world. I know I’m biased because he’s my nephew. But then there’s actual facts that you can Google. So… He’s so cute, you guys. He’s half Vietnamese, half Mexican. He’s a little Vie-xican. And he has the whitest name ever… Austin Reed Williams. Ay, que guero. I know we didn’t start off very Latino with “Johnson,” right? But my brother-in-law, who’s Vietnamese, he was adopted by an all-American white family, and that’s how he got the last name “Williams.” Like, he was born in Vietnam, they put him on a plane, flew him to America, and now he’s white. I’m serious. He’s the only Vietnamese person I know that listens to country music, chews tobacco and goes hunting on the weekends. He considers his camouflage shirt to be his “good” shirt. Oh, yeah, he has embraced ‘Merica. He’s Vietnamese, super white, and he married a Mexican. He’s all kinds of confused. And the crazy thing is, he speaks better Spanish than my whole family does. ‘Cause he works in construction with real Mexicans.

My family‘s very Mexican-American, okay? We speak very little Spanish. My in-laws are super Puerto Rican. They speak very little English. But they try, okay? They try. Like, my mother-in-law will call me sometimes. She’ll leave me a message on my voice mail like, “Hola, mami. It’s your mother-in-law. Eh, call me.” So sweet. They’re super Puerto Rican. Like, they should win Puerto Rican Of The Year award. No, they’re really good at it. Like, I don’t know how they do it, but no matter what they’re talking about in any conversation, they can seamlessly bring up Marc Anthony. You can have a conversation with my father-in-law. He’ll be like, “Hey, the Yankees, they’re gonna be good this year. But if not, it’s okay. Marc Anthony, he gonna do a special on TV. I’ll record it for you.” My mother-in-law is very traditional, okay? She likes to drink her Pilon coffee, watch her stories, make room on the wall for another Puerto Rican flag somewhere… Or coasters, or a bath mat, or a clock. Puerto Rico everywhere. And she likes to keep up with us in our busy lives, right? So we taught her how to use Instagram and Facebook. I’m sorry, “Fay-book,” um… Which is great, ’cause now sometimes I’ll be going through my comments from people. They’ll be like, “Hey, love your videos. When are you coming to Michigan?” “Hey, we were at your show last night. Had a great time.” “Hola, mami.” “It’s your mother-in-law. You look too skinny in that picture.” “Eh, call me.” So sweet. Now that’s she’s on social media, she loves to watch my every move. Everything I do. Like, remember when everybody was doing the ALS ice bucket challenge? Right? Well, I did one too, right? So I posted it on Instagram. My mother-in-law calls me the next day. She goes, “Anjelah, I seen you ice bucket video… pero I didn’t see no ice.” But she’s really proud of us, too. Like, she’s super proud. Like, anytime we’re in a newspaper or a magazine, she’ll cut it out, put it in a frame, put it on the wall, right? Super proud. And recently I noticed that she’s started printing out our Instagram photos. So now, if you come over to my in-laws’ house and you look on the wall, you’ll see a family portrait from the 1980s, a picture from my wedding day, and my lunch from eight months ago. Hashtag “foodie,” hashtag “nomnom.” She’s learning.

I’m getting older, you guys. I’m getting older. I mean, we all are. We’re all getting older. But it’s about me right now. I’m getting older, but I don’t feel it. I don’t feel like I’m getting older, but I am noticing myself starting to do older things, okay? Like, I’m noticing, like, the questions that I ask nowadays are like old people questions. Like, “What time is breakfast?” “Do you accept coupons?” You know, stuff like that. And, like, my friend went to a wedding, right? And I feel like young people would ask questions like, “Oh, you went to a wedding? Was it fun? Was there an open bar? Did you meet anybody?” Right? Like, stuff like that. Me, I ask questions like, “Oh, you went to a wedding? Did they let you take the centerpiece home?” “How about the food? What kind of food did they serve? Was it, like, buffet-style? It’s the best. How about parking? Was it valet? Self-park? Ugh! Brutal.” I think I’m getting older because I’m starting to give way too many details to things. Right? Way too many details. And I see my dad do that. He gives way too many details to stuff. Like I can ask my dad a very simple question. “Hey, Dad, are you coming to visit me this weekend or next weekend?” His answer should sound something like, “This weekend.” Or “Next weekend.” No, not my dad. No, you ask my dad that question, this is the answer you’re gonna get: “Oh, well, hey, I requested time off from my supervisor. He trying to tell me that I didn’t request the time off when I know I did, and then here he goes giving Diego like two weeks off. You’re not even supposed to have two weeks at a time, right? So I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna call my union rep, okay?’ Sometimes if you just say ‘union rep, ‘ they get all scared. So I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna call my union rep.’ And then he goes, ‘Fine, you can have your time off.’ But he almost didn’t give it to me, but then he did. But he almost didn’t.” “So… this weekend…” “…or next weekend? Too many details, Dad. You’re not invited anymore.” I think I’m getting older ’cause I hear people around me say things like, “Turn down for what?” And then I tell them what. “Turn down for what?” “Uh, it’s really loud.” “Turn down for what?” “You have work in the morning.” “Pshh! Turn down for what?” “You have three kids now!” “It is about that time. To turn it down.” ♪ Pa-pa pom-pom ♪

Anybody here ever do jury duty? Yeah? I had jury duty not too long ago. And we were one day into the trial, and all of a sudden I was released because apparently I am a terrible juror. This what happened. Um, okay, first of all, I don’t know if anybody here has ever been to the movies with your black friend, okay? And your black friend likes to talk to the movies like the actors can hear them. You know what I’m saying? Like, “Ooh, you better run!” “He right behind you!” He right behind you!” “He ain’t even runnin’.” It was a similar situation in the courtroom. This what happened. The first piece of evidence they put up on a screen is a picture of this woman’s face that’s just, like, beat-up, bruised, swollen. You can’t even tell it’s a woman, right? You’re supposed to see the picture, register it, and make a mental note. Well, I can make a mental note. I just have a hard time not saying my mental note. So the picture comes up on the screen and my response is: “Ooh, what?” “Oh, hell no! Da-a-a-ang!” “That’s her face?” “But that’s her face, though?” “Da-a-a-ang. Wait, wait, wait. Put it back up.” “Lawyer lady, put it up real quick, please? Oh, hell no.” “Uh-uh. Guilty!” “He did it.” “That’s him right there.” They don’t like it when you do that.

Even the process to get picked to be on a jury is terrifying, right? And, like, I speak in front of people for a living. That’s what I do, right? But all of a sudden, because I’m in a courtroom in front of maybe 30 people, even I’m nervous, right? ‘Cause, like, the judge is talking to me, and I’m just nervous ’cause a judge is talking to me. I feel guilty for no reason. And the judge is asking me questions like, “Juror number 11, how do you feel about scientific evidence?” “Scientific evidence…” “I didn’t do very good in school.” “Uh, she said ‘scientific.'” “I feel like I should say a big word.” “Um… scientific evidence… is usually presented as factual evidence in cases where certain circumstances do not provide a level of authenticity that has been derived through process of elimination, having been determined in the petri dish…” “…to show you that, in fact, it is scientific.” “So… yeah.” Then the judge just starts taking notes, right? Two attorneys, they start writing notes. I’m like, “Uh, did I win that one?” Now it’s the attorneys’ turn. Now they get to ask me questions. “Juror number 11, earlier you said that scientific evidence was usually correct. I think that’s what you were trying to say. Do you have much experience with scientific evidence?” “Um… other than Law & Order: SVU…” “…no, not a whole lot.” Now she has to have a serious conversation with me about a TV show. “In these episodes of Law & Order: SVU, has there ever been a case where the scientific evidence was proven incorrect?” “Um… well, I haven’t seen every episode…” “…but there was this one time where Jennifer Love Hewitt was guest-starring. And she did a good job. I thought she did real good. It was like a new role for her. It was real serious. She had to cry a lot, so I thought she did good. Anyway, there was this guy. He would follow her to work every day since she was like 16 years old, but he would rape her all the time, like every day, every day, every day, every day, every day. And like, first of all, I don’t know how she didn’t see him, ’cause even I saw him right at the beginning of the episode. I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s him walking right there.’ But that’s ’cause, like, I’m real good at figuring stuff out like that. Typewriter lady, don’t forget to put that I’m real good at figuring stuff out. Anyway, they found some DNA evidence, and they couldn’t connect it to him, so then he got to go home.” “So do you still feel that scientific evidence is usually correct?” “Ohh. I see what you did. Wait a minute. Have I seen you on an episode one time?” ‘Cause I do watch Law & Order: SVU all the time, you guys. And it’s got me thinking that not only am I a terrible juror, but I’d probably be a terrible police detective as well. Because, like, they show these detectives… Olivia Benson, right? Yeah. Detective Stabler, Detective New Hot Latino Guy. Right? And they show ’em in these adrenaline-pumping situations, right? They’re chasing a perp down an alley. All of a sudden, they trip and fall. They just get back up and start chasing him again. Has anybody here ever fallen before? It hurts… you guys. If I trip and fall down, I’m staying down. For a while. Rubbing my knee. I will be the cop that calls in like… “Officer down!” “Officer down.” “Are you shot?” “No, but I need some Neosporin!” “Hurry! There’s little rocks in it!” To be a good cop, you have to know your north from your south, your east from your west. You’ve seen the episodes, right? “Suspect’s heading southbound on First Street.” This would be my call: “Suspect made a left.” “Uh, north or south?” “Definitely not to the right.” “Uh, in which direction?” “Towards McDonald’s.” They show ’em chasing this perp into a dark, empty warehouse, right? They have their gun out. All of a sudden, this guy just pops out of nowhere, and their response is: “NYPD! Freeze!” Where, like, my response would be: Boom! “Who was that?” But now he can’t tell you who he was. I’d probably be a terrible 9-1-1 dispatcher. God forbid you have to call 9-1-1… and I answer the phone. “9-1-1. What’s your emergency? There’s a guy trying to get in your house? Well, did you lock the door?” “You didn’t lock the door? Well, that was dumb, huh?” “I mean, like, you don’t watch movies or…” “No… Yeah, no, I’m sending the cops. They are on their way, but it’s gonna be, like, 15 minutes. You better find a hiding spot.” “And don’t get under the bed. They always look there first.”

When I first started doing stand-up, I got kind of famous on YouTube for this joke about getting my nails done. Oh, you’ve heard it? It’s… It’s crazy ’cause, like, when this video first came out, I had no idea it was gonna blow up like that. Like, so many people have seen this video to the point where now I get scared when I walk into a nail salon. ‘Cause, like, I don’t want them to recognize me and then, like, cut my finger on purpose. But then blame it on me like it was my fault. “Honey, relak your hand.” “You want to wak your eyebrow?” “Uh, no, thank you.” “Honey, you need to wak.” “I lie your eye sadow. It look nice. Your eye sadow. Look down. Look down.” “I lie the sadow.” Now sometimes the girls that are getting their nails done, they recognize me. Like, “Hey, you’re the girl that does the nail salon…” “Mm, no!” “What, are you crazy?” Right? ‘Cause, like, one time I was getting my pedicure done, and the lady that was doing my pedicure, she said to me: “What your name?” And it wasn’t like your typical friendly greeting, like: “Hi, honey. How you do? How you mom?” It was different. It was very like: “What your name?” I said, “Anjelah.” And she goes, “That what I thought.” “Oh, shoot. Vietnamese people have YouTube.” I started getting all nervous. She could tell I was getting a little uncomfortable, so she goes, “Don’t worry, I don’t tell nobody.” “Oh, thank you.” Besties! People always ask me, like, “How’d you learn to do that accent? Who taught you how to do that?” Right? Well, I grew up in a place called San Jose, California. It’s the Bay Area’s Westminster, okay? So I grew up eating pho. Do you guys eat pho? Right? So I grew up eating pho. And I would put all kind of chili sauce in my pho… ’cause I’m Mexican. So I put all kind of chili sauce in my pho, and the lady that worked there, she would get mad at me ’cause she thought I was just playing around and wasting all her sauce. So she would yell at me. She’d be like: “Don’t put the too mut the sah!” “If you put the too mut the sah, you met the whole thing up.” “If you do the sah, you do the one tam.” “You do sah, no sah.” “Sah, no sah.” “Mah-mah say, mah-mah sah, mah sah, no sah.” “If you met the whole thing up, you don’t get to take back.” “She don’t get to take back!” And when that joke first came out, a lot of people loved it, right? But some people hated it… and I started getting hate mail from people. Aww. Yeah. Like, I would get a letter. And you could tell it was written by a Vietnamese person. ‘Cause, like, I would read a letter and it’d be like… “If I see you in the street…” “…you don’t want that to happen.” Oohhh! Then it started getting real crazy, right? I started getting death threats. One time after a show, this Vietnamese guy, he was so mad at me, he yelled at me, he cussed at me. But he didn’t cuss correctly. He come up to me real mad. He was like… “What the fut?” Real mad. F-U-T. “What the fut?” I was like, “Mm, sir, I don’t even know if that counts.”

I’m Anjelah Johnson. Thank you guys so much for coming out to my show. I appreciate you. I love you. Thank you so much. Have a good night.

* * *

Further reading:

Anjelah Johnson is unapologetically herself in new Netflix special – Review by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya for The A.V. Club

Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy – Review by Anthony Damiao for EXCLAIM!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Chad Daniels: Dad Chaniels (2019)

Chad Daniels: Dad Chaniels (2019) | Transcript

In his sixth stand up release, Minnesotan Chad Daniels delivers a brand new hour of comedy of his unapologetic take on parenting teenagers, how America’s gone soft as a nation, his plans for growing old, and…cake.

Sam Morril: You've Changed (2024)

Sam Morril: You’ve Changed (2024) | Transcript

Sam Morril showcases his unique laid-back style, effortlessly riffing on his experiences about the worst person he’s ever dated, the challenges of ageing, and his take on various topics from cable news to the dangers of social media.

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!