Harris: We welcome to the guest microphone today comedian Jake Johannsen who’s in town this weekend to see just how much he can sweat, and then at night he goes and works at The Improv.
Johannsen: Hey Paul! So far, so good with the sweating thing. I’m doing real good today.
Harris: I noticed you came in with the drenched t-shirt.
Johannsen: I’m doing a lot of mopping and a lot of dabbing today.
Harris: Everybody is. Even those of us with air conditioning have to dab every once in awhile.
Johannsen: I forgot my special powder. I forgot to bring it with me. I didn’t know it was going to be this hot.
Harris: We can go over to the mayor’s office. He’s got his special powder.
Johannsen: No, it’s not the same kind of powder. That makes you sweat.
Harris: So where were you today that made you such a sweaty guy?
Johannsen: I was out playing golf trying to teach myself a lesson. I’m just trying to drive myself out of the game. You know, you hit that shot and then you just keep coming back. It was okay today. The heat provides an excellent excuse for poor play. It was very hot and we were just trying to focus on maintaining our fluids the whole time.
Harris: You just want to get to the next water break.
Johannsen: I think I saw John, who played with us, drink out of the ball washer. He was foaming on a couple of the fairways. That’s bad.
Harris: So what did you shoot? Did you have a good day out there?
Johannsen: We only played nine and I shot a 50, which is not terrible for me. I’m not really a good golfer, but I’m not really the worst golfer out there either. If you shoot 50 for nine, you’re not the worst golfer out there. It’s that clown that keeps messing me up. I cannot get through that mouth in one, and then I’m done. No, we played real golf.
Harris: Are you into golf? Do you watch golf on TV? Are you into “Tiger Mania?”
Johannsen: I can watch it sometimes. Golf is a good thing to watch on TV. It’s a good hangover day because they whisper even when they get fired up, and the clapping is soft. It’s always kind of like they’re trying to let you sleep, if you want to, and if you wake up they tell you the score and you can kind of go back down. All the shots look similar to the other shots, nothing exciting ever really happens. It’s not like auto racing where someone’s going to get blown up or decapitated. How many years has golf been played? It’s hundreds of years and zero decapitations, I think. They have signs up saying that. You know how at factories they’ll have so many days without an accident? It’s like hundreds of years for the Masters.
Harris: On another subject, Jake is a little peeved at me for something that I’ve done.
Johannsen: I’m not peeved, but I was talking to a guy from the newspaper last night who said that, from the last time I was on, he’d read the transcript on the internet somewhere.
Harris: Yes, on HarrisOnline.com.
Johannsen: You’ve got somebody who’s transcribing everything we’re saying?
Harris: Only when we have really good guests and, except for this particular segment, you usually qualify.
Johannsen: I’m already paranoid. I’ve got clicks and things on my phone at home. It’s either aliens or the government monitoring me. Now I find out that you’re typing up everything I say and putting it on the internet.
Harris: Here’s the thing that should really scare you: while we were talking while the record was on and we weren’t on the air…
Johannsen: People were typing that up too?
Harris: Exactly! In the other room we have court reporters and they’re just clicking along.
Johannsen: Do people read that? This guy had read it, but I can’t imagine…
Harris: But he’s a lonely guy, if he’s the guy from the Post I’m thinking about.
Johannsen: He is a lonely guy. Everybody’s lonely when it comes down to it. What kind of pathetic cry for help is this whole show?
Harris: That’s a very good point.
Johannsen: You can’t even meet real friends. You have to have a microphone and a radio transmitter between you and your people.
Harris: Like I said, about the transcripts, this particular segment will never make it to the internet so don’t worry.
Johannsen: Do you put in dots and semi-colons and pauses in parentheses and stuff?
Harris: Yes, and “expletive deleted.” It’s just like the Nixon tapes.
Johannsen: Are we allowed to say “expletive deleted” on this show?
Harris: You’re allowed to say those two words, but you’re not allowed to say THE words that you’re not allowed to say. But you were just asking me what you should do while you’re in town, because you went out and played golf and you’ve been to the museums. Go out and go to the Archives and put the headphones on and listen to the Nixon tapes. I’m serious about this. It’s one of those things you’re listening to and you go, “Oh my God, this was the President of the United States and he was talking like this to his top guys.”
Johannsen: And you can listen to that?
Harris: It’s all there, even the expletives that are deleted in the transcripts are all on there.
Johannsen: Nice! Can you run a dub off so you can put Nixon cussing on your answering machine at home? [doing a Nixon impression] “Hello, I’m not here right now! I’ve never been here! I’m not coming back! Leave me a message you expletive deleted!”
Harris: And then Rose Mary Woods will delete it later with that 18 minute gap.
Johannsen: The beep has been deleted. [Impersonating Nixon] “Leave a message at the sound of the missing beep!”
Harris: I’d bet if you called Oliver Stone’s house you’d get some weird message like that.
Johannsen: [doing an Oliver Stone impression] “I don’t know who you are or how you got this number! Don’t leave a message! Leave me alone! Get out of my life! I didn’t do it! I’m your friend.”
Harris: But you’re not pissed off about this transcript thing?
Johannsen: No, I’m not “expletive deleted” about that. I was surprised. You’re always kind of surprised that you’re under that kind of surveillance.
Harris: Not surveillance. You come in here as a friend and you appear on the show as a guest and we treat you as a guest. We give you the free twelve ounce soda.
Johannsen: I always thought of it as something more ephemeral. Do you know what that means?
Harris: Yes, you thought that our broadcast went out and just kept on going.
Johannsen: It just goes into the stratosphere. Aliens hear it a few years later. People can’t pick it up and read it on the internet.
Harris: This show doesn’t make it out to Roswell, so the aliens aren’t hearing it.
Johannsen: That wasn’t aliens, I read in the paper. It turns out it was just dummies. If it was dummies, wouldn’t they have come out with that fifty years ago? “Maybe we ought to tell them it’s dummies?” “Bah, go on!” Now they go, “Show them the dummies, maybe that will shut them up!” Fifty years later? Come on, it’s not dummies! It’s little space guys. They could have at least made the dummies look like aliens and said, “Oh, they’re just joking around!” But I don’t believe that.
Harris: The thing that gets me about the aliens is that every time you see a picture of the alien that anyone has drawn, anyone who had an experience with the alien, they always look like dummies. The aliens out there all have human form. Why can’t it be like a three-legged alien for once?
Johannsen: They’ve got a big bulbous head with almond shaped black colored eyes. They’re freaky.
Harris: That’s because everyone saw that Star Trek episode.
Johannsen: Yeah, I know the one.
Harris: We have creatures on Earth that don’t look like that, why do we assume that on another planet they all look like us?
Johannsen: But they’re not smart. We’re smart, so we assume they look like us.
Harris: So if I looked at a rabbit drawing an alien, it would look like a rabbit?
Johannsen: Notice how none of the aliens have hair, yet ironically on this planet, we are obsessed with hair. Guys go bald and instead of thinking that they’re some kind of super genius from another planet, they try to cover it up with hair. The aliens must think that we’re trying to act stupid. “How come they don’t try to shave it all off like us?”
Harris: Maybe they’re coming here because they’re pissed that Telly Savalas died. He was their god.
Johannsen: They’re going to revive him! They’re going to dig up him and Yul Brynner and take them back to their homeland. That’s what they’re really looking for. They’re grave robbers from another planet!
Harris: There, ladies and gentlemen, is your space story for X-Files next year.
Johannsen: I don’t know about Roswell. They’re grave robbers and they’re trying to dig up all of our dead bald guys. We should have them locked in a super secret vault under the city.
Harris: So what about the rest of your week? What else are you gonna do?
Johannsen: Today we played golf and sweated and it was nice. Then we decided, John and Alex from the club, that we’re going back to high school together later this week. Now, we’re at that age where we’d really know what we we’re doing, our skin is good, we can buy beer, and we’ve got some pretty cool cars. Seniors rule, man! ’97!! That’s what we’re all about right now. We’re hanging out of the car, yelling at girls, and we’re just having a great time so far.
Harris: You want to go back because you think you’re smart enough to be valedictorian?
Johannsen: Oh, I’m sure I can ace all of that…expletive…but we’re not even going to worry about the class work. We’ve graduated already, we’re just going to try to keep that under our hats.
Harris: Plus your income is going to be so much greater than all of the other seniors.
Johannsen: Best prom ever!! We’re getting a suite, baby!! It’s going to be really good. I really feel like I didn’t get a fair crack at senior year last time I did it. But now, we know what we’re doing. We know how to party. Those girls don’t stand a chance. It’s going to be like, what if James Bond went back to high school? It’s going to be good. We’re probably going to do that tomorrow or Friday during the day. The weekend is a bummer time to go, and it’s summer school now so we’re probably going to be dealing with some of the…not as bright kids.
Harris: But you’re not looking for a genius here to begin with. You’re not cruising around looking for a lifetime partner here.
Johannsen: No, we’re going to go in and heal some moments from our past. High school was painful for all of us. Look at these guys. You can tell, we’re just trying to go back and do it right this time. Hopefully we can get it done in time for the show every night. But that would be a good date, you say, “Hey, I know to you I’m the coolest guy in high school, but I’m also on the Letterman show and I’m working at The Improv if you want to come down and check out the show.”
Harris: But they couldn’t get in, could they? Are they allowed to get in if they’re under 21? Oh, they can? okay.
Johannsen: Yeah, 18 and over — if you’re with the headliner.
Harris: Would you travel in a pack of three? Is that the way to go?
Johannsen: The three of us guys and then three girls, or however many girls. It’s not all about sex and making out, so we may have a posse of girls, and their parents are welcome, too. Because high school, what is that, 18? So you’re talking about 37-38 year old parents, they’re still kind of in the ballpark for us.
Harris: Oh, that’s what high school girls are going to want to do, hang out with their parents. They found the older guy and he wants to be with their parents.
Johannsen: Yeah, rough draft. We’re still working it out. We’re not back at high school yet, we’re still talking about it. It’s in the planning stage. That’s a mistake we almost made. Forget about the parents, guys, but maybe we’ll throw them a hundred so they can go out and have a good time.
Harris: You can invite them to the show, just put them at a different table.
Johannsen: Or maybe we’ll go back to high school Thursday and Friday and then Saturday…Parents’ Weekend!
Harris: Yeah, all right!! I think when you get together later in your meeting to discuss this…
Johannsen: Yeah, this is just the planning stage. I’ll need to see the transcript to kind of work out a few things.
Harris: No problem. Changing subjects, Dennis Rodman is in the news again. You know that $50,000 fine he got because he was cutting down on the Mormons during the Utah series?
Johannsen: He said something bad about the Mormons?
Harris: He blamed the way he was acting and the fact that they had lost a game in Utah on those “blanking” Mormons.
Johannsen: Well, everybody needs a scapegoat.
Harris: Now he’s suing the NBA because he thought a Mormon was just a person who lived in Utah and he didn’t know it was a religion. Is stupidity a valid excuse?
Johannsen: He’s going back to high school with us! We’re taking Dennis Rodman back to high school! We’re going to be the coolest guys ever!
Harris: “Your honor, I’m going to use the moron defense. Not Mor-mon, just mor-on defense.”
Johannsen: “I thought mor-ons and Mor-mons were the same thing! I thought I was just saying it wrong!”
Harris: Okay, enough sports. Jake, any TV gigs coming up that you would like to mention?
Johannsen: Probably another Tonight Show in the next couple of months, I hope, but nothing scheduled for sure. Hopefully I’ll have the date soon.
Harris: You shouldn’t be wearing that Letterman hat if you’re promoting the Tonight Show, should you?
Johannsen: Nobody has to know about that.
Harris: Well, now it will be in the transcript.
Johannsen: They gave me a hat at the Letterman show, the Tonight Show didn’t give me a hat. If they gave me a hat, I’d wear it. But they’re holding out on the hats! A little stingy over there.
Harris: Did you hear about the crash up in space today?
Johannsen: I haven’t, I was out golfing.
Harris: This sounds like I’m making this up, but the Mir space station — you know, the Russian one that we’ve been sending stuff up to — they got banged into by a seven-ton cargo ship today during a docking maneuver and apparently caused damage.
Johannsen: That Mir space station, it’s not like a real space station. It’s like a boxcar they launched into space. It doesn’t really work. Wasn’t the oxygen thing all screwed up for a while?
Harris: Now one of the compartments had to be closed off because they lost pressure in there. There’s two cosmonauts and one American astronaut up there.
Johannsen: We need our own space station. We shouldn’t be staying in the Russian space station. We shouldn’t be doing sleepovers in their space station. It’s dangerous. And they’ve got the thing parked right in traffic, evidently.
Harris: You’ve got to think if you’re up in the Mir space station, you’re never going to be hit by something else. There’s not much out there.
Johannsen: How much is out there in outer space? What’s there to watch out for?
Harris: Right! But you’ve got to figure that if you’re out there, you’re never going to see another vehicle the entire time that you’re out there.
Johannsen: But they got hit by their own load of sandwiches, right?
Harris: An unmanned 7-ton cargo ship.
Johannsen: Where was it going, the moon? We don’t have any other guys out there. If we were sending cargo, if it’s not to the space station, where is it going?
Harris: To the aliens? To Roswell?
Johannsen: See, that’s the thing. That’s proof that aliens exist because we’re sending them cheese. It’s government surplus cheese we’re launching into outer space now. That’s proof! There’s a conspiracy.
Harris: Now that I’ve heard about this, I’m never going on the Mir. Would you like to go up there?
Johannsen: Yeah, I’m not going on that. I don’t even call up when the radio stations have that “tenth caller goes to the Mir” contest. I don’t even call in because I wouldn’t even want it if I won. But I would go into space if you could go in the space shuttle. I wouldn’t mind that.
Harris: That does sound cool, doesn’t it?
Johannsen: Oh yeah! Or maybe the moon. I could dig going to the moon. But you want to be trained, though. You don’t want to be the guy who says, “What does this knob do?” Because that can get you into a lot of trouble. Even on a trans-continental jet airplane ride, you can get into a lot of trouble. If you can get into that front area — a lot of times they leave it open when one of the guys is coming out. You think you can get in there for a minute, but those guys know some martial arts or something because I wake up back in my seat usually before I even get to the panel. I would go into space, but not without training. You saw The Right Stuff, right?
Harris: Sure, it’s one of my favorite movies.
Johannsen: How come they don’t have that at the water slide park, where you strap in that chair and you go down and it puts you underwater and you have to unbuckle and get out. I want to do that. That seems like a fun ride.
Harris: Me too! I’m there for that! How about the one where they’re pounding the guy into the ground repeatedly, where he doesn’t have breasts but they’re shaking anyway.
Johannsen: Are you sure you saw that in The Right Stuff and not some adult film? I don’t remember that part.
Harris: You may have a point there.
Johannsen: Don’t they put you in a chair with a counterweight on the end and it spins around really fast until you throw up? There is a carnival ride like that.
Harris: I think Busch Gardens has that.
Johannsen: I have an idea for an amusement park ride. The whole idea of amusement rides is that you’re flirting with danger. You’re getting scared that you might get killed but then you don’t. So I have a concept for a ride where you’re on the safari ride, you’re in the boat where the guide says, “Oh, look, a hippo.” But it’s not really a hippo, of course. Then these gang members come out of the woods with these Uzis and they board the boat and they make the guy stop it. Then they kill one of the other people on the boat and start robbing everybody. But then at the end you find out that that’s just part of the ride and it’s okay. They shoot a guy and then dump him off the boat, but then frogmen come and save him, but you don’t see that. When you’re on the boat you think you’re going to get robbed. Some old lady has a heart attack next to you, but it turns out that she’s just an actor.
Harris: There’s a bunch of squibs all over her.
Johannsen: That to me is the ultimate amusement park ride. I’m still working on the concept. With the lawyers, it’s tough to get that through. It’s pretty low tech.
Harris: What do you mean, “the lawyers?” Are you worried that the Bloods and the Crips are going to sue for taking their concepts?
Johannsen: No, the lawyers say that people don’t realize that it’s not really a robbery and you have people come on the boat and scare Grandma and she really does have a heart attack. Then all at once, everybody wants to sue. You’ve got to be careful about these kinds of things. But I’ve got a lot of money making ideas.
Harris: Do you want to give me another one while we’re here?
Johannsen: I’ve got an idea especially handy for a day like this. I got the idea from edible underwear, but this would be pants where the bottom half below the knee is edible. So you’d just eat the bottom of your pants, and then you’ve got shorts on. That’s one of my ideas.
Harris: I don’t even want to know where the liquid is going to come from to wash that all down. Don’t even go there!
Johannsen: It’s a sponge and a filter…
Johannsen: Well, I hadn’t really counted on a beverage. It was something off of the top of my head that I was trying to come up with.
Harris: It’s always good to see you, Jake, thanks for coming in.
Copyright 1997, Paul Harris.
Transcript by Danny Guzman.