Comedian and Engage Moderator
A native of Iowa, Jake Johannsen spent three years at Iowa State University dabbling in veterinarian science and chemical engineering before moving to San Francisco and trying his hand at comedy. Jake sought to make his comedic mark on the city at a time when San Francisco was fostering the likes of young talents such as Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Carvey. Jake made his own comedy debut during an open mike night at San Francisco’s Cobbs Comedy Club. Four years later, in 1986, he won the 11th Annual San Francisco Stand-Up Comedian Competition.
A self-confessed raconteur of weird stories, it’s no wonder that Jake is one of David Letterman’s favorite comics. With forty-four Letterman appearances under his belt, more than any other comic, (not to mention a handful of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Politically Incorrect gigs) Jake is no stranger to late night television. His late night appearances gave Jake the exposure he needed to land his very own HBO comedy special, This’ll Take About An Hour. Jake received incredible reviews, strong ratings, and a Cable Ace Award nomination for Best Writing in an Entertainment Special. People Magazine rated the special as one of the “ten best television shows of the year,” and TV Guide named it one of the “50 Funniest Moments of TV.”
Jake has also made his mark on the feature world. Jake appeared on the big screen next to Bruce Willis in the Alan Rudolph film Breakfast of Champions. He first worked with Rudolph on the film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, in which he co-starred in a cast that included Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott.
Jake’s bizarre take on life and his uniquely intelligent style have made him a regular at comedy clubs all over the country and a former host of Comedy Central’s Two Drink Minimum. He has had numerous television appearances as well as his own Comedy Central 1⁄2 hour special. Additionally, his comedy special, “I Love You,” aired on Netflix and Showtime and his podcast can be found at www.jakethis.com. He most recently opened for Russell Peters on his 2018-2019 Deported World Tour.