Comic Magician “Amazing Johnathan” Interview & Set

This was fun, Amazing Johnathan is interviewed from his home in Vegas, where he shares the incredible career path he took, from working the streets of San Francisco to being a TV Star in Australia and here in the US. He had a Game Show, his own show in Vegas, and not one; but two Documentaries about his life and assumed death…. yes, sadly the Dr.s have given him a death sentence because of a weak heart; but Johnathan lives on and shares great stories and memories on how his Life took such a wild path. In addition, we are able to share a few minutes of his live comedy-magic set from the mid 80’s. All in all, a “Amazing” show…Enjoy!
Host is R. Scott Edwards

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Podcast Transcript:

Scott Edwards: 

Hi, and welcome to this week’s show. Hey, before you start, I have to do a little Christmas gift plug. I have a new book called 20 questions answered about being a stand up comic. It would make a great gift for anybody interested in any form of entertainment, but especially stand up comedy, has lots of great information, and is a good training tool for anybody interested in show business. Hey, if you get a chance, go to Amazon search my name. Our Scott Edwards, or the title of the book. 20 questions answered about being a stand up comic and pick up a copy today makes a great gift. All right, it’s time to start this week’s show. Enjoy.

Announcer: 

This is another episode of stand up comedy, your host and emcee. Celebrating 40 plus years on the fringe of show business stories, interviews and comedy sets from the famous and not so famous. Here’s your host and emcee. Scott had words.

Scott Edwards: 

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s another amazing guest for our interview today. Thanks for joining us. Boy, I’m so excited. This guy is one of the most high energy. Funny, magical. That’s right. He’s a comic magician. Guys in the business. Please welcome to our show today. Amazing, Johnathan. Wow. Good to have you on the show. Jonathan, you have been such a successful comic magician. Thanks for joining us today.

Amazing Johnathan: 

No problem. It’s about time you already had co Zack you already had Mike Penny.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, you know, I was working up to the best is ran out in Yeah, it’s so funny. You mentioned Kodak. You know, I ran into him. He has a little magical theater show in on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Amazing Johnathan: 

And right. How’d you find you run into Hawaii?

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, we have a timeshare over there. And we’ve actually gone by and seen him a couple times. But it’s just funny to hear. You mentioned his name in this context. But hey, we’ve gone off track already. Ladies and gentlemen, amazing. Jonathan worked for me several times in the mid 80s. He is one of the most high energy audience participation. If I didn’t say that, well, comic magicians out there. Jonathan. What What kind of got you started was at the comedy The Magic. How’d you get into show business? No.

Amazing Johnathan: 

I started as a magician and was just puttering around doing magic when I was kid and then started doing any kind of shows I could get my hands on. And then I did the high school talent show which ended my magic career. ended it that. Yeah, I did. Six tricks. For the talent show. Everybody was there. My mom, my schoolmates, my friends. At six tricks did not work out every single one of them malfunctioned and bombed. And actually killed the dub. I was chasing it. I was chasing it and then it stopped. And I ran over it and killed it. The levitation didn’t work. The guillotine didn’t work. I did a sword cabinet where the girl gets in the box and she got a leg cramp and had to get out right away and busted her way out of the box. It was just total chaos.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow, what an introduction to magic in front of your high school peers.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, nobody know how bad it was. They would nobody even mentioned it the next day. They didn’t tease me about it. They didn’t. That’s pretty bad when they don’t even tease you. They didn’t even look me in the eye. They just ignored me. And that was the last magic show. I think I ever performed

Scott Edwards: 

straight magic now. You ended up adding comedy. Now you were doing magic in high school. You kind of gave it up after that amazing show. What got you back on stage because that’s tough to overcome.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Wow, I didn’t get back on stage. I went on. I went out to California and we hitchhiked to California and San Francisco. I saw street performers working and I needed money. And we decided to stay out there and started going back to Detroit where I’m from, and we started street performing. And at that time on the street, you remember a Whitney Brown was on the street? Sure. Fred Anderson. Yeah, Harry Anderson was on the street. It was Harry that that kind of took me under his wing and showed me how to do the street and then I had a comedy to it. And then it started working for me and I started getting good crowds on the street.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow, that’s fascinating start. But learning on the streets of San Francisco. There’s a lot of talented jugglers and comics, but it’s in magicians, like you mentioned Harry Anderson, who cut their teeth on the streets. I did not know that was your background. How long were you on the street?

Amazing Johnathan: 

Well, I was out there about two years. And then when you start getting really good on the streets, your crowd start to get really enormous. And I got arrested every weekend for obstruction because my crowds would go out into the street. And as soon as I stepped out on the street, the cops were laying for me, and they would arrest me. So I had to quit. I had to stop doing that. And at the time, there were comedy clubs were just starting out in their holy city zoo and San Francisco was open. And so I’ve moved my show indoors, and started doing nightclubs. And at that time, it was Dana Carvey, Robin Williams. That that was the gang I came up with doing comedy.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. And you didn’t actually do your show at the holy city zoo? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, man. We’ve told the podcast listeners in the past. That is a famous club. It had maybe 24 seats, a really teeny stage. There was a balcony that actually held like two or three people. I mean, it was one of the smallest rooms in the history of comedy entertainment. And yet people like Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, and apparently, right, right and amazing Jonathan worked it. That’s incredible.

Amazing Johnathan: 

I was dead the night Robin brought his contract and he got more committee. And he brought his contracts in and told everybody and we were looking through his contracts. And he was $5,000 a week. That’s that’s incredible, you know, and at that time, that was a huge money. But yeah, Robin was there and then Dana Carvey and God, everybody, but at that time, Ellen DeGeneres and it was a great, great era to come up to in comedy, and also the boarding house and all those demos, like probably about 20 rooms within three hour drive, you know,

Scott Edwards: 

oh, no, San Francisco was definitely a hub and a birthplace for a lot of the entertainers. Our audiences heard of, and enjoyed on television, and many, many more that made good careers and entertainment, but never got famous. This must have been late 70s, early 80s That you were doing this? Yes.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah. Tony DePaul on the room, and then he sold it off. And then people kept robbing bought into it. And I went for quite a while. And it was great, because, you know, coming off the street, my energy level was twice as high. Because it’s hard to get crowds and keep crowds on the street. So you had to really do manic, manic material and keep their interest. So they wouldn’t just walk away. But once once I got into a nightclub, that that energy, you know, transformed itself into a really, really high energy act that people haven’t seen before. So that helped me out quite a bit coming from the street.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. And that’s some of the fondest memories I have of you on my stages. Was that high energy? Not only some magic, very, very funny. And the other thing was you were really good to interacting with the audience. And that two probably comes from the street.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, improv does. Yeah. We were people would we end up being in a fistfight out there, people would jump you for your money. And it was pretty rough, you know. So when I went indoors, it was like, it was a luxury for me. It was great. Yeah, really,

Scott Edwards: 

that’s a big change from trying to corral a crowd out on the street to having a paid crowd sitting there that actually want to be entertained. That’s that’s a great start. Not an easy one. That’s a difficult start in entertainment. How did you end up working for me it laughs Did you? Well,

Amazing Johnathan: 

I started going to the guy one punch line at the Comedy Club. The John Fox took three acts from San Francisco. And there was me and will Durst and Barry Sobel, I believe and he took us to the improv. In Los Angeles to showcase was showcased anime. Evening at the Improv was there. They were still buying acts HBO was there. It was a huge deal. And that was one of the three comics picked that night. I kill that kicked off at the Improv and I’ve never done any other rooms before except for the little local San Francisco rooms. But that night, I got three major TV shows. In one night, I got evening at the Improv I got HBO young comedian special and I got David Letterman report pic of the night. Wow, tip of the night. Yeah, so I got three immediately and then one one spun off that the Letterman Show spun off that so one little 15 minute showcase got me for major TV shows and then and then I started working toying around and I got it enabled me to get an agency. I got spotlight agency which had some of the best comics at the time. And I worked for them until they went bankrupt and stuff $300,000 from me. Oh, see everybody. Everybody else. Yeah, that was that was a nightmare. But yeah, for years I started touring. And that’s how I ended up at cat i Laughs eliminated I’m sure. Well, it’s

Scott Edwards: 

interesting because we’ve tried to share with the audience how important timing is that you could be one of the funniest comics ever. And I could name several that just never got that chance at TV or fame and fortune. And then someone like you, you happen to do that showcase, you were picked to go down by John Fox, who we were like competitors and peers at the time, and get that opportunity to get and connect with those shows.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Time and time. Definitely. Yeah, it was the right place the right time. Plus dad never seen the energy that I was expending out, you know, so they were just, they wanted me right away the people. After I got off stage, I was approached by HBO and everybody immediately, it was pretty heady stuff, you know, being able to choose the shows to do and this snowball just kept growing from there, you know,

Scott Edwards: 

well, I think, you know, taken the story from the beginning, being a guy that had to cut his teeth and try to make a living scratching out enough money for food and stuff on the streets, to within a couple of years, getting that showcase and having people throwing contracts at you. I mean, that had to be not only exciting and fun, but a bit scary, too. That’s a lot to have happen in a short amount of time.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, I don’t remember being scared. Except for doing Letterman. I don’t remember ever being scared. I was pretty pretty. Probably for all. Yeah, I was competent. I knew the show was good. I knew that it was different. There wasn’t anybody doing what I was doing, except for maybe Penn and Teller. But they didn’t really have the laughs I had. They were they were clever. But they didn’t have the labs. So my whole thing was the amount of laps I got per second. Were were a lot, I got my laughs per minute where we’re really high. And I started the TV really helped me keep my price and the clubs up, you know, we were making good money. We were one of the higher tiered price price wise, we were one of the higher tiered acts is amazing to me that picked the acts that I came up with aren’t really doing anything any more than half of them more than half of my favorite, wouldn’t you? Yeah,

Scott Edwards: 

I would say that’s true. Not only is road comedy and making a living as a road comic, more challenging. If you didn’t get a shot at the TV shows and some of the contracts that you saw. In fact, we’ll be talking about it a little bit. You ended up with your own theater in Vegas. So you had a different path that afforded you some success. But you and I both know people will you mentioned will Durst I think one of the funniest smartest guys out there. And just and he had some breaks here and there but never got that big fame and fortune. And there’s a number of people that we have worked with that were really truly funny. Yeah,

Amazing Johnathan: 

just never been Gary Johnson was, oh, yeah, they would kill and they just didn’t quite make. They did some TV, but they didn’t get a lot of TV. That was lucky in the fact that I could do six minutes, I had a lot of six minute bits, I could do a comic strip live on Fox was released. I did 24 of those. And so that kind of helped me the fact that I was able to do to write, that’s just, you know, for TV six minute chunks. Yeah,

Scott Edwards: 

a lot of people don’t realize how important for TV to being short and funny. You know, you don’t have time to like a lot of comics need time to get the audience warmed up or get them to understanding where they’re coming from. And we’ve already alluded to this a few times, you were so high energy. Plus you had the experience and you’re funny, and there was some magic everywhere.

Amazing Johnathan: 

I mean, there was it worked for any age group, it worked for any male or female, I really was a consistent type of humor, where it wasn’t political. It was just like, the birds would laugh at that show. You know, it was it was it was so stupid and so ridiculous, that it really touched on people’s, you know, senses and I got to travel around the world. I figured it The comedy was gonna drop power in the United States, I would be ready. And I went to Australia and became famous there. I had a TV show. I went to Germany I went all around the world with that show and and once comedy started dying out here, I was still working in Australia and doing doing touring on the road and other countries. You know

Scott Edwards: 

what? It’s interesting because not only you talented entertainer, but it sounds like you had a knack for the business side. And both of us know some really funny people that didn’t have the same understand And that for marketing and business, but you obviously had a plan and took it to different places too, as kind of a backup to, to keep yourself working.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, it wasn’t so much looked back at it wasn’t really a plan. I just looked my way through the whole thing, Scott. It was dumb luck. But I mean, it makes sense to me when everybody was lowering their prices to raise mine, you know, it was like reverse psychology. And I use that tactic to get into Vegas to buy tickets in Vegas. Were $100 A ticket, and the only ones to chuck them, which was Cirque du Soleil and all the big acts. So I figured, you know, I wanted to be in that price group. So I, you know, I lost part of my audience. But again, another part, you know, the part that people would pay, and it was reverse psychology kind of a deal for me, you know, well, I

Scott Edwards: 

think that luck or plan, you had a great path. Now we’ve jumped ahead a little bit. I wanted to bring it back to working in my clubs. Do you have any memories of working it? laughs

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, you know what I do? I do have memories. But who is the guy from England that you still always Host? Oh, Andy, short guy. Yeah. Andy, what was his last name?

Scott Edwards: 

Well, I would be able to think of it if I hadn’t just been asked. But Andy, Andy was a opening act MC for me that when I was not around or at a club that I wasn’t managing, he would be the house MC. Did you and Andy do a lot of work together?

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, we worked at the club a lot. He was always there. When I was there. He made a point to book him when I was there. And we got we got along good man. He you know, we going back to the condo and having fun. You’re here. Your Club was a party club, man. Well, our clubs are party clubs for me. But I mean, that was that was one of the highlights of your tour when you did the punch line in Atlanta and your club in Sacramento. And those those were my favorite clubs.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, well, thanks for saying that. We always tried to make sure it was not only respectful of the talent, but entertain them the best we could. By the way, it was Andy Roberts. And

Amazing Johnathan: 

Robert. Yeah, I wonder what he’s doing today?

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, I think he’s in jail. Now. I don’t know. But Andy Roberts was one of our house emcees. He was very British, and did our TV show and was around for many years. I’m glad that you have good memories of working with him. And also going out on your boat, too. You had a boat? Yeah, we used to take the comics out. Sometimes we go up and hit a couple bars and we take him skiing. And that’s funny that you remember that? Because not everybody had that experience. But you know, you were special?

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah. Are you still married to the same? The same woman?

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, I ended up marrying Well, actually, I don’t know which woman you mean, I was married briefly in the early days of the club. But that marriage was 18 months of marriage and 18 years of payments. And then I ended up marrying my best friend and co worker, Jill, who was yeah, we’ve been together over 30 something years now. So remember

Amazing Johnathan: 

going on a boat with me? I was so I don’t know which one that would have been? Yeah, that

Scott Edwards: 

was it was Gil, I’m sure. And we had a lot of fun with you and the other comics, doing things, not only trying to present a great show for our audiences, but having some life in fun and entertainment away from the stage. So I’m glad that you have memories of that. It was it was always fun having you there and the audiences loved your shows.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, I love that. Love that room. That was great room. And, you know, the energy was always great. i You said I did a TV show from there.

Scott Edwards: 

No, no, I, I had a TV show that Andy Roberts appeared on I think you missed it. You probably weren’t too expensive for me. But you have some great video view using the club camera. And what you might remember was in the firehouse alley room, we had that really low ceiling and the audience right up on the stage. So there was always great warmth and energy from both the comic and the audience.

Amazing Johnathan: 

I remember the door to come out was your was like right in the back of the stage, wasn’t it?

Scott Edwards: 

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And and it worked really well. And then you would bring people up on stage and just go to town. It was so much fun. Now you were doing road work. You You mentioned Australia. How did you end up in Las Vegas?

Amazing Johnathan: 

Well, I got married to an Australian girl and it lasted about six years and then we went through a real bad divorce. And after that I wasn’t in the mood to be funny anymore. And I went through a real bad depression and and I wanted to Stop doing comedy. So I quit doing comedy and just hung out in Marina Del Rey wherever my house was. And then I started dabbling into getting really bad into doing coke and drugs and stuff and I just downward spiral after the divorce and sorry to hear that. That’s okay. A friend of mine got me into boxing, he taught me how to box and then I started boxing. Every day, I go down, drive down the beach, to his boxing, gym, and we would buy connect, that’s probably saved my life. It got me, got me in good shape. Stop doing the coconut auto chat and started boxing every morning got me in a good frame of mind and, and whenever you stopped doing that kind of stuff, always good stuff will happen. You know, that’s what they say. And it did. As soon as I got my shit together. I got an offer to go to Vegas for two weeks. And I didn’t want I didn’t want to tour anymore. That was the whole idea of networking. I was tired of touring. But this was a steady gig in one room. I could sit for two weeks, fill in for David Brenner, who was taken a summer vacation by me to fill in form. So we did killer business. And we read the golden nugget, which was downtown. It wasn’t on the strip, it was downtown, which didn’t have access anymore. It didn’t they didn’t have entertainment down there anymore. So this was a New Deal. Coming. David Brenner opened this room and tried to make a go of it there. And we sold out every night. So they created a time slot from the golden nugget. And we were so loud almost every night for two years. 500 seats tonight and everybody started coming downtown again. That was that brought downtown back alive. And

Scott Edwards: 

now that had to be around 2000 2001 Yeah, yeah.

Amazing Johnathan: 

And because I was bringing so much business into the casino. They offered me $3 million a year a great contract to stay there. So I signed a two year deal and was at the nugget for two years then the flamingo came along and made me a better offer. I went to the flamingo which is on the strip. And then I send i I was really glad snack was also headlining in the room with with the same room I was in Penn Jillette and I had this thing where we would send each other the most offensive things that we could and nobody else was meant to see these things, except for me and Penn, you know, and he sent me a poster. And it was really racist man. I don’t know why he sent it to me, but I thought I would think it was. And I did think it was funny at first to Gladys Knight side. And then she went to the President and got me fired. At the flamingo actually, I just moved to the Riviera snapped me up after that. So everything was fine. I ended up staying here for 13 years. I worked for 13 years here.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. Well, one year in Vegas is is a career. 13 years is amazing. And I know that you were voted Best Comedian in Vegas, your show for many years was listed in the top 10 acts in Nevada. You had a lot of success in Vegas.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, I was great. I mean, the money was ridiculous. I didn’t even cash any of my checks. I lived off my merchandise money, and put my checks from the casino in the bank every year, or every week. And I ended up saving a ton of money, which is what I needed to do. Because when the recession hit, after 10 years of Vegas, everybody lost their shows or everybody went to half capacity. And it was really rough. And for the last three years, I just barely hung on but then I got sick and I had to leave Vegas completely. I got I got I had heart problems. I went in and had it checked out and I was told that I had cardiomyopathy, which is a heart disease. And

Scott Edwards: 

I heard about that and so sorry, but you know, the the fact that you were able to build up some cash and kind of have a something again, you had without maybe planning it, you had a business mentality. And you were able to create something from all those years of work in Vegas so that you had that nest egg to get you through the tough years.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, I was taught to save money man, my dad really instilled that in me and and I mean I was making millions of dollars and I kept it all you know, I love I tell him the bank. So I got two houses. I got a house in Vegas house. No way. I got 25 cars, classic cars. You know, I went all out. I was living the life man. I had a lot of fun with my money. I really had a blast.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, you know that’s, that’s what it’s there for. If you don’t enjoy it, it just goes to waste. Yeah,

Amazing Johnathan: 

so now I got 25 cars and they can’t drive anymore because of my condition. I’m selling off. I’m selling off all my classic car.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, geez. Well, that’s got to be a little heartbreaking.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Well, yeah. That I was given by the doctor, I was given a year and a half to two years to live actually told me.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, wow, that’s drastic. Yeah. So

Amazing Johnathan: 

I, I saw a lot of my stuff. And I got prepared. You know, I was my wife, I got everything in order for my wife and kid. And I sat around waiting for it to happen, and a year and a half went by two years went by.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, what year was what what year was the doctor’s prognosis?

Amazing Johnathan: 

Just was seven years ago?

Scott Edwards: 

Well, yeah, so much for that.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah. So I found that I found a doctor who had who wanted to try stem cell therapy on me so so I did some stem cell therapy to counteract the effects that, you know, my circulation with having on my feet, my hand, everything was was affected by this condition. I couldn’t, you know, I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like I was gonna die. You know, and I have several, several, um, I lived at the Doctor’s Hospital for essentially for two years. And but, but I got better, you know, I was my doctor adjusted my medication. I did the stem cell thing and, and seven years later, after the fact, I’m still here, and I feel pretty damn good. Yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

Awesome. Well, that’s great news. i We jumped around a little bit. And I’m, I’m sorry to hear about your affliction at the same time. So happy that seven years have gone by, and you’re feeling even better. But let’s catch the audience up on a couple of your success stories. So back in 1991, there was a short time you were hosting a show called ruckus. Was that in the US? Australia? Yeah, I

Amazing Johnathan: 

was in the US. That was from I did a gig in Atlantic City for Merv Griffin. He had he he owned a big casino in Atlantic City Resorts International, right. And I, I replaced RIP, RIP Taylor, who was in a show there. And I replace with Taylor and a show. And did really, really well did great business forum. And when I was finished, move, more called me at home and said, you want to do a game my new game show you want to host my new game show. And you know, he has done Jeopardy. And we’ll he’s done a bunch of shows, right? He was big game show guy, you know. So I didn’t see myself hosting a game show. But he told me that he would create the show around my show. So that I was comfortable in the host. And let me hire my own writers. And so I did you know, I hired my own writers and, and we wrote 65 episodes of the show. We firstly wrote the pilot episode. And that was picked up by NBC. And we they contracted me to do 65 episodes of this game show for Pippin. Wow. So we did them off 65 episodes. And then that’s when I was telling you that my agency spotlight went bankrupt. And they were holding most of the cash from those game shows.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, geez. So that’s still what about 300 grand? What an honor to have not only be able to work with Merv Griffin, but to have him to go out of his way, in basically create a game show around your

Amazing Johnathan: 

he was great high energy. He never missed a taping. He was at every show that we taped. And we became really good friends really close. And then and he was great. I mean, he I didn’t end up making a lot of money because I was I got ripped off. But by my agency. I think after after six or seven years, I got they settled a bankruptcy case I got, you know, two pennies to the dollar or something ridiculous. Yeah. But anyway, but it really put me on the map as far as being seeing every being seen on TV at eight o’clock every night. Right, right. It was really, really strong. It’s like you’re right. It’s

Scott Edwards: 

it’s prime time and it’s on a major network. But you mean you did have the 24 times on? Fox’s comic strip live? You had done several

Amazing Johnathan: 

times? Yeah. TV. TV. Yeah, I got. I got banned from Letterman the first time I did Letterman. You’re kidding. No, I made a bet with a disc jockey that I wouldn’t flip them off at some point during during my Letterman set. And so I scratched my nose with my middle finger when Dave was talking to me. And the producer caught it and thought I was doing it to him. Oh, no. Yeah, he thought I was doing it to him because, you know, he kept my time back by my a couple minutes and now he thought I was mad and that I was flipping him off. And so he banned me so I saw what you did. You’ll never be in and if you look at the tape, you can tie that I was doing it was real obvious. Try and do Letterman again. I didn’t do I went again until like 10 years later, he saw one of my Comedy Central specials Letterman saw, and personally called My agency to get me back on the show. So when I did it again, I didn’t know if he remembered me from 10 years earlier, but when I walked out, you can see me laughing when I looked over at him. Reason I’m laughing is because he stood up from his desk and flipped me off. That’s why I was laughing. Oh, that’s hilarious. That’s

Scott Edwards: 

a great story. Well, you’ve had some great experiences and got to work with some amazing people in fact I didn’t you also do a weird Yeah, I’ll yeah convict special.

Amazing Johnathan: 

show I did a lot of shows man. I was. I’ve run across with everybody in my I’ve been really lucky. Because when I played Vegas, you know, and the word of mouth got out about the show in Vegas, everybody. You know, a lot of famous people came to see the show like, George Carlin was a regular he came. He came to see see the show all the time. And he was my biggest fan. And, and all these people, Kevin, Kevin Costner and all these soccer stars would show up, and then hang out with you. It was really cool. It was a great life. Yeah, I mean, we had a good time

Scott Edwards: 

to get that kind of status in Vegas. I mean, people don’t really understand. But it really flies back in the days of like Sinatra and Dean Martin. If you were in the entertainers, group, people would come from all over the world to Vegas, just to interact with the stars on stage in Vegas. And it’s

Amazing Johnathan: 

a tight knit community as well. I mean, I’m gonna ask the player like character up as a regular show, and the talent of a regular show. And we, you know, we all hang out, we all have dinner together. And after the show, we meet here and there and, and it’s really a tight knit community, and everybody is making fucking millions of dollars. So we, we, we extravagance we want.

Scott Edwards: 

Great. Well, I have a nice interview with George Wallace. Who? Yeah, he was. He was that group. Yeah, he spent over 10 years with his own show there at the Flamingo. And so he was expressing the same thing that the community and the entertainers of Vegas, to the patrons, the tourists, they’re kind of the stars, but the people that live there, it’s a job, and you want to make the best of it and interacting as a group helps that get by day to day. I mean, what a great opportunity to meet people and work with some of the best in the business.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Hey, easiest gig I’ve ever had. I would take the elevator down to the showroom from my suite. I had an elevator, private elevator, take it down to the showroom. I would do an hour and a half. Come back up the elevator. I was done for the night. That was it.

Scott Edwards: 

Tough life. Johnathan, you really worked hard there, Dan. Yeah.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Everything’s free. I mean, you can sign for any meals. I mean, we had 10 People at dinner, we decide your name on the check. And it’s taken care of, you know, and it was great. It was great. I mean, I’m glad I ended up that as my ending to my whole career, you know, and because now it seems like it was great all the way from beginning to end. It seems it was great.

Scott Edwards: 

It really, it really was.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, I didn’t have to go through any, like losing gigs. And that being you know,

Scott Edwards: 

we’ll touch real quick on your success in Australia, because that’s of interest. Comedy has, it doesn’t have this the great presence it has in the US. But there’s been a few entertainers that really did well in Australia. And I know that you had a lot of success there. Were you doing TV or stage shows?

Amazing Johnathan: 

Yeah, I get TV. I mean, when you can become a star in Australia from doing one TV show. I mean, it’s that small of a country that mean they have like a show that, hey, hey, it’s Saturday. It’s called an equivalent to Saturday Night Live. And if you do it, you’re guaranteed to have a sellout season, you know, because it’s just people want to, they make people stars real easy. The next day, I was walking around, people were recognizing me like I was like, I had my own TV show for years. And one shot you know, so it was it was a really nice place. They like Americans, they don’t hate Americans. They’re the money’s good. And it was just the temperament of the people in the country. It was perfect. And so I would go back every year and then finally I met a Australian girl and I married her. And I lived there for five years. So it was great. It was really good.

Scott Edwards: 

How now and how did you like you said the crowds were good and they’re receptive. So you enjoyed living there and in working there, what brought you was it the divorce that brought you back to the US or show business?

Amazing Johnathan: 

You know, I was showbusiness but he had a divorce. I was there as a citizen. When I was married I had the I dual citizenship and my medical expenses were free you know, if you live there you pre medical leave you make household have, you know and so I lost that when I got divorced and just turned me It turned me off of Australia for a while. Anyone with that accent I wanted to shoot with

Scott Edwards: 

a bit of an overreaction, but I can get the, the emotional aspect

Amazing Johnathan: 

they made, they made a couple of documentaries about me this year. I don’t know if you’ve seen him on that. But there’s one of them went to one of the documentaries made on me, went to Sundance Film Festival. And, and all of a sudden, it’s released in movie theaters all around all around the world. So that got me huge recognition, the fact that they made a documentary on me. That’s the same guy that did he got two Oscars for his documentaries. He did man on a wire. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen on a wire. Yeah. And he did some searching for Sugarman. And he did a documentary on me. And that came out. And now it’s on Hulu, who bought it for a million dollars, and now it’s airing it. But I mean, that shows you basically what we’ve been talking about in a nutshell,

Scott Edwards: 

right, right. Now you’re alluding to I think it came out originally in 2019. It’s called The Life and Death and return of amazing Jonathan, it’s almost a Christ like thing. You. Yeah. They were documenting how you had your success and then went through the medical aspect of your life and

Amazing Johnathan: 

my dad expected me to die. That’s why they wanted to do that document documentary because they would have this dramatic ending

Scott Edwards: 

and it never happened. No excuse. That’s crazy. So he had to come

Amazing Johnathan: 

up with another surprise ending which even surprised me. Because this documentary, and it ended up catching on and then it was at movie theaters. I couldn’t believe that. It was like an LA it was an all over the went Hong Kong London it was playing in regular cinemas. So I got to go to the theater and just sit down watch my life story. I’m like, this is cool, man.

Scott Edwards: 

Who’s this guy? Right? Yeah, that would just be such a surreal thing to see a movie about yourself.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Another guy made another one to Steve Byrne. You know, Steve Byrne, the comic?

Scott Edwards: 

I’ve heard of them. I don’t know him personally. Yeah, he

Amazing Johnathan: 

made it. He made one too until they were competing documentaries that were out at the same time, like the fire festival one. And it was like they were both fighting for for, you know airplay and so cool.

Scott Edwards: 

I think it’s amazing. And that’s why you’re amazing. Johnathan, you’ve had such an incredible life. You’ve had started from the streets of San Francisco and took you all the way to where documentaries are being produced and shown in movie theaters about you. There is no better way to capsulate you and your entertainment life. Then your name. Amazing. Jonathan, thank you so much for being a part of the podcast. This is

Amazing Johnathan: 

my pleasure. It’s good to talk to you again. Finally, been ages since we’ve talked.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, it has but you know, everybody moves in different directions. And you’ve had some great offshoots on your road to success. You know, your time in Australia. Yeah, no, man right time. I

Amazing Johnathan: 

totally if I were to die in hours now I would be perfectly happy. Everything.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, well, let’s pray. That doesn’t happen. But it is nice that you have something to look back on and be proud of. Yeah. And you did. You did some amazing things. Amazing. keeps coming up. I wonder why. But hey, ladies and gentlemen, I have a great short set of Jonathan. I’m going to share right after this interview. Hey, thanks, John, for for being a part of the show and doing this interview today. And we will hold good thoughts for your health. That’s let’s go another seven years and beat the doctors odds. And ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy some great stand up comedy by amazing Jonathan. Hey, thank you, sir. All right, buddy. I’ll see you later. He’s on Comedy tonight this week sometime? And he recently appeared on David Letterman. Well, not on him but on the show. I don’t know. Maybe you did appear on him. I don’t know. I didn’t talk to him about it. But this guy is crazy. So let’s please welcome the Madman of comedy Mr. Amazing Johnathan.

Amazing Johnathan: 

Then Stogner hostess for this evening ladies and gentlemen. Hand for Scott Edwards plays owner of the club Scott Edwards. Thanks. Very funny. Scott. Never forget the time when you got your dick caught in the cap of that big pen Scott. That’s comedy at its best folks. The joke was on me because there was a lot of leeway left. He was just kidding me. I thought it was stuck Oh, good evening, we’re going to, son of a bitch. Says Brain fucking No. Do you believe there she Do you believe that it’s brand new? Look at this crap. I’d like to open up with a juggling trick. Oh, no, no thank you. We’re going to do. It’s kind of like a punk magic show, I guess you could say. Or we actually tried to find someone from the audience to come up to help me out with a track. Now this can be anyone at all from the crowd. So if you’d like to help, just let me know where you’re sitting. And you can come up and help anyone, please. Oh, good. I think we found someone. Great. You’re not usually the type one up here, but you’ll do fine. You’ve never seen the show before. You’ve never seen me in the past. No. Okay, great. This is great. Okay, you’ve seen me in the past. Your name is dog dog. I’m Jonathan. And let’s start by doing the dollar bill trek. Let me have $1 This is fun. Okay, that’s great. Now, Trojans, if that’s gonna come in real handy. And I suppose man, that means that you don’t wear a diaphragm. Am I right? Am I right? You? You? Can I have the light on her? Scott plays would just stand up. You don’t wear a diaphragm. Do you ma’am? Okay, great. As long as we got that subtle. Hi, Scott. Is it what? Duck? Yeah. Okay, Doc. Let’s have that dollar. This is fun. 123 You know, I do that every day and I still don’t get tired of it. Now we’re gonna do one that you like, okay. That’s what we do. We do one that I like, then we switch off and do one that you like, and then we go back to one that I like, and that’s called the jewelry tray. Okay, now now for the one you’re gonna like, Okay, this is called the winking rings sir. Do you have a handkerchief go like this because you got something hanging it’s really bugging the shit out of me. I thought it would fall off but it’s just getting longer and longer and then it stopped and it’s just swinging there’s a wipe it off okay, cuz I can’t concentrate on this shit with that. Alright, here we go. Dog Dog we did the one I like now we’re gonna do the one you’re gonna like the Candyman neck okay doc This is called the mystery of the linking rings or Rabbi Matic if done steps a little closer to that bring it slices it dices perfect Julienne Fries, duck. Alright, watch this. They go up they come down and the rings are linked together. Which is not bad for a guy on mescaline hot dog. Try to pull those apart to show the audience that not everybody can do magic. Give me those fucking I don’t like your fucking attitude. One bit now. Doug. Shut off. What is this? Because I’m from San Francisco. You got to do that. Is this the forcefield dog? Okay, well, it’s not gonna work. I may have $1 This is fun. Give me $1 Okay, I will use one of my own. That’s only fair. All right. You’re just lucky I have one. All right, sir. Would you look at this for me please, to make sure it’s not a trick dollar could I could have switched it but it’s an ordinary dollars. You can say? No, go ahead. It’s an ordinary dollar. I pulled it away as a joke. Take it got you again, didn’t I? I’m sorry. No, I won’t go ahead. I need you to examine it. That was cheap three. Oh, come on. Come on chicken shit, go for it. I got a guy five times last night was a Mongoloid in a wheelchair dog. It was pretty sad. Okay.

Scott Edwards: 

Ladies and gentlemen, that was amazing. Johnathan live on stage back in the mid 80s. And I wanted you to hear that she could tell the energy and attitude that he brought to the stage and after listening to his interview, hopefully it helps bring it all together. Now I understand that listening to magic is not the same as watching magic. But I did want you to get a sense of how he came across to the audience and what made him so popular not only in Sacramento, but his many years in Vegas. Ladies and gentlemen, that was a great interview and set by amazing Jonathan a comic magician extraordinare. Thank you for listening. Don’t forget next week another great show will be coming your way. Be sure to share rate and tell your friends. Bye.

Announcer: 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Stand Up Comedy your host and emcee. For information on the show merchandise and our sponsors or to send comments to Scott. Visit our website at WWW dot stand up your host and mc.com Look for more episode soon. Enjoy the world of Stand Up Comedy visit a comedy show room near you.

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