Last year, when we talked to John Henson before his gig in Orange County, it had been awhile since he graced the stand-up stage. This year however, it's a totally different story. In-between filming his hit TV show “Wipeout,” he's been going full throttle getting back into his stand-up zone and we may be a little bias but his material is, well, fucking funnier than ever.
It should also be noted that if you are expecting Henson to wax poetic puns about overly padded show contestants falling down and cracking cheese-tastic “big balls” jokes we have some bad news for you. That's most certainly not the John Henson that will be at the Irvine Improv June 6th through 9th so you may just want to stay on your couch and catch a “Wipeout” re-run. You don't have to take our word for it though (even though we are a pretty trustworthy bunch over here) because we talked to Hens before his upcoming gig to find out what's new. It turns out he's got updates galore and his life is more twisted than ever. And we love him even more for it.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): You've been hitting the stage hard since we talked last. What else is going on with you?
John Henson: It's about to get real live because I have a baby coming in about five weeks and this will be our second, so I'm pretty fucked. It just seemed like such a good idea and then when my wife told me that she was pregnant I was like, “What have I done?” It was like getting drunk and then waking up in the morning and finding out that you re-enlisted in the Marines with a headache going, four more years? Our one kid is just starting to get easy because he talks and walks and now we're going to go back into the chaos of an infant. [Laughs.] So there's that and a couple of other projects that I'm going to be working on. What is normally a relaxing off-season is looking like it will turn out to be a living hell.
Are you and the wife the type who like to be surprised about the sex of the baby or did you want to know?
Oh we know it's going to be a girl. We're excited because we have a boy and now we'll have a girl. Annnnd scene. We're done!
Are you going to get the old snip-a-roo?
I'm so done that I don't even know if I'm going to have a vasectomy or if I'm just going to go to the vet and come home with a cone around my neck. And the deadline is right there and holy shit, we're gonna have another baby! I'm going to be doing a pilot, I've got to go out of town, and it just went to DEFCON One in terms of responsibility in my life pretty quickly. I'm a guy who devoted the first forty years of my life to dick jokes, you know?
Just wait until your daughter and wife “sync up.” That'll be real fun. That's when you and your son will want to go camping or something.
Yeah, with any luck I'll be dead by then. [Laughs.] My wife was really worried because when we originally got the ultrasound, they told us it was a boy. It didn't surprise us because I'm the youngest of five boys so when they told us we were going to have another boy at first my wife goes, “So I'm going to be the mom that is surrounded by sneakers, cars, and football all weekend long. I guess I won't be taking a little girl to ballet or buying a little pink tutu.” When they called and told us that we were actually having a girl, my wife was in the driveway of our new house and she started screaming so loud, two different neighbors came out of their houses because they thought I was going Ike Turner on her or something. And my wife was like, “I don't know if I believe you now. You mean a full on girl, not Jamie Lee Curtis right?” She seriously had to have it in writing.
Well kids make for great stories and you seem like a fun dad that likes to talk shit so I'm sure this will just add to the material.
Oh yeah! Matter of fact, I was talking about my kid on stage last night. So my son is a great kid and everybody loves him but I kind of feel like at two years old, you just kind of haven't had enough time to be a dick to anyone yet. Like, let's give it about thirty years before we talk about what a good job we did as parents, you know what I mean? Because I'm pretty sure at some point, everybody thought Hitler was adorable. [Laughs.] My kid could grow up to be the kind of kid who chews with his mouth open or waits until the light turns green to put on his signal. He could be a total fucking dick! We just don't know yet! Then when you're doubling down and you're having a second kid, what if my first kid was awesome and then you get the crappy baby?
Hey, you're preaching to the choir. Kids are little love bugs but they can totally suck too. I get it. I think you might scare the people of Irvine with that kind of talk though…and I like it.
It's funny because last time we talked, I think it was my first heading gig I'd done in like, seventeen or eighteen years! Now I've been on the road a little bit and had the opportunity to get back in the rhythm of things and it is interesting because if people come to see me because they're fans of “Wipeout,” the guy from “Wipeout” will not be on stage. [Laughs.] Don't come expecting Don Knotts Jr. telling soul crushing puns for twelve-year-olds because that guy ain't showing up to the Irvine Improv. This is a different kind of entertainment. I'm not Bob Saget, but I already have a job where I have to write family friendly clean jokes. I didn't get back into stand-up so I could not swear you know?
John Henson performs at the Irvine Improv on June 6th through 9th, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618., (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info follow him on Twitter: @John_Henson.