Comedy show at Capitol Theater produced by Timberline High School junior

Comedy show at Capitol Theater featuring youthful South Sound talent is produced by Timberline High School junior

Contributing writerMay 30, 2014 

Cast members of “The Funniest Kids You Know”: Calvin Greer, from left, Jalen Slater, Austin Tibbits, Jacob Johnson, Kylie Charney-Harrington and Adam Rice. The show is Saturday at Capitol Theater.

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There’s a comedy show called “The Funniest Kids You Know” coming Saturday night at the Capitol Theater. You might wonder if that’s something like television’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

It’s not: Although some of the comedians haven’t yet reached the age of majority, the show does contain adult humor and adult language.

But Jacob Johnson, 17, the show’s producer and one of its stars, is known for doing the darnedest things.

“When he has an idea, he goes full force with it,” said Kristi Johnson, Jacob’s mom. “My husband and I just support him. It’s pretty amazing.”

When he was 14, Jacob met a girl who had cancer and he wanted to help, so he started a nonprofit, Rhema’s Reality. “He’s raised about $25,000 for childhood cancer research,” Kristi Johnson said.

His latest big idea is a career in stand-up comedy, and the Timberline High School junior is pursuing it with the same zeal.

His comedy career began with an appearance at a Timberline talent show last fall. “All the kids thought I was funny so I thought, ‘I have to try to do this,’” he said.

In December, he organized a backstage show with other young comedians at the Capitol Theater, and Saturday night, the group hits the theater’s main stage.

Along the way, he has visited the set of “Saturday Night Live” in New York City and formed a limited-liability corporation, Story Time Productions, with help from a lawyer friend.

Saturday night’s lineup of comedians ranges in age from 16-24, so some could be called kids, but their humor is definitely aimed at those of high-school age and older.

For those who might worry that the humor will be, well, juvenile, Jacob offers reassurance. One of the comedians, 24-year-old Adam Rice, is a father of two.

“He has a lot of really funny jokes about parenting,” Jacob Johnson said. “That’s why it’s really cool that he’s a parent. We want to focus on more of an adult crowd. … We really like the idea of performing for a more sophisticated crowd. That’s not to say high schoolers aren’t sophisticated, but it’s definitely funny for adults.”

Rounding out the cast are Kylie Charney-Harrington, 16, a sophomore at Timberline; Timberline seniors Calvin Greer, Gabe Judd and Jalen Slater, all 18; and Austin Tibbits, 19.

The seven have a variety of comedy styles, from Kylie’s sophisticated intellectual humor to Jacob’s storytelling.

“I looked at the tragedies in my life and everything that has been so embarrassing in my life and so overwhelming and things that I really have been self-conscious about, and I just decided, ‘Let’s go for it. Let’s make a joke out of it,’” he said. “Some of the worst things in life are the funniest.”

Asked for an example, he tells a story that at first doesn’t sound all that funny. A few weeks ago, a teacher handed him an envelope to deliver to his parents, and he opened it himself.

“I found out I’ve been receiving special education since the second grade,” he said. “When I read that, I was really embarrassed, and I didn’t know how to wrap my head around it, and then I looked at it again, and I said, ‘Oh, my goodness, this is going to be so fun to tell on stage.’ It is comedy gold.

“How did I not know this?” he asked. “I’ve always had extra help in areas that other students didn’t have extra help in. I thought I guess I’m just a nice guy, and these teachers want to help me out because I’m a really good student.”

“I was like, ‘Wait, my parents let me believe that I was above average,’” he added.

Seems as though the joke’s on Jacob. Given his accomplishments, his parents were clearly right.

The Funniest Kids You Know

What: A group of ambitious comedians, ages 16-24, will show their stuff at the Capitol Theater.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia

Tickets: $10 general admission, $8 for Olympia Film Society members. Available at the door, olympiafilmsociety.org and Rainy Day Records

More information: olympiafilmsociety.org

Also: The show is recommended for people of high school age and older. The mezzanine lounge will be open, selling wine and beer for ages 21 and older.

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