In May 2020, Denver veteran comedian Louis Johnson started a series of livestreams to poke fun of Donald Trump’s daily COVID-19 briefings. These recaps snowballed into Zoom conversations about comedy, life and more with fellow comedians from Colorado and beyond. From those chats, Johnson and California comic Lamont Ferguson created a Facebook livestream called A Good Green Room.
Johnson first stumbled across Ferguson on social media; he was also dishing out live commentary on the COVID-19 press briefings.
“I sent him a note: ‘Let’s talk about the briefings on Instagram!’” Johnson says. “He said yes. We did a few recaps and moved to Facebook Live. His insights are invaluable. He usually sums up the essence of whatever topic we may be discussing.”
“We want [viewers] to think that [the discussions are] exactly what goes on backstage while you’re watching the show,” Johnson explains.
Ferguson fell in love with comedy at age eight in a library basement, where he discovered recordings of the likes of George Burns, Fred Allen and Jack Benny.
“What I enjoy the most about comedy is that to me, it’s science,” Ferguson continues. “I’ve often said that the difference between someone’s funny friend and a comedian is that a friend will end a story with the words, ‘Well, I guess you had to be there.’ The comedian’s job is to make the audience be there...
“Louis calls me 'the Sniper,'” Ferguson explains, “which is funny, because that’s always been my approach to crowd work or ad-lib stuff. You can lay in wait for that perfect moment, and it’s a bullseye every time.”
On A Good Green Room, the co-hosts discuss everything from Dave Chappelle’s 8:46 standup special and a Black bird-watcher to looting, guns and vitamins. Guests have included comics Shed G., Nora Lynch, Rick Bryan, Kevin Jordan, Mo Alexander and Jaylyn Bishop.
“I like a mix of veteran and new entertainers,” Johnson explains. “We’ve had comedians, singers, actors and community activists on the show. We like interesting people with great stories.”
In-between A Good Green Room, Johnson and Ferguson did some virtual performances throughout 2020 and are looking forward to what 2021 will bring.
“I miss performing live on stage. I’m not a big fan of the standup Zoom shows,” Johnson says. “I’ve been doing live shows around the state and at the Comedy Works South club. I’m taping a Dry Bar comedy special at the end of March 2021.”
Ferguson is in a similar boat.
“Right now, I’m just hoping for a comedy gig in 2021,” he says. “Hopefully they’ll be back soon. I’ve enjoyed being [a guest] on podcasts, though I will say that my biggest anxiety about them is that I’m not being funny and/or interesting enough.
For Ferguson, he's just glad A Good Green Room offers him more chances to keep sniping through the shutdowns.
“That’s why our show is perfect for me,” Ferguson continues. “I can sit and watch and not say anything for seven minutes. But then, when I do have something to say, it’ll be on-target funny.”
Catch A Good Green Room live every Tuesday and Friday at 6 p.m. on Facebook.
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