Q&A: Bon Qui Qui is just one part of the Anjelah Johnson experience
No, that’s not Bon Qui Qui, the surly King Burger employee, up onstage. That’s Anjelah Johnson, the comedian who got her start on YouTube, turned her character into a gig at MadTV and now headlines at The Orleans, Nov. 21-22. Las Vegas Magazine’s Susan Stapleton talks to Johnson about her memorable character and finds out whether she is the Justin Bieber of comedy.
You reprise your characters in your show. Which is your favorite?
You know what’s funny? People ask about characters in the show, but I don’t really have characters. I tell stories. Nail Salon Tammy and Bon Qui Qui are the only characters I have. I tell a lot of stories. People will say, “Do your mother in law,” so now they think she’s a character. “Do your brother.” It’s kind of like that. Bon Qui Qui is the only one I’ve dressed up as. But I definitely have to bring in Bon Qui Qui in the show. I have to address it. I don’t have a favorite though. It’s easier to do Tammy. I say three words in Vietnamese and people go crazy. With Bon Qui Qui, I have to throw a little attitude in there, change my pose.
I’ve seen Bon Qui Qui as a flight attendant, an employee at King Burger, rapping. Can Bon Qui Qui do any job?
She can do any job in the whole world. She’ll get fired for it for sure. There’s nothing she can’t do. Food catering, the DMV. She’s got some go-to quips that people love. If I have a heckler or someone is drunk, I can easily go to Bon Qui Qui to shut them down and keep the energy of the room.
Is she based on someone in your life?
Bon Qui Qui is actually a lot of different people. She’s straight up hood and ghetto. My brother is ghetto fabulous and unfiltered. The fearless part of Bon Qui Qui is my brother. She has an attitude, but she thinks she is helping people. “I’m just trying to help y’all. I don’t know why you’re getting mad at me.” He says whatever is on his mind and what people are thinking.
Do you think you’re more than YouTube famous now? Are you Justin Bieber YouTube famous now?
I like to tell people I’m YouTube famous now to play it down.
Do people recognize you?
It’s rare. They might know me from Our Family Wedding or Alvin and the Chipmunks because they play it for their kids. For the most part, I like to say I’m the Justin Bieber of comedy. Both of us had tickets go on sale at the same time and sold out, only he sold out an arena and I sold out a comedy club.
The Orleans, 8 p.m. Nov. 21-22, starting at $29.95 plus tax and fee. 702.365.7075