“I’m not going for laughs. I’m going for sympathy,” Johnny Beehner tells us. After all, Beehner reveals upfront how his last name prompted taunts and insults toward him over the years, as its homonym is a racial and ethnic slur, and its closest rhyme for simpletons is, well, just remember what he titled his stand-up comedy disc. But he couldn’t overcome this during his childhood by relying on his mother’s advice, which he relates in the track, “Halloween,” instead providing fodder for even more embarrassment.
But. It gets better. Growing up in Omaha, Beehner and his buddies made their own fun, coming up with practical jokes such as the “Taco Man.”
And now, all grown up, Beehner is just another married guy with two cats. Which he plays for laughs over the remainder of this set, recorded at Skyline in Appleton this May. His wife is either mean to him or positions him as the dumb schmuck in the relationship. Cats are easy to take care of, while dogs need constant attention and supervision. His cats are named Jack and Eddie, which makes Beehner wonder: “I don’t know why they had to have people names. She calls me poopie, but they can have dignified names? It’s not fair.” His side job, as a substitute teacher, also makes him feel like a bit of a sad sack at times. It mostly plays like a safe middle-of-the-road network sitcom that runs for several seasons despite not breaking any new ground comedically. That’s not to say this is hack. Just safe. Which means most buyers will laugh early and often without giving it a second thought. Because why do you need to think about it? If it’s funny, it’s funny. More discerning tastes, however, may go, “Yeah, what else you got?”
Sample tracks from “Tiny Weiner”