June 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 6)

Page 92

GK GETTING TO KNOW

ROY JOHNSON

Johnson retired from his own run of touring stand-up nine years ago. Once he was back in town, he started Be Funny Tulsa, a comedy school, which offers classes for beginners, more advanced comics, adults and kids. He took over operations at The Loony Bin in October 2017, and since then, he’s kept plenty busy with updates and future plans. The lobby has been renovated to be cleaner and more modern. “It’s not just 8 x 10s on the wall,” he says. The club has added selfie walls — TVs to highlight photos that visitors tag the club in on social media. “We’re also looking to expand the bar,” Johnson says. “We are working with many local wine people about the best way to improve our wine list.”

Thanks to Roy Johnson and The Loony Bin Comedy Club, Tulsa is getting serious about joking around and serving up Lobotomies. by BLAYKLEE BUCHANAN photos by MARC RAINS

92 JUNE 2018

The Yankees are his religion. Comedy is his specialty. Bob Dylan is his third love. And as much as he loves Bob Dylan, appreciates his archives and enjoys Tulsa’s colorful sound, the man running the shows at The Loony Bin Comedy Club wants to direct your attention to other entertainment options native and unique to this town. “Tulsa is a funny city,” says Roy Johnson, general manager of The Loony Bin Comedy Club in Tulsa. Comedy as an artform has roots in our city. “Will Rogers was doing stand-up before there was stand-up,” he says. “Sam Kinison is buried in Tulsa.”

The drinks at Loony Bin are already pretty serious. One is called The Lobotomy, and it comes with a T-shirt. It includes vodka, rum, gin, tequila, cranberry, Sprite and grenadine. And it’s served in a mini pitcher. “Let’s just say our drinks get Uber a lot of business,” says Johnson, who mostly sticks to coffee and Coke Zero. Since Johnson’s management, the club has redone the way they kick off nights, as well. Now, a dramatic video launches before a show. The entrance feels as if you’re watching something at the movie theaters. It even uses Johnson’s voice, albeit edited to sound more like a movie narrator, to give a big intro for the night.