Jenny Johnson: Your Local Friendly and Filthy Twitter Superstar & Our Web Awards Party
Be sure to come out to the second annual Houston Web Awards at House of Dereon Media Center (2204 Crawford St.) on Thursday, June 28, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jenny Johnson will be there along with Bun B and the Houston Texans' own Connor Barwin. Snag your tickets here.
If you are a fan of comedy on Twitter, or at least explosively idiotic "celebrities" saying stupid things, you more than likely already follow Houston's own Jenny Johnson. Her account, @jennyjohnsonhi5, is one of the most popular on the site with more than 223,000 followers.
And she hates Chris Brown and Kim Kardashian. Why? Because screw 'em.
She's a part of this year's edition of the Houston Web Awards, winning "Tweet of the Year". Johnson will also be on hand at the House of Dereon Thursday night at the awards event to meet and mingle with you all. And possibly make fun of you, so play it cool.
I talked with Johnson ahead of the awards to get some background on one of the most hilarious and non-filtered voices on the Web. She didn't even call me any dirty names, and in fact she's a sweetheart.
Art Attack: To me, you are the Queen of Vulgarity on Twitter, but you manage to strike a balance where most people cannot. How do you do that?
Jenny Johnson: I think it's because I'm actually a nice person. The things I write aren't typically things I would ever say, they are more exaggerated thoughts. When something annoys us, the first thing that may pop into our heads is not typically something we say aloud. We were all born with a filter. I find it funnier to write down the first thing. I turned my filter off.
Not everything I write is vulgar, that's the key. Sure, I use a lot of profanity and I write things that some people may find shocking, but I never think I'm mean, just silly. My favorite reaction I get from people is, "You say all the things I'm thinking, but I've never had the balls to say." I love that reaction. It's a big reason why I think I've connected with people.
AA: What is a typical day like for you?
JJ: I spent 12 years working in the television news industry and up until a few months ago, that's what I had always done. I'm now writing full time, so my days have completely changed. I get up in the morning, immediately get on my laptop and read news, sports and entertainment. If a topic sparks my interest, I'll tweet about it or write an article on it and submit it to my editors at Grantland.com or GQ.
I'm in the process of writing a book of essays about myself growing up (totally humorous, exaggerated truths) which takes up the better part of my day. I go for a jog in the afternoon. Throughout the day, I text with my friends and family. I'm usually done with writing by the time my husband comes home from work. We have cocktail hour in our kitchen, visit and eat dinner together. I have to admit, I have a great life.
JJ: Absolutely. I try to read all of my "@" replies, and I often respond via direct messaging to my followers if they ask me a question or pay me a compliment. I also reply if a person talks shit to me. I find it funny that when a person writes something mean to me, then I respond, they often backpedal and take back their insult. People are ten-foot-tall and bulletproof behind their computers.
AA: Is there anyone that follows you that made you starstruck or made you feel like you needed to up your Twitter game?
JJ: I have to admit, when someone I adored as a kid follows me, I get excited. Pee-wee Herman follows me, which was a huge moment. I loved him so much growing up. Something about an adult who never grows up makes me super happy.
There are so many funny people on Twitter, some comedians and some are just everyday folks who happen to be exceptionally funny writers. Twitter forces you to step up your game. I can't write something unless I think it's funny. It can't be generic.
Hot topics are my favorite thing to write about. If everyone on Twitter is tweeting about the same topic, I want my tweet to be unique. I want to point something out that no one else has thought of. It can sometimes be tricky, but when a joke hits, it's rewarding.
AA: What would you do if Kim Kardashian or Chris Brown actually followed you? Has anyone in their camps ever tried to reach out to you?
JJ: Chris Brown did, then he blocked me, which means while I can still write jokes about him, I just can't read his tweets. I'd love for Kim Kardashian to reply to me, but I think I have a better chance of being blocked by her than getting a response.