Todd Johnson can't stop finding himself in stupid situations.
Lucky for him, he turns those moments into comedy gold.
"A lot of stuff I talk about is stupid situations I get involved in, a lot of stuff is stupid stuff I say," said Todd Johnson, in a phone interview in advance of his Saturday shows at Wiseguys in Ogden.
"Most people would just turn around and forget about it and, hopefully, nobody else would know about it. But it's funner for me to turn around and put it out (onstage)."
Dating, family and dysfunctional car horns -- those topics all have a klutzy conclusion in his world. Johnson's hope is that he and the audience find common ground in his agony.
"Because there's a lot of people who have had the same situations or have seen something like that happen," Johnson said.
The stories have taken years to perfect onstage, as he weighs the right words to use. In one riff, he talks about dating girls his own size. He said it took some effort to make sure he was the punch line instead of the girl.
Johnson has always made his home just across the Utah border in Preston, Idaho. Comedy was not on his radar until he saw (Wiseguys owner) Keith Stubbs perform in Logan in 1998.
"All of my friends used to tell me, 'You should be a comic,' " Johnson said. "I said 'No, you guys just say stupid stuff. It's easy to slam you.' "
He spoke with Stubbs after the show and Stubbs offered him a couple of minutes of stage time on a Sunday.
"I chickened out for three weeks," said Johnson.
Stubbs always told him to come the next week -- until Johnson knew he had to go through with it. He rounded up some buddies to laugh whether he bombed onstage or "if I do well -- I need a witness." He was ill at the time and left immediately after his first set despite a great showing.
His comedy was on a turbulent path. He bailed on stand-up after a couple of bad performances. He quit comedy for more than a year, returned, only to quit again for another year.
He missed the laughter, though, and that always made him return. Eventually, he became a full-time comic in 2004.
"When people laugh and they laugh hard, man, I love to see that," Johnson said.
His parents had one request for him in his career -- stay classy, Todd.
"My parents weren't really hip on the idea," Johnson said. "My mom said, 'Look, if you are going to do this for a career, make sure you can be as clean as possible so the rest of the family can see.' "
He adhered to their wishes. That doesn't mean he pushes the material to a squeaky clean level. He admits using some profanity.
"I still have a little bit of farm language -- that's what I call it," said Johnson.
Clean comedy also doesn't mean that he will not push the PC line.
"I do have a couple of jokes that I will do just to make the audience groan. I think it's the warped sense of humor from a comic," Johnson said.
"I like to walk the edge a little bit just to see if people are paying attention."
Watch Todd Johnson perform "Uncle Todd"