Don’t be shy about your dreams because you never know when your openness will lead you to the next part of your journey. Like many comedians, Tommy Johnagin knew from a young age he wanted to do stand-up comedy. “I, at 8 years old, was watching Letterman,” he recalls. “My mom and my stepdad came up with the plan that I could stay up and watch the monologue and the ‘Top Ten.’ I felt I got a victory in that decision.” Young Johnagin was enthralled with Letterman’s comedy, and that didn’t go unnoticed.
“My stepdad told me, ‘You know, David Letterman started out as stand-up comedian.’ At 8 years old I thought, ‘That’s what I’m going to do; I’m going to be a stand-up comedian.’ ” He told everyone, with mixed reactions. Finally, at age 18, it began to payoff. “I was at the gym in my hometown and I was working out,” he says. “This guy I was buddies with said, ‘You want to be a stand-up comic, right?’ ” Remember, at this point, Johnagin had only seen stand-up on TV. “You should come with me,” his friend said. “There’s an open mic in St. Louis.” Upon his second visit to the club, he was on stage and has been a stand-up ever since, appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman several times. Tommy Johnagin performs at Go Bananas Thursday-Sunday; tickets are $10-$16. 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, 513-984-9288, gobananascomedy.com.