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Josh Johnson on Choosing a Therapy Session as the Background for His Special and 'Cancel Culture'

Emmy-nominated writer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and a former performer on TheTonight Show Josh Johnson has released his new stand-up special Josh Johnson: Up Here Killing Myself.

Now streaming on Peacock, the Louisiana native finds comedic relief in discussing the conversations he has with his therapist. For an hour, he talks about his relationships with money, his father, and a stalker.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to the comedian about the title of his special, advice for Black men on seeking a therapist and "cancel culture."

Where did the idea of the background being at your therapist's office come from?

It was something I reached out to the director about, Jacob Menache. I talked to him early on about the special and about my intentions, what I wanted to do with it. We felt that having the interstitials conveyed the theme, the clearest, and was the best way for an audience to understand what was going on and not have too much or too little and everything. Like, we do it just enough that you don't forget about it, but we do it little enough that it still feels like a comedy special.

What advice do you have for Black men who are seeking a therapist?

Do you feel comfortable with them? Is that someone that you find you can really speak to? And that comfort, is that comfort coming from you not being comfortable in general or you not being comfortable around them? Do you enjoy their approach? Because it's almost like dating to a certain degree where just because you go to someone doesn't mean you have to stick with that person for the rest of time. Sometimes a therapist's sensibilities aren't a fit for you, or sometimes you just all by yourself don't necessarily, whether it's a vibe or whatever, you don't feel comfortable talking to this person. It doesn't mean therapy is not for you, and it doesn't mean there's not therapist out there for you. So I think that asking yourself if you feel comfortable with them is one main thing. And I'd also say to remember that even if you feel some type of way remembering that it's a private thing. I'm not saying anyone should be ashamed. I'm definitely not ashamed of the times that I've been to therapy and everything or talking to someone or seeking help. But you don't have to broadcast out there if you don't want to. It's just as private as any other type of doctor, and you're getting taken care of for something that's just as important as if you broke your leg.

Are you afraid of cancel culture?

No, I'm not really afraid. I don't know if there's anything to be afraid of. I think there's always going to be people that are going to willfully misunderstand you, but I think that as long as you took all of the time, care and attention that you needed to be understood as best as possible... Like I'm phrasing this in the way I am, and I'm not going to get tripped up along the way by anybody's misinterpretation. Then you've done everything that you can. I don't know if it's not productive and it's not healthy to sort of live in some constant fear of a boogie man that honestly is like, not really going to come for you. It's a tough thing to navigate because when people talk about cancellation and stuff, the only people that get affected by any sort of cancel culture or whatever are people who aren't famous.

Check out the full interview below.


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