Ray J. Johnson

Ugh. That thing was funny for about three seconds. — Krusty, “Krusty Gets Kancelled”

Hey, Johnson!

Though actor/comedian Bill Saluga has had a long and storied career, he will perhaps go down in history as the man behind Ray J. Johnson, a stage-side character who eventually vaunted to stardom as a television pitchman.

Yes, it’s quite horrible. But not horrible enough that the public’s interest wasn’t piqued. Saluga wisely showed restraint in not milking every last laugh he could out of the “Johnson” schtick, instead using the bit as a mere gateway to his wider act, which — displaying equal parts hilarity and fearlessness, with a pinch of pathos — won over audiences through the decades so that Saluga today is widely regarded as a comedy forefather. I’m such a dick.

But, hey, enough of my yakkin’. Let’s boogie (to Ray J. Johnson’s disco single)!

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