A native of Iowa, Jake Johannsen spent three years at Iowa State University dabbling in veterinarian science and chemical engineering before moving to San Francisco and trying his hand at comedy. Jake sought to make his comedic mark on the city at a time when San Francisco was fostering the likes of young talents such as Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Carvey. Jake made his own comedy debut during an open mike night at San Francisco’s Cobbs Comedy Club. Four years later, in 1986, he won the 11th Annual San Francisco Stand-Up Comedian Competition.
A self-confessed raconteur of weird stories, it’s no wonder that Jake is one of David Letterman’s favorite comics. With over thirty five Letterman appearances under his belt (not to mention a handful of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Politically Incorrect gigs) Jake is no stranger to late night television. His late night appearances gave Jake the exposure he needed to land his very own HBO comedy special, This’ll Take About An Hour. Jake received incredible reviews, strong ratings, and a Cable Ace Award nomination for Best Writing in an Entertainment Special. People Magazine rated the special as one of the “ten best television shows of the year,” and TV Guide named it one of the “50 Funniest Moments of TV.”
Jake is also making his mark on the feature world. Jake appeared on the big screen next to Bruce Willis in the Alan Rudolph film Breakfast of Champions. Jake first worked with Rudolph on the film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, in which he co-starred in a cast that included Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott.
Jake’s bizarre take on life and his uniquely intelligent style have made him a regular at comedy clubs all over the country and a former host of Comedy Central’s Two Drink Minimum. Jake has had numerous television appearances as well as his own Comedy Central ½ hour special. His latest Comedy Special entitled “i Love You” is currently airing on Showtime.
New York City’s number one comedian. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Wali was and still is an accomplished drummer. Not only currently being a member of the Central Park Djembe drummers. Wali has played in R&B, Pop, Funk and Jazz bands. Wali toured with the award winning Lawrence Bagwell Gospel Choral before graduating High School. And he was the youngest to ever join the New England Jazz Society. After College, Wali was working on being the best Architect New England has ever known. But the calling for show business was too strong. He played in bands, did session work, but that wasn’t enough. He needed more.
Always having a keen sense of humor, his parents urged him to try stand-up comedy. His first time on stage Wali was convinced that he had bombed, but the manager paid him and asked him to come back every week as a featured act. Wali Collins has been going strong ever since. Wali moved to New York City to work on a show for Comedy Central called “Stand-up Stand-up”. He hosted the largest funniest, most varied collection of stand-up comedians in the world.
He was nominated three years in a row as “College Campus Entertainer of the Year”. Wali is also the most sought after comedian for corporate events. IBM, L’Oreal, and Johnson and Johnson, FEDEX are just four of the many companies.
Wali Collins is a regular at all of the main stream Comedy clubs in New York City and Los Angeles. He even headlines and tours at Comedy clubs in of all places, Holland.
Collins’ television stand-up credits include HBO, ABC’s “The View”, Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd”, Commentary on VH1, to name a very few. David Letterman caught Wali’s act and recruited him to warm-up for his show. Later that season Wali was a featured performer on the “Late Show with David Letterman”. Quoted by GQ magazine “Wali’s true purpose becomes evident”.
What about acting? Wali’s one of the lead actors in Independent films, “Clair Makes It Big” and the award winning “Maybe Means No”. He’s also landed a role in the Jerry Brucheimer film “Coyote Ugly”. Walialso was featured in the hit sitcom “Spin City” and is the host of the new PBS series special, “Wild TV”. If Wali’s face looks familiar to you it’s because you’ve seen him in endless amount of national television commercials.
In the words of Robert Klein, “Wali Collins is versatile, smart and very, very funny.” Wali is headed only one way, Stardom. If you haven’t seen Wali do his thing in either stand up or acting, you’re missing out on one gifted man.