When a Comedy Central rep reached out to comedian Josh Johnson on Twitter last October about appearing on the new season of Adam Devine's House Party, he treated it the way most people might expect a comedian would.
"I thought it was a joke," Johnson says. "I thought it was like a spam. I didn't know what it was. I didn't think it was real. I thought a comedian friend was playing a joke."
However, it wasn't the sick work of a fellow comedian trying to crush another comic's dreams with a very expensive practical joke. It was real, even if it seemed very unreal to Johnson.
The proof will air at 11:30 p.m. Thursday on Comedy Central. Johnson and his friends and fans will watch the episode when it airs at the Republic Street Bar in Fort Worth.
Johnson flew out to Hawaii to tape his episode back in December and got to spend three days on Oahu's North Shore at a time when everyone back home in Dallas was huddling around space heaters for warmth. He taped his episode with New York comedian Brendan Eyre and Houston native Kevin Iso.
Johnson says he didn't have time to be nervous about his set or his scripted scene with the Workaholics star.
"I think the whole experience was too surreal for it to be nerve-racking because the whole time, it didn't feel like it was happening," Johnson says. "It wasn't until last week that it started to set in."
Of course, Johnson was in Hawaii and taping a well-honed set for a great crowd that's about to be seen by millions of people. He says he had an incredible time, even when he was technically working.
"Everybody was so nice, the entire Comedy Central production team, everybody was so chill there," he says. "There was almost no way you could be super nervous because it's such a laid-back experience."
And yes, there were some parties. And drinking.
"After the night we filmed our stand-up sets, there was a party and there were keg stands and libations involved," he says. "It was that kind of atmosphere and you woke up in the morning and even though you were still hungover, you went to work. It was a party environment but these people were insane. I've never seen something move that fast and that smoothly."
Johnson not only got to watch the sets his fellow comics taped but he also had a chance to watch Devine work the crowd in between takes.
"I was actually blown away by how good [Devine] is at both stand-up and acting," Johnson says. "He made me feel very inadequate by comparison. He's a great person. The guy's like an improv machine. He can come up with new lines as you're filming him and it's always good, which is pretty rare."
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Johnson says he hasn't received an advanced copy of the show or seen the episode yet. So he'll be seeing it for the first time on Thursday just like everyone else watching their TVs tonight.
"I think just like with anything, like when my album came out last year, your brain goes crazy with the wild possibilities of failure," he says. "My brain is just clanging around in all different ways this could be horrible, and until it passes, I think that's just the worst of it, the plethora of shitty scenarios, because in your mind, everything can go wrong. I think that's definitely the worst part.
"I'm legitimately excited about it more than I'm afraid of how people will receive it," he says. "It's definitely like drinking from the holy grail of stand-up or at least a sip out of it."
Watch Josh Johnson's stand-up set tonight at 11:30 p.m. on the third season of Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central.