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Up-and-coming performer Anjelah Johnson makes a splash with debut Comedy Central special

Still fairly unknown, comedienne Anjelah Johnson is getting her first Comedy Central special, “That’s How We Do It” debuting Dec. 28 at 8 p.m.

Johnson, formerly a Raiders cheerleader, is more than meets the eye comedically. Her material is universal and accessible, and she’s good with character voices. Johnson draws heavily on various Hispanic or Mexican accents to portray family members in her bits.

Most of Johnson’s material is personal but very light in tone -- items such as parents not understanding that a cell phone voice mail isn’t like a home answering machine, or growing up poor with hand-me-downs and cheap Christmas presents. It’s also fairly girlie without falling too much into the clichés of “differences between men and women.” For example, a trip to the nail salon, complete with an Asian worker’s voice.

Johnson has fun with having been a cheerleader, if it’s even possible to be self-deprecating about that. Some of her act is also about “livin’ out loud,” as it’s called -- getting into clubs, flirting, hip-hop music, etc.

Some of Johnson’s vocal inflections, especially the way she’ll let her voice trail off, sound like Kristen Wiig of SNL. Some of the characters she brings out, such as the Asian nail salon lady, or a black stewardess, are ones she has had success with in a stint on “Mad TV” or with online videos.

With this special, Johnson has achieved a fuller-length calling card, and definitely shows potential as a comedienne, to go along with her energy as a performer, seen in a dance segment closing the show.




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