October 22, 1968
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Jay Johnston (born October 22, 1968) is an American actor and comedian best known for his work as a writer and cast member on the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show and for playing the role of Officer Jay McPherson on The Sarah Silverman Program.
Johnston was born and raised in Chicago and attended Columbia College Chicago, where he studied acting and comedy alongside other future Mr. Show alumni such as Dino Stamatopoulos, Scott Adsit and Eric Hoffman. After graduating college, Johnston later joined the Chicago Second City's touring comedy for a number of years and also performed in stage shows at the Annoyance Theater in Chicago.
Jay Johnston's contribution to Mr. Show were generally of the "evergreen" variety, dealing with more or less universal themes as opposed to the more political/socially satirical material that his fellow writers/performers contributed to the series. As such, Jay was responsible for many of the show's memorable sketches and characters. Johnston often incorporated physical comedy into the show, most notably in the "The Story of Everest" sketch, which features Johnston performing an astounding number of comical pratfalls.
Since the conclusion of Mr. Show, Johnston has made guest appearances in a number of television programs such as Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Parks and Recreation, as well as appearing in films such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
In 2006, Johnston regularly appeared as "The Boss" on FUEL TV's American Misfits, in the show's intro and outro sketch segments. The show is a half-hour mix of skateboarding and sketches, very much in the mold of the early 1990s skateboarding videos.
Johnston starred on all three seasons of Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program as "Officer Jay McPherson", the love interest of Sarah's sister Laura in the series. The series reunited Johnston with several Mr. Show cast members such as Brian Posehn, Scott Aukerman, B.J. Porter and Paul F. Tompkins. In 2011, Johnston appeared as a sketch regular in season two of the Comedy Central sketch comedy series Nick Swardson's Pretend Time.
Johnston, along with fellow Mr. Show regulars Dino Stamatopoulos and Scott Adsit, were part of the creative team (voicing, writing, directing and producing) behind Adult Swim's stop-motion animation series Moral Orel, which ran from 2005 to 2008. Johnston also provides voices for Stamatopoulos' current Adult Swim series, Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, which began airing in 2010.
- Jay Johnston at the Internet Movie Database
- In depth interview from November 14, 2007
- Interview about Snuz Brothers November 2007