John Branyan is known for his comedy.
What most people probably don’t know is the real John Branyan. Someone who, believe it or not, is actually a pretty quiet guy and not the life of the party. While he has the talent to make audiences of thousands roll on the floor in laughter, he’s actually a quiet, humble family man.
Our own Ken Berg recently caught up with John to find out who is this comedian who’s taken the electronic cigarette industry by storm:
Ken: How did you find out about Green Smoke® electronic cigarettes?
John Branyan: I choose Green Smoke® based on a few things. The first is that there’s an actual Green Smoke® store here in Kokomo, Indiana where I live, and all they carry are Green Smoke® products. A few months ago I went in and asked the store owner how her business was doing, because I couldn’t imagine that there was enough business in my little town here to keep the shop afloat. But she told me that business was doing very well, and that products were flying off the shelves. She was very pleased with her business venture. So I figured I’d buy them right here in town to support local business which made me happy. And I think Green Smoke® makes one of the few electronic cigarettes that have a 2 piece design, which made it very easy to use.
Ken: When we started there were very few competitors that had the 2-piece design. With this design the atomizer is built directly into the cartridge you get a fresh atomizer each time [you replace the cartomizer]. Even as recently as a year ago a few of our main competitors were still selling that 3-piece design. There are companies that are still selling the old 3-piece design today even.
By now the competition has caught up to us in that regard but over the summer we completely upgraded our entire cartridge line with our new FlavorMax™ Cartomizers. They’re bigger and come in much better packaging so they’re even fresher. These are just the beginning of a number of new innovations and products we’re planning on bringing to shelves soon.
John: That’s great. It sounds like you guys are doing really well. I’m actually a little bit unusual I would imagine, because I’m actually not a smoker. So I have no complaints about your product. I’ve been using this for about a year, because it’s part of my act. My Smoking in Church act actually started with me using a rolled up piece of paper. I’d pull it out of my pocket and go through the list of places you don’t expect to see a cigarette etc.
When I heard of electronic cigarettes and saw the amount of vapor they gave I off, I thought “Hey, that’s pretty cool!” So I got one.
The electronic cigarette was a perfect thing to add to my act. The act was going great with the rolled up piece of paper, but the e-cig just took it to a whole new level. It’s actually now one of the highlights of my act. And after I finish I people asking me, “Where can I get that?!”
Anyways, I was using the e-cig in my act for a while and then my mother-in-law, who’s a smoker, tried it. She tried the Red Label Cartomizers and thought it was great! She took my e-cig from me and I had to go get another one!
Ken: Where are you from? And how did you get involved in comedy? Was it a slow process or were you always the funny kid in school?
John: I’m from Indiana, born and raised here my whole life.
Actually my entry into comedy was a slow process. Believe it or not in real life, off stage, I’m actually pretty shy and withdrawn. I’m not really the life of the party, although I always liked comedy. In 1990 I saw a standup comedian who I really didn’t think was very funny and I said to my wife, “I’m funnier than him.” She agreed, so I went down to the local comedy club. I had no idea what to expect. I did my first set thinking they would laugh me off stage, but I had a great response.
Eventually I was getting calls to do local shows and the comedy club hired me. All this time I was still working a day job. I was working in graphics at a print shop doing their design and layout.
While the people at the graphics place were very supportive of me and my comedy, eventually I started receiving invitations to shows in other states and the traveling was affecting my work at the graphics shop.
It was in 2000 that I left the job at the print shop and started doing comedy full time.
Was I ever the class clown? The truth is I love doing comedy, but only when I’m supposed to be doing it. I didn’t act out in class. But I love to make people laugh and when I got the chance – like in a book report or a speech I had to present to the class – I would cut loose.
Ken: Wow, that’s quite a story. I don’t know many comedians but I imagine that it’s certainly a unique way to get started in the field.
John: Typically it’s pretty hard to make a living doing this. But I think the difficulty most comedians have is finding a market where they can perform and make a decent living – and a comedy club is definitely not the place to do that.
Most comedians are in comedy clubs either because they have to be (because of their comedy’s content) or they don’t know any better. Because there are no rules in a comedy club you can say and do anything you want. And while that might appeal to a lot of people, the drawback is that you don’t make any money.
My market isn’t the comedy clubs, I do a lot of shows in churches. And believe it or not there’s a huge market for clean, family friendly comedy.
Ken: That’s actually one of the things we really enjoyed about your comedy is that it’s clean. So many comedians today, even if they’re not talking about something inappropriate they still use obscene language. It’s really like breath of fresh air to actually hear a clean comedian (especially a comedian that’s using our products). We had no inhibitions to get that out on the internet and promote your videos.
John: There’s a huge demand for quality family entertainment. I tour sometimes with another comedian named Tim Hawkins and he’s released a number of videos over the last few years and his popularity has grown tremendously from it. And when we go and do shows together it’s always a packed house and we’re talking anywhere from 2000-3000 people in a room to see some comedians. In the industry that’s unheard of. You can go to a comedy club and see guys who’ve been on TV and in movies and they don’t have 3000 people come out to see them in a week!
This just gives testimony to the size of the market for clean comedy. People know that when they come to see Tim or me, they can bring their kids and they can all sit together and laugh. There’s no danger, no one’s going to get their feelings hurt, we’re not going to make any crazy political statements and we don’t really make any crazy religious statements. It’s safe for everyone.
And that’s the truth of this market. Because no one’s doing comedy for these people. And we’re making a really good living doing this.
Ken: Wow, that’s great. I just wanted commend you for the great work that you’re doing. It’s really something that’s so needed and you’re filling that need.
John: Yeah you guys too. Green Smoke® offers great products and I’m very happy with it. You keep doing what you’re doing and good luck to you.
*Green Smoke® does not recommend its electronic cigarettes for non-smokers.