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"I think it’s infinitely more difficult for someone to deliver funny live performances, consistently, than to be funny on the Internet," Greg Johnson told the Park Slope Stoop last year. "Internet comedy culture can be, like, a funny Tweet, a funny GIF, or, like, “Harry Bit Me!” And that’s great. But in terms of performance, there are very few people in the world ... who can capture an audience’s attention and make them laugh for 20 or 40 or 60 minutes at a time." I imagine this is all very true, which would make his longtime presence in the local stand-up scene—from back in the day at defunct LES hauntRififi to routine performances at Union Hall—one horribly long rehearsal for SNL. He certainly seems to put a premium on the live aspect of comedy (though he's quite good at the Internet stuff too) and has sharpened his "deal-with-whatever-comes-your-way" skills as co-host of the cult-favored Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show. It won the 2007 Emerging Comics of New York award for "Best Variety Show," so that's something. And he has that malleable, "Everyday Guy from Cleveland" Sudeikis-like appeal, so that's another thing.
Hey, SNL casting team who will undoubtedly read this: Johnson's pal Larry Murphy is another candidate worth looking into, as he has no problem morphing into straight-up weirdo characters and comes with an arsenal of voices.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.