Why hire John Pinney?
A professional boxer at age nineteen, he had 42 pro-fights and became the "Southern Middle Weight Champion." He was suspended from boxing after losing a fight on a bad decision because he remarked, "I knew I was in trouble when the judges had seeing eye dogs." After being hit over the head for eight years he realized he had a different way of thinking and become a comedian. Now John is available for live performances, conventions, and private parties.
Johnny Pinney, professional comedian, ex-carnival worker and ex-bookstore detective isn’t one to take himself too seriously. “When I fought, I was 160 pounds of muscle. I’m still 160 pounds of muscle, I just added 60 pounds of meat by-product.”
This easy-going outlook has helped Pinney take his comedy tour across the U.S., Canada, Guam and Europe. He shares family-style stories, although he could never be described as your typical-looking storyteller.
Pinney packs a 220-pound punch into his 5’10” frame. He sports a pug nose and a crooked smile that makes you initially wonder if you’ll be his next knockout victim. He takes the stage like a boxer takes the ring. But surprisingly, rather than intimidate onlookers, Pinney scores in his ability to charm an audience.
“Most boxers have a very dark sense of humor. I’m more like the favorite uncle at Thanksgiving who tells funny stories to the kids.”
A man of Irish descent, Johnny Pinney follows in the footsteps of something his forefathers would call a “shanachie”. “A shanachie,” he explains, “would travel from village to village throughout the countryside teaching children, conveying news and telling stories.”
Pinney has often been compared to Will Rogers for his informal approach to comedy and his acerbic wit: On lacking change at a pay toilet, he remarks “If a man can’t get into a locked bathroom stall, he doesn’t have to go bad enough.”
But why did Johnny Pinney, the Southern Middleweight Champion hang up his gloves in 1980 to be a comedian? “I lost a close bout and remarked to the press that ‘I knew I was in trouble when I saw the judges had seeing-eye dogs’. I was immediately suspended from boxing.”
Tough break, but it certainly looks like this boxing loss has become comedy’s gain.