Sam Johnson, Class of 1981

Posted on November 13th, 20187:55 pm


Sam Johnson, Class of 1981

It might be hard to imagine that publication of an underground newspaper that nearly got a student suspended could be the root of a successful career. But that was just the case for comedy writer Johnson, who would become one of the twisted minds behind “Beavis and Butthead” and pen scripts for the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Frasier.” Johnson truly did cut his comedy-writing teeth at Central. In addition to the sophomoric underground paper that landed him in hot water, he wrote a humor column as editor of The Register and performed comedy skits in the Road Show. At Yale, Johnson majored in English, performed in music and theater and wrote humor pieces on the side. Soon after college he landed a job as writer and editor at National Lampoon magazine. From there he wrote for animated “Beavis and Butthead,” also co-writing two books featuring the dim-witted duo and the pilot episode of its spinoff series, “Daria.” Over the past two decades he’s shared writing and production credits on numerous situation comedies, among them “News Radio,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Hot in Cleveland” and the long-running “Frasier,” in the latter sharing in multiple Emmy nominations. Johnson continues to write in California, where he makes his home.