Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kim Johnson  

Pen Name: Kim "Howard" Johnson

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1955 in Ottawa, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Johnson was born and raised in Ottawa, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kim “Howard” Johnson has written several books on Monty Python as well as comic books for Marvel, DC, and Event Comics. Johnson first met the members of the Monty Python troupe in 1978 when he was the publisher of a Monty Python fanzine. He also appeared in ''Life Of Brian'', and once worked as John Cleese's personal assistant.Johnson and his wife, Laurie Bradach, own DoubleDare Books. He has also been a screenwriter, an award-winning newspaper writer, marketing director for a comic book company, radio newsman and feature reporter and magazine journalist.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The First 20 Years of Monty Python
ISBN: 0312033095

St. Martin's Griffin. 1989

Offers a wide-ranging appreciation of the group's work, featuring exclusive interviews, rare photographs, an episode guide to the television shows, and discussions of the books, records and stage shows they have produced

And Now For Something Completely Trivial
ISBN: 0859652084

Plexus Publishing Ltd. 1993

A compendium of facts, trivia, and quizzes provides background information on some of the Monty Python troupe's most famous skits, sketches, movies, characters, and more

Life Before and After Monty Python: The Solo Flights of the Flying Circus
ISBN: 0312086954

St Martins Pr. 1993

A look at the work of the members of the Flying Circus before and after their work together describes how they met, provides exclusive interviews, and discusses such films as A Fish Called Wanda, Brazil, Nuns on the Run, and The Fisher King. Original.

Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation
ISBN: 1566080037

Meriwether Pub. 1994

Want to learn the improv techniques that helped Mike Myers, Chris Farley, John Belushi, and many others along the road to TV and film stardom? Then let two esteemed founders of long-form improvisational theatre, Del Close and Charna Halpern, teach you the "Harold." This groundbreaking acting exercise emphasizes pattern recognition and subversion of the audience s expectations, which are important factors for making people laugh without ever telling a joke. It involves six to seven players and many kinds of scenes: games, monologues, songs, skits and more, all of which are bound to keep both actors and audience members guessing. The Harold is non-linear entertainment that remembers everything and wastes nothing the key to successful improvising and has become a standard in comedy clubs and improv theatres around the globe.

The First 28 Years of Monty Python, Revised Edition
ISBN: 0312169337

St. Martin's Griffin. 1999

The ultimate guide for Python fans is back, newly revised for the nineties. The years since the publication of the first edition have brought a great deal of change for the Python alumni-most notably most celebrated postgraduate successes: A Fish Called Wanda, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Disney's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

This revised edition also contains all of the original material (dead parrots, fish-slapping, silly walks, Knights Who Say Ni, etc.) that made the first edition such a success! The First 280 Years of Monty Python celebrates the group's career with exclusive interviews, rare photographs, and an episode guide detailing the original TV shows. It's a must-have item for any Python fan.

Superman: True Brit (Graphic Novels)
ISBN: 1401200230

DC Comics. 2006

In a new twist on the legend of Superman, the future superhero is raised in a small English town by adoptive parents who teach him to hide his powers, but his job as a tabloid reporter may be in jeopardy unless he chooses to go public.

The Funniest One in the Room: The Lives and Legends of Del Close
ISBN: 1556527128

Chicago Review Press. 2008

Nichols and May. John Belushi. Bill Murray. Chris Farley. Tina Fey. Mike Myers. Stephen Colbert. For nearly a half century, Del Close—cocreator of the Harold, director for the Second City, San Francisco’s the Committee, and the ImprovOlympic, and “house metaphysician” for Saturday Night Live—influenced improvisational theater’s greatest comedic talents. His students went on to found the Groundlings in Los Angeles, the Upright Citizens Brigade in both New York and Los Angeles, and the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago. But this Pied Piper of improv has gone largely unrecognized outside the close-knit comedy community.

Del was never one to let the truth of his life stand in the way of a good story—and yet the truth is even more fascinating than the fiction. In his early years, he traveled the country with Dr. Dracula’s Den of Living Nightmares, knew L. Ron Hubbard before Scientology, and appeared in The Blob. Del cavorted with the Merry Pranksters, used aversion therapy to recover from alcoholism, and kicked a cocaine habit with the help of a coven of witches. And when he was dying, Del bequeathed his postmortem skull to the Goodman Theatre for use in its productions of Hamlet—a final legend that lives on, long beyond the death of the father of long-form improvisation.

Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday: My Life with Brian
ISBN: 0312533799

Thomas Dunne Books. 2008

“One of the finest and most accurate records of the making of the film that I have ever read. I just wished I could remember what actually went on then.”
--Terry Jones

“If anyone can remember more about making the Life of Brian than me, it’s Kim ‘Howard’ Johnson. He came, he saw, he got into costume. While the rest of us were fighting to upstage each other, Howard had a notebook hidden in his toga.”
--Michael Palin

“Since I’ve forgotten everything, it will be great to read what was actually going on in Tunisia. Just as long as I’m the most quoted, the most vital to the shooting, and the most interesting. You don’t have to mention my stunning good looks if you don’t want to.”
--Terry Gilliam

“Of all the books that I am planning to read in my dotage, there is none I am more looking forward to than Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday. . . . Not only does ‘Howard’ Johnson know more about Python than anyone outside of the IRS, he was in Tunisia for most of the filming of Life of Brian, and is the only person who captured every thoughtless remark, heated exchange, embarrassing detail, petty insult, and spiteful act of indifference.”
--John Cleese

“Kim ‘Howard’ Johnson was invented by Graham Chapman during an idle moment on the set of The Life of Brian. ‘Let’s invent a person,’ he said. ‘An American fan from the Midwest,’ chimed in Michael Palin, ‘who keeps a daily diary of Python filming. And then doesn’t publish it for years and years.’ How we laughed, and each day we’d make up stuff this ‘person’ would write about us.”
--Eric Idle

In 1978, Kim “Howard” Johnson ran away to join the circus---Monty Python’s Flying Circus, that is. The Pythons converged on Tunisia to film their timeless classic, Life of Brian, and Howard found himself in the thick of it, doubling for nearly all the Pythons, playing more roles in the film than John Cleese, and managing to ruin only one shot. He became the unit journalist, substitute still photographer, Roman soldier, peasant, Biggus Dickus’s double, near-stalker, and, ultimately, friend and confidant of the comedy legends. He also kept a detailed journal of what he saw and heard, on set and off, throughout those six weeks.

The result is a unique eyewitness account that reveals the Pythons at work and at play in a way that nothing else written about them could do. Now, for the first time ever, the inside story of the making of the film is revealed through the fly-on-the-castle-wall perspective. Even the most diehard fans will get a fresh take on the comedy greats through some never-before-revealed nuggets of Python brilliance: what John Cleese offered to exchange for suntan lotion

Terry Jones directing in drag

Michael Palin’s secret to playing revolutionaries and peasants

Graham Chapman gets naked

Terry Gilliam gets filthy

Eric Idle haggles

the secret of the Thespo-Squat

Mrs. Pilate

talk of George Harrison

the cake-flinging that jeopardized the production

badminton, impromptu cricket, and erotic frescoes

and the first-ever presentation of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

Here, uncensored, are the legendary Pythons in their prime. It was a period of comedy history that will never be duplicated, and Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday captures the wit, the genius, and the sheer silliness of the six men that comprised Python.

The Dare Club
ISBN: 098824523X

DoubleDare Books. 2012

Nita Conroy has relocated to the most boring town on the planet. That is, until would-be boyfriend Brad Keeley spills the beans about a secret group of girls known as The Dare Club. During her subterranean initiation below the high school, Nita overhears a plan by contractors and school officials to embezzle millions of dollars in grant money. When she is betrayed, The Dare Club's pranks become deadly serious. With the clock ticking, Nita will need the help of her new friends to expose the chilling plot--and hopefully survive long enough to snag a date to the Homecoming Dance. THE DARE CLUB is a group of high school girls drawn together by a love of adventure and an aversion to boredom. The members challenge each other with creative pranks to liven their tedious, small-town. It's all in good fun...until their antics land them in dangerous predicaments. When the chips are down, the girls have only their talents and wits to rely upon, as they struggle to uphold a basic club rule: Don't get caught!

The Last of the Time Police (The Time Authority) (Volume 1)
ISBN: 0988245264

DoubleDare Books. 2013

It’s "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" meets "Time Bandits" in this action-packed science fiction adventure. Stan and Jack are the last remaining members of the Time Authority, a government unit formed to correct disruptions to the established Time Line. Although time travel has been officially outlawed, Stan and Jack must make a quick time hop to 16th Century France to clean up some of their careless littering. Unbeknownst to them, however, Leonardo DaVinci stows away and tumbles out (along with the operating manual for the time machine) in 18th Century England. This disruption is discovered by the Time Authority, as it creates a Chronological Anomaly that begins advancing toward the future and threatens to wipe out all reality. The military and civilian leaders clash before agreeing on a scheme to build one final time machine and send Corporal Spumoni back to correct the Time Line, even though it may ruin any chance of Stan and Jack returning home. Stan and Jack must crash-land their time machine in 1848, where they discover, due to DaVinci’s influence, a futuristic Victorian England. After nearly colliding with Maggie Wells on her flying machine, she helps them hide their broken Time Hopper. Stan and Jack realize their only hope to fix their machine is to recover the operating manual, if it still even exists. But Special Services agents, led by Maggie’s former boyfriend James Burton, are constantly searching for them. And Jack’s growing attraction for Maggie is tempered by the thought that she could be his great-great-great-great-grandmother. Meanwhile, in 1768, DaVinci has become a favorite of King George III of England. His only rival is Benjamin Franklin. Jealous, with the help of Lord Frederick North, DaVinci frames Franklin for the theft of his own notebooks. But when DaVinci learns Britain’s plans for his own war machines, he realizes he must work with Franklin to stop Britain’s domination of the globe.