About John

Early Days

I grew up in the Orthodox Jewish Seward Park neighborhood. Our family were the only non Jews on our block. We were constantly having to turn off electric appliances that some kid had accidentally switched on during the Sabbath or wait five days to get paid for a baby sitting gig because it was some holiday - on the other hand we got amazing deals on furniture.


I went to Sharples junior high and Franklin high school. If you were white and went to those schools nobody is allowed to tell you that they had a worse educational experience. Sorry it's just the rule. Other students in my class were the cartoonist Lynda Barry, the choreographer Mark Morris, and Kenny Gorelick or as he calls himself now: Kenny G. Kenny was a good friend of mine. I actually get pissed when I hear people making fun of him. Every comic has a joke about Kenny. It's like growing up with Monica Lewinsky or Carrot Top.


I went to the UW during the birth of the women's movement. Just before I went there it was all free love and the 60's and flower power. After I left there was the Madonna style "Sex positive empowerment feminism" which means you run around in underwear. When I was there the women wore army fatigues, didn't shave their legs (or anything else) and screamed slogans about patriarchy. I worked for the student newspaper where I found a bunch of self-loathing, hard drinking, Bukowski wannabes. It was heaven.

Almost Live!

After college I joined the staff of the newly founded Rocket Magazine and spent a few years interviewing comatose rockstars backstage. I quickly learned that if you loved somebody's music you never wanted to meet them in person. If you did, you could never listen to that music again without visions of them or their handlers screaming at you and throwing something at you running through your head. After a few years of this KING tv called. They were doing a local music show and wondered if somebody there would care to do a weekly wrap-up of the local music scene. I said "Sure".

I started doing my "Rocket Report" segment. After a few months the program director thought I might have something to contribute to another show they were developing which eventually became known as Almost Live. I did sketches while Ross Shafer, the original host, interviewed local and occasionally national celebrities. It was a local version of the David Letterman show. After five years Ross got a big opportunity in LA, I was made the host and we turned Almost Live into a sketch comedy show. That version of the show played ten years. Then the cast was fired but the show kept running...and running, and running. It's been on every week for over twenty years at this point...time flies

1990 GoodWill Conference

All access press pass to the goodwill games. The Canadian skaters were hot

John dangling his naked children

Dangling my twin sons Riley and Elroy. They now jump off cliffs without looking and drive 103 on I-90.

John Keister on wikipedia.org

THE ROCKET on wikipedia.org

John at 5 years old

John at ten trying to make shitty haircut look more like the Beatles

Junior High

Just after getting ass kicked and lunch stolen

John at age 19

Explaining things, a life-long vocation

John at age 20

Looking stoned but actually just really bored.

John at age 21

I started combing over in Highschool