Bill Saluga

William Saluga (born September 16, 1937) is an American comedian and founding member of the improvisational comedy troupe Ace Trucking Company. He has appeared on several television programs, including Seinfeld.

Bill Saluga
Birth nameWilliam Saluga
Born (1937-09-16) September 16, 1937 (age 83)
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television
GenresSketch comedy, improvisational comedy, character comedy
Subject(s)Self-deprecation, everyday life
Notable works and roles
  • Founding member of the Ace Trucking Company comedy troupe
  • Created the stage character Ray J. Johnson, Jr.

Youngstown, Ohio, native Saluga is best known for his cigar-smoking, zoot-suit-wearing television character Raymond J. Johnson Jr., famous for his catchphrase "You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me…"[1] The character then proceeds to list almost every conceivable permutation of his name before finishing with "…but you doesn't has to call me Johnson!"[2]

Raymond J. Johnson Jr.Edit

Saluga's shtick as Ray J. Johnson is to become annoyed when addressed as "Mr. Johnson," exclaiming in a loud voice, "My name is Raymond J. Johnson Jr. Now you can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me Junie, or you can call me Junior; now you can call me Ray J, or you can call me RJ, or you can call me RJJ, or you can call me RJJ Jr. . ." ultimately ending with, "but you doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"

The spiel received more widespread attention in the late 1970s after being used in a series of commercials for Miller Lite beer, and subsequently, in the early 1980s for Anheuser-Busch Natural Light beer. Saluga appeared alongside comedian/pitchman Norm Crosby echoing (in a roundabout way) Norm's advice to unknowing customers on how to more easily order the lengthily-named beer: "Well, y'doesn't hasta call it Anheuser Busch Natural Light Beer, and y'doesn't hasta call it 'Busch Natural.' Just say 'Natural!'" Saluga then later launches into the "You can call me Ray" routine after Crosby warns not to ask Johnson his name.[3]

Saluga, as Raymond J. Johnson Jr., was also a frequent guest on Chuck Barris' The Gong Show during 1977 and 1978.

During 1977-78, Saluga appeared regularly as Raymond J. Johnson Jr. on Redd Foxx's eponymous variety show. Saluga as Johnson also made appearances on This Is Tom Jones, Laugh-In and The David Steinberg Show.[4]

BibliographyEdit

  • Saluga, Bill (1982). Bill Saluga's Name Game Book. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0553207545.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Colby, Paul (2002). The Bitter End: Hanging Out at America's Nightclub. Cooper Square Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0815412069.
  2. ^ Shales, Tom (February 4, 1979). "You Can Call Me Famous". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ allcommercials (2009-02-05), You Can Call Me Ray, retrieved 2017-11-25
  4. ^ "Redd Foxx Show : Redd Foxx Comedy Hour". TVParty.com. 1978-01-26. Retrieved 2014-07-13.

External linksEdit