Man up With Jake Johnson


You probably know Jake Johnson as Nick Miller, the grumpy bartender from FOX’s hit show, New Girl. But in real life, it’s a completely different story. Johnson is actually a grumpy actor and a former bartender, who now plays one on TV. See the difference? Yea, we didn’t either.

After talking to him for just two seconds it’s clear that no one does cynicism like this Chicago-bred smartass. But don’t be fooled by the bitter exterior—Johnson somehow manages to make stubborn and sarcastic seem charming, and he’s definitely grateful for his success…especially when it comes in the form of a free drink.

Along with all the free booze he now gets, he’s landed a great gig, a hot (and patient) wife, and has developed a pretty sensible workout routine. This guy is clearly doing something right, and we want in on it. Read on for more of Johnson’s sarcastic take on life, living with girls, and a special kind of guy love.


On Roommates:
“In terms of living with girls who are just your friends, I’m gonna say 100% yes…or 100% no, depending on the individual. If you like the girl, she’s your friend, and you think she’d be a good roommate then go for it. If she seems like a psychopath, then I would say do not go for it.”

“I have a girl roommate—she’s my wife. There is no adult male that I would want to live with. I’m a 34 year old man…some would say I’m stuck in my ways. If I have a child and it’s a boy, that’s a man I want to live with until he’s a man, and then I don’t want to live with him anymore. At this point the only way I will ever live with another adult man is if I go through a divorce, have a bit of a nervous breakdown, and kinda have to build it back up.”

On Women:
“I love my wife. Hopefully I never get divorced. But if I do, it might be funny. I’ll make a reality show about it. It will be called ‘Strike Three.’ What are the three strikes? Well, you’ll have to watch the show.”

“A former roommate and I used to work at a catering company. If one of us brought home a girl the other one would put on a little catering outfit and bartend the evening, and go by the name of Carl. Our dates thought it was a really special thing, to be in this dumpy Hollywood apartment, and have a personal bartender who would look away when he wasn’t being talked to.”

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On Friendship:
“I don’t want to use the term “bromance” because I’m not a fan of terms like that. I can’t stand “man crush” either. All that stuff really kinda grosses me out a little bit. I don’t like when a straight man says “you know who my man crush is?” You shouldn’t have a man crush if you’re straight. If you are gay—awesome! Have a man crush, let’s talk about it. But every time I see an interview, and it’s like “we asked Brad Pitt who his man crush is” I think, why would you do that? What’s happening? That being said, I do have a lot of great male friends that I spend a lot of time with.”

On Fitness:
“I’m not a guy who ever needs to be seen in his underwear in a photo shoot, I just need to make sure that if someone bumps into me, I don’t fall over. That’s my Men’s Fitness goal. Everybody just wants to lose weight, trim down, and tone. That’s not my style. I like to eat a lot, drink a lot, and lift weights.”

“If some drunkard gets the wrong idea, I want to be sure I have a good chance of defending myself. The problem is if the guy is really tough, you need some cardio. You need to be fast enough to run away from them. So I try to run a couple of miles every day on the treadmill, or I take my dog Louie for a run. Because every once in a while you’ll come across one of these mixed martial arts guys that are 5’7, 135 lbs, and you’ll think you have a chance of winning this fight, and you don’t. Thats why I do the cardio. I need to be able to run for two miles so this guy can forget why he wanted to kick my ass and goes back to the bar and I’ll just keep running home.”

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On Sportmanship:
“I play a lot of basketball. I’m an underside power forward—that sounds really wrong if you don’t follow basketball.

“Basically, I’m not that fast. I’m not a great dribbler. I’m a hustler. We have a basketball hoop on our stage and my coworkers have called me Andres Nocioni…They say my game is Andres Nocioni-esque. Which to me is a big compliment. He’s a professional basketball player for Spain. He’s not very talented but he works very hard and he’s very rough. Most of the players I play basketball with are a lot better than me, they can jump higher and shoot better and are very competitive. But I still enjoy it because I really think that I have the ability to win.”

“In terms of the NBA, I am a Bulls fan. I think Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the league. I enjoy watching him because he’s the only guy who’s got Michael Jordan’s true killer instincts.”

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On Hard Work:
“I used to bartend weddings when I was working in catering. I’ve got a lot of respect for bartenders because it’s a very hard job. Also a lot of times, I’m given a lot of free drinks by bartenders because they watch the show. To those bartenders, and any bartenders who read this, ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back in the tip, Big Daddy’. We can make this work.


Catch more of Jake Johnson in New Girl on Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX and in the upcoming comedy Drinking Buddies.

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