Who Do I Think I Am?: Stories of Chola Wishes and Caviar Dreams (Paperback)
This hilarious and thoughtful memoir from comedy legend Anjelah Johnson-Reyes explores questions of identity, belonging, and her two dreams as a kid: to be an actress and to be a chola.You may know Anjelah Johnson-Reyes for her viral sketch "Nail Salon" (over 100 million views globally) or her beloved MadTV character Bon Qui Qui, but it's her clean humor and hilarious storytelling that make her one of the most successful stand-up comedians and actresses today.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anjelah recounts funny stories from her journey—from growing up caught between two worlds (do chips and salsa go with potato salad?) to unexpectedly embracing faith (“I love Jesus, but I will punch a ‘ho”) to her many adventures in dating (she may or may not have accepted dates simply for the food). Through it all, Anjelah transforms from a suburban-adjacent kid with Aquanet-drenched hair into a devoted Christian who abstains from drinking and premarital sex, into a mall-famous Oakland Raiders cheerleader, and then an actually famous comedian traveling the world and meeting people from all-walks of life, including Oprah. No biggie. (Huge biggie.) As she travels the world, Anjelah has eye-opening experiences, and she morphs from square, rigid Anjelah into “Funjelah,” and learns that she can still ride with Jesus without squashing the other parts of her personality.
Anjelah's stories explore subjects such as navigating your racial identity, finding your place in the world, chasing your crazy dreams, embracing the messiness of an evolving faith, and searching for belonging and meaning. Through her journey, Anjelah gets closer to discovering her true identity and encourages readers to have the audacity to dream big.
About the Author
Anjelah Johnson-Reyes is currently one of the most successful stand-up comics touring today, selling out theaters and clubs across the country. Well, not today, because global pandemic, but today-adjacent. Maxim Magazine hailed the comedian and actress as “uproariously funny” (weird they didn’t write “unapologetically sexy,” but okay), and Time Out Chicago described her shows as “filled with almost non-stop laughter.”
Anjelah, born and raised in San Jose and of Mexican and Native American descent, has guest starred on shows such as Superstore, The Shield, Ugly Betty, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and About a Boy. She has also appeared in such films as Enough Said, Our Family Wedding, and Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, as well as voicing a role in The Book of Life. After a stint as a professional cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, Anjelah became an Internet sensation with her viral video, “Nail Salon.” That same year she joined the cast of MADtv as a series regular, which spawned another Internet sensation, “Bon Qui Qui.” This original character, a disgruntled fast food employee with no filter, has been viewed by over 85 million people worldwide. Anjelah also released a full album as Bon Qui Qui on the Warner Music label and performed multiple sold out tours. In June 2009, Anjelah recorded her first one-hour special for Comedy Central and Warner Bros. Records titled “That’s How We Do It.” Her second one-hour special “The Homecoming Show” aired on NUVOtv in July of 2013 and is currently available on Netflix. In 2014, Anjelah recorded her third hour special “Not Fancy,” which is a Netflix original, and is currently available for streaming. In 2017 she filmed her fourth hour-long special “Mahalo & Goodnight” in Honolulu, Hawaii. It premiered on the Epix channel and is now available for streaming on Hulu.
“How many years have we been quoting Anjelah’s comedy in our household? Too many to count! I’m a HUGE fan professionally and personally. What’s not to love about a woman who has a laugh-out-loud sense of humor and loves Jesus? SIGN ME UP!!”
—Candace Cameron Bure
“Anjelah is one of the greatest voices of our time. This book is what we all need.”—Amy Schumer
“Anjelah represents our community and our stories that are important, hilarious, and relatable to everyone. She’s awesome!”—Fluffy (Gabriel Iglesias)
"Anjelah Johnson-Reyes's first book isn't just good, it's a blazing tour-de-force: so smart, dazzlingly funny, disarmingly wise, and deeply tender--you won't know what hit you. The same intuition she has when she performs in a room crackles in every word here, yet she brings a whole different level of electricity, artistry, and intimacy in print. Because Who Do I Think I Am?, like Anjelah herself, exists at multiple intersections; it defies easy categorization. Memoir? Spirituality? Comedy? Pure magic is what it is. Read this fierce, hilarious marvel of a book."—Jonathan Martin, Author of How to Survive a Shipwreck and The Road Away from God
“The world is a better place because Anjelah works at her craft, brings a smile to our collective faces, and is continually (and consistently) herself. We all know she’s hilarious and daring…but she shows us in Who Do I Think I Am? that she is also brave with vulnerability and humble with sincerity. She is not trying to prove anything, not trying to impress anyone, not trying to force a bestseller…and that makes reading this book an absolute delight. Bravo my friend.”—Carlos Rodriguez, Founder & Director of The Happy Givers
“A book as funny, smart, and delightful as its author. I’ve had the good fortune of calling Anjelah my friend and watching her blossom through the years. This book will give you insight into what makes this woman so special. Enjoy!”—Valerie Bertinelli
"The very first comedy show I ever saw in LA was at The Improv, and it was headlined by none other than Anjelah Johnson. Her brilliant set made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my face. I found her energy and her comedy so relatable, I became an instant fan. Years later, I am so grateful to call her a friend. Her book is hilarious and enlightening and inspiring...just like Anjelah. And for those of us who have spent our lives feeling like we're caught between two worlds or two cultures, I am so happy someone like us is sharing her story so we can all feel a little less alone."—Melissa Fumero
“Anjelah’s story will make you laugh, cry, and feel inspired. I was moved by the way she evolved in her faith without losing her moral foundation. Her courage and charisma jump out at you in this book. It’s a definite must read!!!”—Brie Bella, WWE Superstar
“Anjelah had a huge impact on my career. She was the first headlining comic that took me on the road to open for her. I’m forever grateful for her. I loved reading her book and getting to learn how she got where she is at now. Congrats Anjelah!”—Nate Bargatze, stand-up comedian
“Anjelah has been one of my biggest inspirations. Her story is familiar to mine. Growing up with big dreams in a place where you couldn't achieve them. Without a lick of dance training because she just had that certain something. She made it to Hollywood, travels all over the world doing stand up, and makes the world laugh. The book is amazing and so is she!”—KevOnStage
"Three things to know about my girl, Anjelah: she loves Jesus, she has a hilariously saucy mouth, and she has a wildly adventurous mind and heart. What a joy to watch her soar to I've-met-Oprah-famous while still remaining authentically, audaciously Anjelah. That is who she is."—Jen Hatmaker, speaker, podcast host, and New York Times bestselling author of Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire
“Anjelah was making a name for herself before many of us had even started in comedy. Her perseverance and indomitable spirit are what make her not only a woman girls look up to but one of the purest and most genuine people I’ve met. I’ve learned a lot from her and I just love her so much.”—Iliza Schlesinger
“Inspiring, authentic, enlightening, and absolutely hilarious. Who Do I Think I Am? by my friend Anjelah Johnson-Reyes details her curious and humor-filled journey in a brilliantly impactful way. Prepare to have your own path emboldened, your limits challenged, and your growth stimulated, all while laughing out loud, literally, at every turn of the page.”—Touré Roberts, Author, Entrepreneur, Pastor of One LA
“Anjelah has chutzpah! This book is inspiring and relatable. For anyone who wants to know the secret of becoming successful while being true to who they are, Who Do I Think I Am? is the book for them. Anjelah is a force and this book will make you love her even more.” —Christina P., Comedian and Podcaster
"What an awesome read! I have toured with Anjelah for many years so I already knew many of these stories and the characters in them. Who Do I Think I Am?, gave me insight into these situations and people that I never had. Some of these stories I EXPERIENCED and we still laugh about to this day (Las Vegas corporate show)! I really enjoyed getting the backstory of my friend’s journey to success. If you love Anjelah like I do, you’re going to love this book!—Mal Hall, Standup Comedian
“If you don’t know Anjelah, you should! Her story is so relatable and real and beyond funny. Her timing, her material, her LIFE is all on the table and man it’s hilarious. Full of contradictions, she can make any life story funny! Her comedy makes us think differently about our lives and her energy is infectious!”—Eva Longoria
“Funny, moving, and inspiring.”—Loni Love, Comedian and author
“My friend and fellow comic, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, has been killing it on the standup stage for years, but there is so much more to her than just being funny. She’s kind, generous, thoughtful, devout, and accepting. She’s endured hardships and success throughout her life but has handled both with humility and grace, and of course, humor. In her book, Anjelah shares her journey in such a way that is interesting and funny, but it makes you root for her even more. I really enjoyed getting to know her better through her vulnerability in the book, and like always, she had me cracking up so much that people around me thought I was choking. I even had to thwart an attempted heimlich maneuver from a concerned citizen sitting next to me on a plane as I read it. I know it’s not easy trying to succinctly tell your whole life story, but she knocked it out of the park.”—Fortune Feimster, Comedian
“Anjelah is a singular voice in comedy and storytelling. I feel seen and represented by her work and am so grateful for her talents.”—America Ferrera
“Those that thought they knew Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, don’t. Her story is an amazing story of the American dream come true. Thank you for sharing your truth with us.”—Sinbad
"Who Do I Think I Am? by Anjelah is an incredible read for anyone with a dream. Her inspirational humor is brilliant. I was encouraged and inspired by Anjelah's courage and reminded that dreams are possible for every person regardless of where they come from."—Richard Montanez, CEO of RPM Innocation, Creator of Hot Cheetos