Thursday , May 24, 2018

Not a joke: Jo Koy is coming home

JO KOY, one of the most phenomenal comedians, is coming home to the Philippines, and this is not a joke! Joseph Glenn Herbert, most well known as Jo Koy, is a Filipino-American stand-up comedian, who will be performing at the Theatre at Solaire in Manila on Nov. 30, and the Atlantic Hall at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino on Dec. 3.

From his stand-up performances in a Las Vegas coffee house, Jo Koy has definitely come a long way as he is now one of the comedians known best for selling out comedy clubs and theaters across the US with his infectious, explosive energy onstage. This year, Jo Koy broke the record for most tickets sold by a single artist at The Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu with 11 sold-out shows, selling over 25,000 tickets in Hawaii.

Today, the comedian tours the world, and can be heard as a weekly guest on the popular podcast “The Adam Carolla Show.” Jo Koy also hosts the weekly podcast “The Koy Pond” on Podcast One. He can be seen on Kevin Hart’s and Lionsgate’s platform as the host of the non-scripted series “Inglorious Pranksters.”

In 2005, Jo Koy had the “opportunity of a lifetime,” when he performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” He became one of a select few comics to receive a standing ovation on the show. Since then, he has had two highly rated and successful comedy specials on Comedy Central: “Don’t Make Him Angry” and “Lights Out.”

This year, the 46-year-old comic released his third stand-up special, “Jo Koy: Live from Seattle” as a Netflix Original.

Jo Koy has also appeared on over 100 episodes of “Chelsea Lately” as a season regular roundtable guest.

Other appearances include: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “@Midnight with Chris Hardwick,” Spike TV’s “Adam Carolla & Friends Build Stuff Live,” “Celebrity Page TV,” “World’s Funniest Fails,” “The Joy Behar Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Jamie Foxx: Laffapalooza.”

Aside from being internationally acclaimed, Jo Koy has drawn the attention of the comedy industry and the Filipino community because of the honesty in his jokes which is a breather from the usual political satires. He talks about the inner workings of a Filipino family and the culture ingrained in him by his Filipina mother.

Humor for most does not come naturally and it is pure talent which distinguishes those who make a living out of it from those who sit in the audience. For Jo Koy, this talent was honed because of his grandmother’s encouragement. From school talent shows and impromptu performances for his family and friends, Jo Koy rose to become a professional stand-up comedian and is now headlining all over the world.

“I knew I wanted to be a comic back when I was 11 years old. I knew I wanted to do stand-up when I got out of high school. Imediately after I graduated, I just started getting up on stage and until now I haven’t stopped,” said Jo Koy in a phone patch interview with SunStar Cebu.

The well-acclaimed comic, however, did not get to where he is at the moment without surpassing a few obstacles in his way. His mother, whom Jo Koy often talks about in his jokes, did not support his chosen career in the beginning. In fact, in one of his jokes, he talked about how low grades could possibly kill his mother, which included the story of his mother feeling faint after seeing his grades.

“She didn’t want me to be a comic at all, even when my stand-up career started taking off. She was still very reluctant to support me. She just really wanted me to buckle down, go to college and get a nine-to-five job. It took a long time to finally convince my mom to like what I was doing,” said Jo Koy.

Jo Koy pursued his comic career by sustaining part-time jobs.

“To support my comedy, I always had to work at a mall or at a shoe store, a Footlocker or something like that. I always had part-time jobs. I called them disposable jobs because every time we got a gig, I always had to quit my job to get to that gig. I never really buckled down to get a full-time job. It was always a part-time job,” said Jo Koy.

Despite all the troubles to become a stand-up comedian, Jo Koy pursued what he knew he wanted to do. So for struggling comics out there, he wishes to send a message: “Hone your craft and be original. Never be scared to say what's on your mind. But most importantly, be funny because your fans are going to let you know if you’re funny or not. That’s the honesty about being a comic; the fans will let you know right away if they like you or not. Tough job, but I enjoy doing it.”