The Filipino-American stand-up comedian was given the golden opportunity to host the Golden Globes-learn more about his performance that stirred up controversy and why some celebrities have defended him.
The Golden Globes is one of the most prestigious awards given to exemplary American television shows and movies. Hosting such an award show is a big feat for anyone’s career—hence, it was a splendid surprise when the Golden Globes announced that the Filipino-American Comic Jo Koy would be hosting the show. While his performance as a host stirred up some controversy, some celebrities had words of admiration to share.
The stand-up comic is known for performing in front of a live audience, which makes him no stranger to public speaking and engagement gigs. Furthermore, Jo Koy’s acts usually revolve around the satirical depiction of his daily life with his Filipino family. His schtick is where he acts out real-life encounters with his mom with a heavy and thick “free-of-the-boat” Filipino accent. Moreover, one of his most famous acts is where he shouts his name, mimicking his mom’s accent—”JOSEP” as he shouts.
Hiring a comedian to host an awards ceremony is a usual practice. Chris Rock hosted the Oscars recently, and comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the Golden Globes itself multiple times. However, Jo Koy is the first Filipino-American to host an awards ceremony that big, which makes this opportunity special.
Jo Koy approached the hosting task just like all the comedians who hosted award shows, by telling jokes. He goes on to host the event—cracking jokes as usual. However, his jokes were not received well by the crowd inside and outside the venue. His jokes about Taylor Swift having screen time in the NFL, Barbie being a movie about dolls with huge chests, and Oppenheimer as a silver-screen adaptation of a memoir. These were some of the jokes that left a sour taste in the audience’s mouth.
Negative comments flooded social media as the Filipino-American comedian’s jokes were not landing. However, this does not stop others from defending the stand-up comic’s performance from the hateful comments. Howard Stern, a prominent media personality in America, is one of the people who defended Jo Koy. He said in one of his radio shows that he felt bad for the comedian because he only had 10 days to prepare for the hosting gig. “I have talked to Jimmy [Kimmel] about this, and he did such a great job with the Academy Awards, but he prepared for like–six months,” he added.
Aside from Stern, Whoopi Goldberg also came into Jo Koy’s defense. The award-winning actress acknowledges the difficulty of hosting huge award shows. “I love Jo Koy. He makes me just crazy because he’s funny. I don’t know whether it was the room. I don’t know whether the jokes… But I do know that he is as good as it gets when it comes to stand-up” she said.
Jo Koy in an interview with GMA3 the comedian expressed his thoughts on the backlash he received. “it’s a tough room. It was a hard job, I’m not going to lie…I’d be lying if [I said] it doesn’t hurt. I hit a moment there where I was like, ‘Ah.’ Hosting is just a tough gig,” he said. He also added that had only 10 days to write his monologue. “It was a crash course. I feel bad, but I got to still say I loved what I did,” he adds.
His hosting performance gained the applause of another American comedian, Steve Martin. The five-time Grammy Award winner expressed his thoughts on Threads, saying that even he had a hard time hosting a live awards show in 2010. “So, Congratulations to Jo Koy, who took on the toughest gig in show business, hit, missed, was light on his feet, and now has twenty minutes of new material for his stand-up,” he posted.
Banner photo via Instagram @jokoy.