Here’s How Jo Koy Became One Of The World’s Biggest Stand-Up Comics
Rising stand-up comedian and actor Jo Koy is known for his heritage-mining humor, and yes, he is selling out tickets like other famous stand-up comics. His unique style of making people laugh at their pants made him soar in stature and fame. He started his career in small-time cafes and didn’t get much attention, yet still, he never failed to make his audience laugh for decades.
Jo Koy started his non-pro act in 1994 in a small comedy club in Las Vegas and kept much the same in his entertainment. His energy was dynamic, and his charisma and persona made his fans hail him as the new comic of the people. One of his trademarks is when he started to talk about his mother and his racial background, and the next is everyone gets crazy in their sits; this never gets old, considering it his classic style. Jo Koy was recognized and invited to America’s late-night shows to perform; the next is history.
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He Is A Filipino-American Funny Man
Joseph Glenn Herbert Sr., professionally known as Jo Koy, was born on June 2, 1971, to a white American father, John C. Herbert, who was working in the United States Air Force destined in the Philippines, where he met and married Jo Koy’s Filipina mother, Josie Harrison. His parents are no longer together, and Jo Koy supports his family in his growing entertainment career. Koy was born and raised in Washington; eventually, his family moved from Spanaway, Washington, to Tacoma, Washington. After finishing his secondary education, they moved to Las Vegas near his ailing maternal grandmother. Jo Koy attended college at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas but never finished his studies and dropped out of college to pursue his stand-up career.
Joseph’s father abandoned Koy and his mother when he was ten. Koy’s success is because of his mother’s sacrifice and support for being the man he is. Josie Harrison, Koy’s mother, admitted that she doubted Jo Koy’s choice of profession; she even defied his dream of being a comedian. Making money to knock-knock jokes is hard to imagine for her mom. Her mother’s dream was for him to get a degree and a stable job like her other relative. Josie barely even knew that Koy was a college dropout and didn’t know he was pursuing his career as a comedian. But yes, her mother finally yielded and learned to accept it, and where is she right now? Sitting in the front row of his son’s shows making sums of money.
Where He Got His Stage Name and His Burgeoning Career
As mentioned earlier, Joseph and his mother moved to Las Vegas after finishing high school. They tend to live nearby his ailing grandmother. It was revealed during one of his stand-up routines that his family was also humorous as he was. The story behind his stage name was that back in 1989, he was asking about making a stage name when he was with his cousin Mona when his Aunt Evelyn called him to have dinner, shouting Jo Ko eat! The comedian misheard her aunt, came to his name Jo Koy, and decided to use it ever since.
In Las Vegas, one remarkable show-up that led him to stay on his path to success was when he performed in a coffee house in the city and encouraged himself to move further. Little by little, he stepped up on big stages like his open mic night to a regular spot at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on the show Catch a Rising Star. In his regular days as a comedian, he sells his tickets and goes door to door to his family, friends, and even random people to be on his shows.
His Career Success And Breakthrough On Netflix Specials
Inspired by his unique comedy, his punchlines pull inspiration from his family background, especially from his mother’s side. When he shares his experience growing up with the discipline from her mother, he adds a few tweaks and style to make it more fun to hear and hilarious. Making fun of his mom has a whole lot of meaning. The reality behind this was her mom’s struggle to be in a community during the racial tension in America during the ‘70s, according to the man himself. Jo Koy, from his modest beginnings, performing in a Las Vegas coffee shop and small-time clubs, brought him into sold-out arenas worldwide with massive audiences.
Jo Koy continues to break sales records at some most spectacular venues, including in his motherland, the Philippines, in Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Radio City in New York, Aware Theatre in Sydney, Australia, Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, and The Forum in Los Angeles. That’s just some of the few highlights of his world tour.
Moving further, his career as a comedian skyrocketed. In 2017, Jo Koy broke a record for most sold tickets by a single artist, selling 23,000 and eleven sold-out shows on his tour in Honolulu, Hawaii. The comedian never stopped there, Jo Koy continued his record-breaking streak to sell out six shows at The Warfield in San Francisco and broke the attendance record at Club Regent Event Center in Winnipeg with four sold-out shows, and in 2019 his show became the most consecutive sold-out shows for a comedian when he sold-out five shows at the San Diego Civic Theater. The same year, his Netflix Special Comin’ In Hot is streaming worldwide, where his show shares the traditions of his fellow countrymen and more. Jo Koy was number one on the Billboard Charts the same year for his stand-up comedy album, Live From Seattle, in 2019.
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Sources: JOKOY, IMDb, TICKETEK, WBUR, Dead Frog, TVovermind
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