Jo Koy's Thoughtful Standup Spans A Decades-Long Career

Comedian Jo Koy's record-breaking run at The Neil S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu has been recorded for posterity in the form of a Netflix special dropping on Jun. 12. This is actually his second special with the streaming platform, after 2017's Jo Koy: Live From Seattle, and considering that his comedy is peppered with anecdotes about his Filipino heritage and fatherhood, viewers tuning into Comin' in Hot may be wondering how old Jo Koy is. The father to one teenage son got his start in Las Vegas comedy clubs during the mid '90s, but he's now performing in the national spotlight at 48 years old.

From his humble beginnings in Vegas to selling out show after show with his relatable dad jokes (you know, ones that are actually funny), Koy does a masterful job of blending his Filipino culture with universal themes. In fact, Comin' In Hot' happens to drop on Philippines Independence Day, and Koy recorded a hilarious Independence Day message on Twitter, sprinkled with references that are sure to leave his fellow first generation Filipinos feeling #seen.

"Today, my fellow Filipinos, I want to encourage you all to be free. Be free from your titos and titas asking you, 'Are you still going to nursing school?'" he jokes in the video spot. "Be free from the pressures of the bidet and honor the national treasure, the tabo. Be free from biscuit tins with no biscuits and ice cream tubs with no f*cking ice cream."

One of Koy's early viral standup bits is immortalized in a YouTube video with over 5.3 million hits, in which he jokes darkly about his parents' meet-cute, saying, "I'm half-white, half-Filipino, which means my dad was in the military. A lot of soldiers were fighting for this country... my dad was dating. I'm his purple heart."

He explained that his affection for sending up Filipino culture comes from his mom, who always encouraged his standup career, in an interview with Philippine Entertainment Portal, saying:

My mom raised me. Single mom, you know. She came to this country in ‘68. Next you know, she's divorced with four kids. And she raised us. That, you know—that's pretty amazing to me. That's why I identify so much with my mom's culture and my mom's family. And that's why I talk about her the most. And I appreciate that.

Koy's relationship with his father (obviously) seems complicated, but poking fun as his dad's less than culturally sensitive demeanor isn't off limits in Koy's standup either.

Comin' in Hot was filmed during a November 2017 run at The Neil S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu, where Koy broke the record for most tickets sold by a single artist, according to his website. Over the course of 11 sold-out shows, Koy sold more than 23,000 tickets, prompting the mayor of Honolulu to declare Nov. 24 "Jo Koy Day." He's broken similar venue records in San Francisco, Winnipeg, and Florida, and in 2018, Koy was awarded the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival's Standup Comedian of the Year Award. You can catch his lauded standup for yourself now streaming on Netflix.