Comedian Jo Koy kicks off world tour in San Antonio this week – mySA

The first time that stand-up comedian Jo Koy got back on stage after pandemic restrictions started to ease, he broke out in tears. After a two-year hiatus, he didn’t know if he would ever perform in front of a live audience again.

“I was so overwhelmed,” Koy, 51, told MySA during a recent interview. “I didn’t think [stand-up comedy] was ever going to come back. I think a lot of people thought that way. And stand-up is all I know. To have that taken away from me would have been awful.”

During that downtime, Koy took the opportunity to do some traveling with his teenage son to visit places like Roswell, New Mexico, White Sands National Park, and the Grand Canyon.

“I loved it because I was with my son all the time,” he said. “We got to do a lot of those father-son road trips. It was a double-edged sword for me because [not performing] sucked, but [spending time with my son] was the best time.”

Koy’s last standup special, Jo Koy: Live from the L.A. Forum, was released by Netflix last September. The comic will be back under the spotlight when he kicks off his new tour in San Antonio this week. The Jo Koy World Tour will swing by the AT&T Center on Friday, January 27, before going to Houston, Corpus Christi, and across the U.S. Then, he’ll set his sights on the U.K., Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia.

MySA caught up with Koy to talk about how his comedy is universal and why he stopped doing his podcast. We started, however, with acknowledging some recent sad news in his life.

Jo Koy: Live from the Los Angeles Forum. Jo Koy in Los Angeles, CA. 

Jo Koy: Live from the Los Angeles Forum. Jo Koy in Los Angeles, CA. 

Courtesy Terence Patrick/Netflix

First, I wanted to give my condolences for the recent loss of your stepfather. The tribute you wrote about him on Instagram was beautiful.

Thank you. He was my stepdad, but he came into my life when I needed him most, bro. He was everything.

Were he and your mom supportive of your decision to do stand-up comedy early on?

He wanted me to do stand-up. It was my mom that didn’t want me to do it. She wanted me to be a nurse, bro. I can’t even help a nurse find my vein!

Is there a reason you decided to start your 2023 world tour in Texas?

There was no particular reason. It was just time to go back to Texas and hit that market again. I love Texas, and I love San Antonio. There’s something different about San Antonio than places like Dallas or Austin. I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel it in the crowd. I’m looking forward to going to Denmark with my son. I’ve never been there. And when we’re in London, it’ll be on his birthday, and he’ll be 21, so he’ll be legal to drink. So, now I can get drunk with him and not worry about any public backlash.

Not all comedians are able to go international like this. Do you find that your comedy is universal enough for different cultures?

I don’t like to say it’s cultural, but I think what’s happening is people are relating to those stories about my mom, who is Filipino. When they hear a story about my mom or my son, they just relate to it no matter what ethnicity they are. [Audiences] will respond to a joke and go, “Oh, my God, my mom does the same thing, and we live in Africa!” or “We’re Puerto Rican!” I love that. When you tell your truth on stage, people just relate. A mom is a mom, no matter where you are in the world.

How does your mom like being a part of your set?

She loves it. People know who she is now. She’s got her own little following.

You haven’t done your podcast, The Koy Pond, since late 2021. Are you taking a break or is it over?

I really just stopped doing it, even though the name is so great. I found myself doing it only because it was this trending thing that people were doing. In my heart, I don’t want to be known for a podcast. I want to be known for stand-up. I only want that to be attached to my name. That’s my passion. That’s my love.

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