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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Jo Koy in a Steve Harvey position

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A stand-up comedian needs to do what’s practical after a letdown: stand-up.

There’s no point in defending Jo Koy’s much-criticized monologue as the host of the 81st Golden Globe Awards ceremony. People sympathizing with the man, whose mother is a Filipina born and raised, and who calls him Joseph with an accent, can share their perspective. 

Some may argue that it happened because he was given the gig on short notice, or that some critics are being overly harsh when his performance wasn’t that bad. Still, the word is out from credible news outlets and objective observers on social media. Jo Koy bombed. 

I choose to write about what should be done to make the most out of the situation. But first, there is a need to approach things positively from every angle. That was Jo Koy’s biggest exposure, and it put him on the radar of people who didn’t know his thing about Vicks VapoRub and expected him to be as biting, yet effective as Ricky Gervais

For those saying he shouldn’t have accepted the gig in the first place because Hollywood elites couldn’t be his crowd, well, he was not in a position to decline. It was a big break and worth the try. 

Jo Koy may see it this way. Both he and Steve Harvey during that Miss Universe coronation night that saw Pia Wurtzbach on the biggest moment of her life had one job. But his duty, that is to make a room full of film superstars laugh and feel entertained in just the right way, was more difficult to pull off than announcing the country whose representative should wear the crown. 

If we put these two gentlemen’s worst career moments on the same day, Jo Koy would be able to look deeper straight into someone else’s eyes than the great Steve H. himself who described his experience as a “painful night.”     

Okay, by now we know we didn’t lose Steve from obscurity and shame. Arguably he had become more famous and respected after his epic fail that night when the third Miss Universe from the Philippines was officially crowned and the runner-up had her moment, yes, instead of just being forgotten like some others who were close to winning it all. 

In saying that, Jo Koy is in a spot to bounce back and make use of the one thing that makes him the talk of the town in a not-so-favorable way to his advantage. For one, he has enough juicy material to discuss for future shows, like what was going through his mind during the nerve-wracking moments, or his thoughts on Taylor Swift sipping her drink as he cracked the joke that fell flat. 

Seeing Jo Koy in a fine-looking suit was oddly a sign he took a gig not meant for him, considering he appears more comfortably on stage like a nice guy you’d see coming out of the gym or doing a quick stop at a grocery store. He did his best for sure. It’s a case of doing one’s best but not good enough. There was a need to re-strategize for the sake of what was necessary given the kind of crowd he dealt with. Impossible to top Gervais it wouldn’t be enough just by being himself. More wholesome jokes in quick succession would have worked. 

For Filipinos who had high hopes from the day it was announced that Jo Koy was picked to host the Globes, it’s okay to be very Filipino about it, like posting something that implies you’re proud of him despite what happened. There’s also nothing wrong when you call a spade a spade, which means if most of the comments are not satisfying, then it is what it is. It will not make you less of a Filipino if you agree that Jo Koy’s hosting needed more spark. 

Rally behind a compatriot or someone of Filipino descent with class must always be the move. Jo Koy is a great talent who made it to the Golden Globes stage. He did slip, but that shouldn’t define him. Besides, he has been rallying Filipinos every chance he could. Yeah, he ended his bit with two embracing words Filipinos would first understand, “Mahal kita.”

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