From his breakout set on The Tonight Show to his appearances on Chelsea Lately, Jo Koy is a powerhouse in the world of comedy. This very funny artist was kind enough to answer some of my questions about his life, inspirations, and tour ahead of his dates at the Stand Up Live in Phoenix.
What inspired you to go into comedy and what reaction did your family have when you told them?
I wanted to become a stand up comic when I saw Eddie Murphy’s Delirious when I was 10 or 11. That is when I decided that I wanted to be a comic when I grew up. When I first started my mom was not happy and wanted me to go to college.
We’re curious to know what makes a comedian laugh. Any particular show, movie, or other comedians who make you laugh?
My favorite comedic actors are Will Farrell and Chris Farley. Every movie they do crack me up. Physical, slap stick comedy is what I like to watch.
I have heard that stand up is really starting to grow in the P.I. What would you say is the state of comedy there, compared to a few years ago?
The PI has always been a funny culture. When I grew up there I used to watch Dolphy, Tito Vic and joey. Even though I didn’t understand fluent tagalog, they were always physical, and that is the type of comedy I was always into. Now that they are embracing American type comedy, it was always bound to happen.
What does your family think of being in your act and have any not taken kindly to a joke about them?
They love being a part of the act and in fact my mom wants me to write more about her, even though 30% of my act is about her already.
When you are in a writing mode, where do you draw your inspiration from and how long would you say it takes to create enough material for a show?
I am basically writing every single day. I am constantly writing jokes. My son inspires me to write. I usually write a new hour a year. I am constantly writing in new jokes every place I go.
What would you say are the biggest differences between performing now and when you first started out?
Back in the day I used to perform in front of 4 people and now I am in front of theaters and large crowds. It makes it easier and a whole lot more fun. People are actually coming out to see me now.
If you were not in comedy what would you be doing?
I would still be working in the business somehow. Entertainment is in my blood. I would be in the front or behind the scenes. Somehow I would always be in the entertainment business.
What is the hardest thing about being on the road and what do you do in your free time when you travel?
The hardest part about being on the road is constantly being in an airport and going through TSA every week. It kind of gets frustrating, but why am I complaining? I get to travel and tell jokes for a living. God is good.
For your upcoming show at Stand Up Live in Phoenix, what can the audience look forward to and how much new material will be included compared to your past tour?
It’s always going to be new. All i do is is constantly write. If you are expecting the same show, don’t because it is going to be a new act.
The last time we saw you, you had mentioned having some television projects in the works, what is the latest on those and future stuff?
Once again they are still in the works.