- Jo Koy, an American comedian, was supposed to be the first Asian-American host of the Golden Globes in 2024 but delivered one of the worst hosting performances ever seen on the awards show.
- Koy admitted to being unprepared and nervous during his opening monologue, which was met with silence and groans from the audience.
- His jokes, including mocking Taylor Swift and commenting on Barbie's bosom, were seen as unfunny and offensive.
Honestly, I had no idea who Jo Koy was before today. Now I do. Sadly, I don’t think he’d want me to know him because he’s now attained global notoriety. Jo Koy (real name Joseph Glenn Herbert), an American comedian, was supposed to make history as the first Asian-American host of the Golden Globes in 2024. Instead, he made headlines for all the wrong reasons as he delivered one of the worst hosting performances ever seen on the awards show.
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Koy, announced as the host only ten days before the event, admitted that he was unprepared and nervous as he faced the star-studded audience at the Beverly Hilton. His opening monologue, which was supposed to be funny and witty, was met with silence, groans, and all kinds of sassy eye-rolls from the celebrities in attendance and, based on the social media noise, the viewers watching at home.
His jokes didn’t land right, ranging from mocking Taylor Swift’s presence at NFL games (she’s dating Kansas Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce) to commenting on Barbie’s bosom, which was seen as unfunny and offensive. He also threw his writers under the bus, blaming them for the poor quality of his material. He even begged the audience to laugh at his jokes, saying, “You want a perfect monologue? Yo, shut up. You’re kidding me, right?” Huh?
The backlash was swift and brutal, with social media users, critics, and fellow comedians slamming Koy for his disastrous performance. Some called him “the worst host ever“, while others compared him to James Franco, who also flopped as the host of the Oscars in 2011. Some even suggested that Jo Koy apologizes to the public and the nominees for ruining their night.
On the positive side (for him, at least), several former awards show hosts and comedians have come out in his defence, saying that hosting a live event is a complex and thankless job. Whoopi Goldberg, who has hosted the Oscars four times, said that she loves Koy and that he is “as good as it gets” when it comes to stand-up comedy. Joining Goldberg in support of Koy was Kevin Hart, who was supposed to host the Oscars in 2019 but withdrew after a controversy over his old tweets. He pointed out that Jo Koy is “an amazing comedian” and that hosting is a “tough” and “risky” job.
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Jo Koy – The Other
A little observed titbit in all this has been the emphasis, by some media outlets and social commentators, on focusing on referring to Koy with the descriptor “Filipino-American”. Now, sure, that is his heritage. They’re not lying or necessarily insulting him by calling him that. Still, it does feel a little bit like some attempt to distance him from ‘true’ Americanness (read: perennial and unstoppable success) because he failed in his big moment.
There’s a whole philosophy on ‘The Other‘ and ‘Otherness’ where, when we fear other people or want to distance ourselves from them, we find ways, even in how we refer to them, to let everyone else know that they are not part of us. In some way, this protects us from feeling like we’re associated with their failure or anything we don’t like about them. As far as Koy is concerned, it’s entirely possible that the reference to him as “Filipino-American comedian” as opposed to “American comedian”, “local comedian”, or even just “comedian” might be a case of othering (yes, it’s an accurate word) in full effect.
Whatever the case, though, some of those jokes were downright awful.
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