Jo Koy is my Elvis

There are only two people who have their own day in Honolulu. Elvis Presley and one of my favorite comedians, Jo Koy.

Jo Koy is a Filipino-American observational comedian who has captivated the nation. If you’re into the raunchy and the relatable, Koy is the guy for you. It was also his adoration and connection to his Filipino roots is what shot him into stardom. Koy is someone who stayed true to himself and his art in a world that adores masks. The masks that executives put on stars so they can be more ‘culturally accessible’ to audiences. But Jo Koy refused to be another casualty.

Because he stayed true to his culture and his art, he’s brought a plethora of different kinds of people into his fan base. I remember myself watching him for the first time and realizing how hooked I was when he was connecting the Mexican and the Filipino cultures as one in the same. His experiences were so much like mine- I saw myself in him. That doesn’t happen a lot for me.

In this different world, he reminds you to laugh at yourself and to not take things too seriously. His bubbly storytelling and light-hearted fluidity to connect with the audience is what makes it so easy to gravitate to him.

This inspired me to attend his stand-up show at the Ball Arena on Saturday, March 4. Forgetting the struggles I had all night with my hair, I was ready to watch his “Funny is Funny” tour stop here in Denver. I can remember sitting on the light rail and mentally crossing my fingers for a lot of people to come see him. I cringed at myself for being such a fan girl, but whatever!

After a long chat with a girl in line about Supernatural, I checked in and weaseled my way through the ocean of people. I was so happy to know that all these people who knew Koy, found him equally admirable.

Snagging my Truly hard seltzer and nachos with haste (don’t ask how much they were), I rushed to my seat. I heard the crowds cheering as the signal that he had finally come out. I was floored to see the big man himself for the first time! Even though his face was a blur from the balcony seats, I was just happy to be there. It had been a long time since I could enjoy going to an event without the fear of getting sick or having a mask to muffle my laughter and cheers. It was good to be back.

One instance, he called out a gentleman named Cameron in the nosebleed section. Koy could not get enough from the fact that Cameron looked like he borrowed his tiny shirt from his girlfriend, and neither could we. It was all in good fun and throughout the night, we all laughed about Koy’s microscopic butt, his son, and much more.

Towards the end of the show, he jumped to the subject of today’s youth. Everything that the generation before us had enjoyed, was lost in time. They did not know the cosmic prowess of 90s music or what a phonebook was. Despite being a 2000s baby, I agreed! The laugh-drunken arena enthusiastically followed his lead in singing songs from TLC, Boyz II Men, and K-Ci and Jojo. Not once did I feel awkward when belting the lyrics to ‘No Scrubs’. This man reached down into our inner child and brought them out to play. There was oneness throughout the arena, and I felt at home. Not just anyone can do that, but Koy did that for me.

He was loving and gracious when he was bidding us his farewells. It was like leaving your friend’s house, feeling on top of the world from having a good night. There was a tinge of hope in me when he said that one day, he might do a special here in Denver. All I knew was that if that were to happen, I would be there!

Walking through the hordes of people, I admired the merchandise so meticulously laid out. I silently laughed to myself looking at the prices, but I remembered that a gift of comedy like that doesn’t come cheap.

Humming to myself with a big smile, I practically skipped to the light rail. I left feeling inspired and ready for life again. The transparency for his love for fun and people is what makes those very things embrace him. We all have a gift that wants to be seen as we all contribute something to the world. Jo Koy is someone who shines through with his gift, bombastically and unapologetically.

Thank you Jo Koy  I think you deserve your own day here in Denver!