Jo Koy’s sold-out show at famous DC hall ‘a dream come true’
WASHINGTON, DC — Hilarity ensued when the comedian Jo Koy played a sold-out show at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC on January 25. Thousands of people from all over the DMV region and beyond packed the hall.
Jo Koy said during the show that it was his childhood dream to perform at Constitution Hall where his favorite comedian Eddie Murphy used to perform, inspiring him to pursue his career.
Jo Koy started his comedy routine jesting how a person in the audience seated behind the sound system couldn’t see him at all and, despite being in the front row, had the worst seat in the house. He then asked those in the front row about their ethnicity, making humorous observations, including a running gag when one person said “half-Asian.” To which Jo Koy suggested that one parent promiscuously encompassed a lot of geography.
The comedian said he loved the diversity of the DC community where people indicated ancestries from Germany, Costa Rica, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam. “Gotta love the armed forces of the United States,” he remarked.
As for Filipino military prowess, he noted that the weapon of choice against colonial Spanish conquest was the Yo-Yo. Only effective for knocking out teeth, but not repelling the Spaniards.
He also talked about the unpredictable weather in DC: “In two hours of being in DC, I experienced three seasons,” including the marvel of rain coming down during a sunny period.
Jo Koy touched on other subjects including riding his Korean friend’s motorcycle as a kid, earning him castigation from the police and his mom. He explained that Jo Koy was coined 30 years ago by his Aunt Evelyn, who started calling him Jo Ko, (Ko means “my” in Filipino). For many years, Jo Koy thought she said Koy but it was all a mistake. The name stuck, however, and he never thought of changing it.
Jo Koy’s mother, Josie Harrison, has always been a prominent figure in the Filipino community not only in Las Vegas, but also here in the DMV area. She always attends the anniversary of Manila Mail and is scheduled to grace the upcoming event again on April 5, 2020.
As a friend of. Josie Harrison, I learned a lot about the character and life of the famous stand-up comedian and how close he is to her. Every time Harrison visits DC, we would talk about Jo Koy’s jokes and punchlines and she would validate to me the stories her son shares on stage. Jo Koy loves talking about his family, particularly about his mom and his son, Joseph.
Netflix changed Jo Koy’s life. In 2016, he used his life savings to produce a comedy special, “Jo Koy: Live from Seattle,” after Netflix declined to make the investment. The investment paid off when the show was a success.
Cristina Sison, President of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce in the Washington DC (PACC-DC), was among those who watched Jo Koy’s show for the first time. She had extended an invitation to the comedian to be a headliner at the Fil-Am Expo on June 13-14 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
“Jo Koy is a Filipino global brand,” Cristina said admiringly. “It was so great that everyone no matter their ethnicity were laughing at Filipino jokes. Laughter is universal. We are proud he is Filipino-American but staying true to himself makes him shine even more in the global stage. Truly, it’s an inspiration that a Filipino comedian like Jo Koy is now popular in mainstream culture. It’s a Filipino brand that we are proud to show to the world. Truly an inspiration.”
For cancer survivor Edward Logan, watching Jo Koy for the second time was the best birthday gift he was able to give to his wife Sue, a Korean American. It was her first time.
“The show indeed was full of L.I.F.E. (laughs, inspiration, friendship and entertainment),” Ed said.
“Laughter is really the best medicine. Jo Koy is super proud of his Filipino heritage. He continues to lead the way and open doors to the next generation of Filipino-American comedians in the mainstream.”
Indeed, it was a great night of fun and laughter so when I told Jo Koy that my husband, Barry, was pondering another career as a comedian, he said, “Go for it my friend.”