…met. That night Jo Koy & I met. Geez, where was your mind headed?!
Looking for a good time? Well look no further.
When I was growing up, my parents never gave my brother and I any kind of restrictions on what we were exposed to. Some might consider it bad parenting, but considering we were good kids who graduated high school & never got caught doing anything illegal (I can’t speak for my brother, but there’s probably a few things I could plead the fifth about.), I’d say they didn’t do too bad of a job. Aside from R-rated movies (My movie of choice at 5 years old was Boyz N The Hood, scout’s honor. Isn’t that what little girls are supposed to watch?!), my dad LOVED comedy. Some of my fondest childhood memories were made with my dad & uncle sitting around a campfire listening to all the great comedians. We’d listen to George Carlin and his seven dirty words (I’ll choose to filter my blog this time & not include ####, ####, ####, ####, ##########, ############, and ####. Although, that last one is not that bad. You can click on the link and discover them yourself). I’d giggle away knowing full well I’d get in trouble for most of those words if they’d come out of my mouth. Then of course Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Red Peters, and the list goes on and on. To this day, my dad will share new comedians with me along with his own brand of humor & jokes (“Have you heard the one about the 12 inch pianist?” “Yes, dad. I’ve been able to recite it back since I was 7.”). Naturally, I have continued to carry my interest in comedy well into my adulthood. From my own quirky, quick-witted, sarcastic sense of humor, you can easily see that I love to laugh, often at the most innappropriate times, & find enjoyment in making others laugh.
One thing I had always wanted to do was see stand up at the Improv. If you’re a fan of comedy, you watch Comedy Central over and over and see all these great comedians performing there. Back home (in Massachusetts), there weren’t many places to catch comedy acts aside from the Hukelau (woooooo, Chicopee!). I did get to see Jim Breuer there once. While it was good, it’s not the Improv. I’ve also seen Dane Cook at Boston Garden 3 times and while it was fun & I was a huge fan at the time, it’s not the Improv.
I had lived in Tampa for over 4 years & finally one day I did a search to see who was on the schedule at the Tampa Improv in Ybor City. Much to my surprise, one of my favorite comedians was scheduled to be there in a few months, so I immediately recruited one of my girlfriends who had never done the Improv or even knew of the comedian. That comedian was Jo Koy.
[For a little taste of Jo’s comedy, click here.]
I can’t remember where I had seen him first (his first Comedy Central special or on Chelsea Lately), but I have always loved his comedy. Jo’s style of comedy is very easy to get into, because his jokes are based on real life events which makes it relatable. He is also extremely animated which makes it difficult not to get into his jokes. The Improv’s atmosphere is amazing. It’s very intimate, while it still holds quite a few people. We did have the VIP package tickets (hairflip, just kidding), because I splurged with it being my first time and all. Our table was right up against the stage and we went to the first of 5 shows.
First off, the music that was playing while everyone was being seated was off the hook. Classic 90’s hip hop & R&B (I won’t deny the fact that I grew up a hood rat. Do we remember Boyz N The Hood?!) I later discovered that the music was arranged by DJ Ryan Live. The opening act was a comedian by the name of James Ponce. I had only known of James from listening to The Michael Yo and Jo Koy Show podcast [available on iTunes: download & subscribe]. He was great. He got the crowd pumped up with his original material and definitely made me a fan with that single performance. Then, it was time for Jo. My biggest worry (due to previous comedy experiences) was that he would have material that would repeat and I’d know most of the jokes. This was definitely not the case. He came out and killed it. He performed for well over 2 hours. I won’t give away too many details, because I think people should certainly experience it for themselves. That night will remain in my memory bank for a long time to come.
If you’re in the Orlando area, Jo Koy will be back in town for a 5 show engagement, May 29 thru June 1, at the Orlando Improv. For ticket information, visit http://www.orlandoimprov.com. I’m sure Jo will be bringing the rest of his friends along as well (James Ponce, Beau Bowker, & DJ Ryan Live). You can find more about Jo Koy here and also on Twitter & Instagram @jokoy.