Las Vegas is where comedian Jo Koy got his start in stand-up. Though living in Los Angeles these days, he still returns to his comedy roots often.
“Back when I lived here, there were no comedy clubs here for me,” Koy said. “There were comedy clubs, but they only hired headliners. You had to be an established headliner, so … I did a lot of coffeehouses.”
As his audience grew, Koy began to rent space to perform, most notably at the Huntridge Theater, which had fallen into disarray in recent years. Koy did it all. He printed and sold his own tickets, he placed his own ads and hired comics – and still found the energy to perform.
“I would do everything,” he said. “I wore every single hat and I still performed. That’s how I did it out here, so coming back to Vegas is like I’m coming back home.”
Not only is Koy returning home, but he is performing at the Mystère Theatre, on a stage where he once sat in awe as an audience member.
“I used to sit in those seats and go (gasps), ‘This is amazing!’” he said. “And now I get to be on that stage. I feel honored and privileged. This is my home, man. That’s my mecca. If you’re from New York, it’s Madison Square Garden. If you’re in L.A., it’s Staples (Center). When you’re in Vegas, it’s the Mystère Theatre. That’s just how it is for me.”
Most of Koy’s material comes from his family, primarily his Philippines-born mother and his 10-year-old son.
“It’s all relatable, that’s why I like it,” “Koy said. “It’s original … It’s about my life. That’s why I like to do those styles of jokes. It just keeps me fresh and it’s fun. It’s fun being a dad and just seeing my son grow and talk about it on stage and three years later, I listen to it again and go, my son used to do that? It’s neat.”
Koy does stray from family-only jokes, though. He’s got a wicked fondness for feet, one that determines whether a woman is hot, or not.
“I have the biggest foot fetish! The biggest!” he said. “The creepiest that you can think of! If you have cute feet, forget about it. You can do whatever you want with me. It’s done. I will buy you dinner.
“I’m telling you, if you take that (shoe) off, and your feet looked like my feet, this interview is over,” he said (This reporter passed the cute foot test). “I think that’s why I have such a foot fetish, because I look at mine, and I’m like, holy sh*t. This foot should never be on a woman’s foot. … I don’t even think I have a pinky toenail. It’s gone. I don’t know where it went.”
Koy promises some special guests, but would only give the name of Michael Yo, with whom he does a weekly podcast.
“I don’t want to give their names out, but they’re going to hit the stage and you guys are going to love it,” Koy said.
Jo Koy performs at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Treasure Island Theatre (Mystère Theatre).