Jo Koy specializes in relatable comedy

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By Zsarlene B. Chua, Reporter

AFTER the announcement that Filipino-American stand-up comic, Jo Koy (real name: Joseph Glenn Herbert), would be coming to the Philippines to do a series of shows in the capital and in Cebu, tickets were snapped up so quickly that promoter MMI Live was prompted to announce an additional show — a 5 p.m. matinee before the 9 p.m. Nov. 30 performance at Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City.

Mr. Herbert said he is excited to be coming “home to the Motherland” in a Facebook video posted when the original dates were announced.

Those who first knew of Mr. Herbert through viral videos of his act on YouTube and Facebook and, most recently, his Netflix special, should know that they won’t be hearing the same jokes as he has created entirely new material for the Philippine shows.

“The people in the Philippines will get to see a new [show]. They’ll be able to see it before we actually shoot it,” Mr. Herbert told BusinessWorld during a phone interview in late October. (He is scheduled to shoot another Netflix special after the success of his first, Jo Koy: Live in Seattle.)

“Making a whole new hour doesn’t take me long. A whole new hour [of material] I can do in less than a year. It’s all about working them out,” he said of his process, noting that much of his material comes from personal experiences and family situations — and since his son is older now (“an older teenager now”), there will be quite a few jokes about that as he “recreates some of the situations that’s happening in my life right now.”

Mr. Herbert said he lived in the Philippines for “about five years until I was 10,” noting some of his “favorite moments were when I was growing up in the Philippines.”

Known for his jokes about having a Filipino mother (who thinks everything is curable with Vicks Vaporub), he said the stories about his mother is something “everyone gets,” not just the Filipinos.

“It’s making it relatable. I want everyone to get it, not just the Filipinos. That’s what I like about comedy. The stories about my mom is something everyone can get,” he explained.

And because his material is known for being relatable, he thinks the predominantly Filipino audiences he’ll have in Cebu (Dec. 1) and Manila (Nov. 30 and Dec. 3) will find the shows funny.

“Judging by the popularity of the jokes online and the videos they saw on Netflix, I think Filipinos get humor, they understand exactly what I was getting at… that’s what I love the most,” he said.

Jo Koy will have performances in Manila on Nov. 30, 9 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 5 and 9 p.m. at the Solaire Resort and Casino. Note that the Nov. 30, 5 p.m. show is the only one left with seats still available according to an MMI Live’s Facebook post. He will also be performing at the Atlantic Hall of the Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino on Dec. 1 for a sold-out 9 p.m. performance.

Tickets are available at and at TicketWorld (, 891-9999).