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Filipino-American Comedian Jo Koy tanks this year’s Golden Globes Awards hosting

It’s that time of the year again: Golden Globes Season. The 81st Golden Globes Awards is here and has been announced and congratulations are given to those who were nominated and awarded the prestigious international award.

Though there were no Filipino-made works and artists nominated for this year, many Filipinos were ecstatic: as this year’s awards was hosted by Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy, also known as Joseph Glenn Herbert. The comedian has been providing stand-up comedy entertainment since 1999 but has truly risen in status in the past 10 years and is known for his focus on material and jokes on his experiences as a Filipino growing up as an immigrant in the U.S., Filipino culture, and his mother.

Jo Koy was announced as the last-minute host for this year’s awards, on December 21st, 2023, a little over 2 weeks before the ceremony on Sunday, January 7th, 2024. For comparison, host Jimmy Kimmel had 5 months to prepare for his stint as the host of the Oscars.

This comes after a number of high-profile comedians, such as Chris Rock, Ali Wong, have reportedly turned down the gig, presumably because of the lack of prep time given its proximity to the end of the actors’ strike and the HFPA’s (Hollywood foreign press association; the organization originally handling the management and organization of the Annual Golden Globes) past with scandals.

The list of comedians who were sent the invitation to host the ceremony included former Oscars host Chris Rock, Ali Wong, and the trio of Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes, who co-host the “SmartLess” podcast.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, days before the event he stated that he prepared extensively, even with his short preparation time. “I haven’t slept… And I’ve never watched this many movies and TV shows in my life.”

He viewed this as a privilege to carry to represent Filipinos and the ‘Halfers’ and those of the Asian Community in the U.S. and that he thinks that one day they’ll be a kid seeing him hosting and think “Oh, OK. It’s possible. OK, cool. He did that. So, all right, I can do it too.”

The excitement over his hosting however quickly dwindled as the ceremony started and his opening monologue was performed. As with tradition in hosting for the Golden Globes: hosts are usually given time to present and thank the actors, directors and crew for the year’s worth of entertainment and innovations in the film and television industry, along with comedic but jabs at some of the audience in attendance, which had always been a highlight, hence the tradition of inviting comedians to be hosts for the event.

Jo Koy, for his part especially as a first-time host, followed it. However, his jokes found it difficult to land and struggled to make his audience of A-list celebrities, actors, and directors laugh. Some of his shots included: making diabetes and Ozempic (medication used to treat type 2 diabetes) jokes at the crew of The Color Purple, making a dig at Robert De Niro’s age and his and his partner’s pregnancy while he’s already 80, juvenile jokes about breasts (“boobies” is the term used) and penises at the cast and crew of Barbie and Saltburn. Margot Robbie and the crew of Barbie were certainly not impressed.

Barbie cast’s reaction:

One joke in particular has garnered attention far better than his performance did: a clip of his dig at the attending Taylor Swift in the audience, saying that “the big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL. On the Golden Globes, we have have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift, I swear.” While the camera cuts to Taylor’s reaction shadily sipping her drink. This was all the while, he took jabs at his writers as well, claiming that the parts he wrote were the ones that the audience were minimally laughing at. Later when the event house became more than tepid he responded with: “That’s hilarious, I don’t care.”

Taylor Swift’s reaction:


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Some of the internet’s reactions from X (formerly known as Twitter) to the entire flop are the following:


Filipinos who watched the disaster happen are themselves not happy and took to the internet to, disavow Jo on his performance, one user jokingly said “Please stop texting me about Jo Koy, he’s only half-Filipino and we’re no responsible for the other half. [The] Philippines is Innocent”:

Tweet about JoKoy
via X
Tweet about JoKoy
via X
Tweet about JoKoy
via X
Tweet about JoKoy
via X

All in all, despite Jo’s subpar performance casting a shadow over the ceremony’s introduction, many artists still enjoyed their time, and the awards quickly regained their momentum.


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