Host Jo Koy Accused of 39Celebratory39 Golden Globes That

Host Jo Koy Accused of 'Celebratory' Golden Globes – That Doesn't Mean He Can't Roast

Jo Koy

Jo Koy

Lloyd Bishop/NBC via Getty Images

Host Jimmy Kimmel has five months to prepare for the Oscars. When it comes to this year's Golden Globes host, Jo Koy has less than two weeks.

“I didn’t sleep,” he admits. “And I’ve never seen so many movies and TV shows in my life.”

In fact, while Koy's family and friends enjoyed the holidays, he was busy bingeing on everything from Oppenheimer to Maestro. But that's the closest thing to a Filipino stand-up complaining about an opportunity he calls “surreal.” (That's a markedly different perspective than last year's host, Jerrod Carmichael, whose monologue famously dove headfirst into the Globes' scandal-ridden past and his discomfort with hosting the show.)

Koy has sold out venues with his stand-up comedy, but ahead of his 2022 Netflix special, he told that the industry has been slow to recognize his success. “I just felt like, 'Why are you behaving when you can't see it?' Or what don't you see? These numbers are clear. I'm an arena act. I'm on a list of people who aren't comics who are selling out arenas. It's like Elton John, Billy Joel, Jo Koy and Coldplay. What don't you see?'” he said. “And it hurt. It hurts a lot. And yes, it was insulting that I still had to convince a lot of people that what I was saying was relevant and funny.”

With the Globes airing Jan. 7 on CBS (and streaming on Paramount+), Koy is poised to face the largest television audience of his career. And exhaustion aside, he insists he's ready for it. In early January, he took a brief break to talk about his instant yes vote and why his Globes won't be quite as brutal as previous hosts'.

It seems a little unfair, Jimmy Kimmel gets five months to prepare for the Oscars and you get two and a half weeks.

Fewer! Less than two and a half weeks because it still took a day to get the contract done and then the writers had to come through too. So we expect about nine days. This was definitely a crash course in running a major event.

And yet you still smile…

Oh, I'm super excited. I've been smiling ear to ear since the day I found out I got it. It's surreal and I enjoy every single moment.

Was it a quick yes or a long drawn out one? Be honest …

It was a “Huh?” And then: “Uh, yeah!” I couldn't believe it.

What was the appeal? Many others have said that it's a pretty thankless job…

It just means so much, and not just to me. I have a lot of burden on my shoulders to carry. I have my family, I have my culture, I have the Asian community, I have the half out there – the half white, half Asian, the half black, half Asian, the half Latino, half Asian. There are a lot of halfers out there who need some representation and I fill that void. And I know this because as a kid I just watched award shows and TV, and the only thing you always wanted to be inspired by was someone who looked like you or someone who said something that sounded like you . And I know that this moment is exactly that for me. I know a kid will say, “Oh, okay. It is possible. OK, cool. He did that. All right, I can do it too.” And for me that’s it. That's all I want.

I would like to return to your initial surprise. Last time we spoke, you talked about how Hollywood didn't fully understand you for a long time, even though you were an arena act, and that hurt. Is being asked to host the Globes confirmation that Hollywood finally gets you?

I think the first validation for me was when Steven Spielberg came forward and said, “I'm a fan and I love this special and let's work together.” And then he made this movie, [Easter Sunday.] And I didn't care about anyone else in this industry, you know what I mean? If someone else didn't get it, I'd be like, “I don't know if you know this, but Mr. Spielberg knew it, so you all have to catch up.” And then getting the Globes was like, “Yeah, let's.” go, man.” It's just a beautiful thing, and there aren't that many [host] Options they used and now the options have expanded. Now there's a variety, so let's just keep going. There is so much talent in this industry that needs to be recognized and I hope I have opened that door. No, I don't say that hopefully. Yes, I opened it, damn it. Now let's look at all the other cats out there.

Given the strike delays, the Globes will now air in one of the most crowded corridors in awards show history. How do you want to differentiate this product?

That is fun! And don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of every single award show. It's just in the Filipino blood, we're addicted to award shows. We are addicted to talent shows. As a child, we would watch award shows as a family and bet on who would win in which category. And of all the award shows, this is the one that everyone loves to watch. There's more than just, “And the winner is…” It's like, “K, are they still eating?” Oh, he’s definitely drunk.”

Producers recently suggested that the show would focus on positivity and celebrating success, which would be a real tonal departure from the past, when there were people like Ricky Gervais or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler or, more recently, Jerrod Carmichael as hosts . What are your marching orders?

By the way, I'm a fan of everyone who hosted this show. I would be lying if I said otherwise, and I am in no way replacing anyone. This is just a wonderful opportunity that came to me, and the cool thing about it is they literally said, “Be yourself.” We like what you do and on stage, so we're trying to apply that to the Globes “And I love that because I don’t want to change – I want to do what I do on stage.

What's the worst case scenario for you: being held accountable for being too safe or crossing a line and upsetting others?

I want to make sure everyone in the room knows this is a celebration, man. The industry was hit hard. Really. And many of us were affected by it, including me. I had to stop my career. And there was a point where I thought, 'Is this going to come back?' It was scary. And now we're back. So let's remember what happened and celebrate that we're back. No more picketing, no more fear of losing your job to a computer. So that will be my job: to make sure everyone is reminded that we have the greatest job in the world and that we are celebrated for it. So let's enjoy this moment.

So it's not roasted at all?

Oh, I'll still do what I do! I want to do it in a celebratory way and have a good time, but I'm still going to make fun of a lot of people. (Laughs.)

And not that you had a ton of time for it, but…

I had no time!

Okay, have you reached out to or gotten advice from any previous awards show hosts in a short amount of time?

Yes. It was nice to talk to Seth Meyers, who let me know that he felt the same nervousness that I did, which is kind of crazy. I thought, “Wait, did you feel that too?” And then I also adopted his hyper-focused approach. This is a big responsibility – I have a big burden on my shoulders and I have to be aware of it. So I didn't celebrate New Year's Eve. I didn't do anything. Going out and partying is not an option. Hanging out at a comedy club until 4 a.m. having fun with my friends is not an option. I have to hold on and concentrate fully on the globes and that's all I did. I just watch TV shows and movies. And there's nothing crazier than waking up at 9 a.m. and watching Oppenheimer, you know what I mean? (Laughs.) I want to make sure I'm prepared, and that was another note I got from Ali Wong. The only thing she said was, “Just prepare, Jo.” And Chris Rock, we talked for an hour, which was incredible.

What advice did Chris Rock give you?

Chris is just so generous. He and I have had maybe two conversations in our lives and we literally complimented each other and I told him, “You're king and I thank you for indirectly being there for me” and stuff like that further. And then he complimented me on my special gift, which was just amazing to me. It was incredible that he would come on the phone and talk about hosting, give me his tips and suggest authors like, “This guy is a beast” and “You must need this guy.”

Did he also give you advice on what to do if, for example, someone came on stage?

No. No. (Laughs.) But of all the things he said to me, this one stood out the most. He says, “Fuck the wardrobe. Screw the costume change. Watch the show. Watch the whole show, man.” He says, “You don't know what's going to happen. This way you are ready. If someone says something wrong, you're not going to go up on stage and act like you've seen it, like you've seen it and can respond to it. Be prepared.” And when he said that, I thought, “He's right. Outside the entire room, I need to make sure I'm prepared. I need to make sure I watch the entire show.” It was great advice. And I literally have a costume. This is it.

Finally, I hope you complete this sentence: The evening will be a success if…

Everyone is happy, including me.

Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Productions is owned by Penske Media Eldridge, a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge, which also owns .