KANSAS CITY - Jo Koy’s cellphone was calling me.
The stand up comedian’s excited that his first hour long Comedy Central special is now out on DVD. Jo Koy: Don’t Make Him Angry gives the uncensored version of tales about Michael Phelps, his son’s ting-ting and his mom playing Wii.
Before we discussed the funny, there was the matter of people thinking he was saying “Joe Corey” on his Amp’d Mobile ad. It was more confusing since we have matching haircuts. He was not playing me in the pool hall. He wanted to know if other people messed up my name like his.
“Whenever I go to get a reservation they go, ‘Your first name is Joy?’” Koy said.
The most embarrassing butchering of his name came at the hands of a former Fox News employee.
“I was doing an industry showcase in LA. Dom Irrera was the host. This is the first time I get to LA. The networks are in the audience to watch. He goes up to do my intro, ‘This next gal, I’ve worked with her several time. She’s hilarious. You’re going to love her. Put your hands together for Joy Koy!’” Jo had to burn one of his precious minutes explaining to the folks that he wasn’t a girl.
Luckily Koy’s career wasn’t destroyed by Dom’s gaf. He graduated from a doing a Comedy Central Presents half hour special to a full fledged hour long show. Here’s a clip from Don’t Make Him Angry with Koy talking about Michael Phelps:
Jokes.com Jo Koy - Swimming
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What’s remarkable is the background image of Koy’s crying son isn’t a projected photograph. It’s a giant mobile hanging from above. Bruce Ryan was responsible for this wicked good piece of stagecraft.
“What’s crazy is that each individual piece had weights on them so they would sit perfectly and wouldn’t sway if wind hit them. The guy is a genius. Bruce Ryan does the big sets for everybody,” Koy explained. Ryan created the sets for Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Dunham, Kathy Griffin and AFI’s Tributes to George Lucas. “We were blessed to have him. He didn’t tell us what he was going to do until the day of the show. I looked up and I teared up. It was so beautiful.”
The piece was too huge for Koy to take back to his place. Even after all these months, it still pangs him that he couldn’t save it. Who wouldn’t want a 20 ft high sculpture of your kid to show off to family and friends? He confessed how he wished he’s just taken one piece.
Koy is really close to his son and taps the child for several of his best routines. He still remembers the delivery room. “That was the best moment of my life,” he said. “Seeing that baby being born. So amazing even though I threw up.”
Koy merely gushed when it came to talking about director Troy Miller’s work on Don’t Make Him Angry. “The way he shot it was awesome. It has a different look than most one hour specials. He went above and beyond also.”
The DVD also includes Koy’s first half hour Comedy Central Presents that was done last year. What was the difference in making the step up to the big show? “When you’re doing an hour, you’re literally doing an hour and thirty minutes,” Koy said. “That way they have enough material to go to. I had to write a longer set. I had to do two tapings in one night. It was pretty much three hours that I did on stage. What’s crazy was we had a technical difficulty in the first show. We couldn’t even use any of the material from the first taping. The whole DVD is the performance I did that night.”
What technical glitch happened to zilch the early show? Did someone forget to press record on the tape deck? Did the front row consist of CIA undercover agents?
“We had no air conditioning,” Koy confessed. “I was sweating profusely. It was bad. I had that silver jacket on so you could see big sweat spots starting to grow. We couldn’t use it because it wouldn’t match. During the second show we still didn’t have an air conditioning unit. At the end of every joke, I was basically stopping. I’d apologize to the crowd. We’d have to do make up and wipe the sweat off my face between each joke. Then I’d start back up again.”
Unlike Madonna, he didn’t rush off stage for the touch up. He never lost sight of the audience. “I was joking and interacting with them in between,” Koy said. If you were in the audience that night, he still thinks highly of you.
You’ve already seen the first half of his routine about Olympic champion Michael Phelps. The routine gets a little darker in the second half. How do the crowds react to him talking about Phelps without his swimcap?
“They love it,” Koy confirmed. “I go on the road and people request it. I don’t do that hour at all. I don’t touch any of those jokes anymore. Last night people were yelling out ‘Michael Phelps!” And ‘Wii!’ My mom playing the wii. They scream that out loud and I have to do it for these people. It’s awesome. I love it. I never had a request before.”
We had a joke about how if Michael Phelps had been photographed eating pot brownies, he could have received a Duncan Hines endorsement instead of apologizing to the people of China.
Here’s a little bit of Jo talking about his mom while she’s in the audience:
Jokes.com Jo Koy - P’s and F’s
Joke of the Day Stand-Up Comedy Free Online Games
“My mom keeps giving me material without knowing that she’s giving me material,” Koy said. “She gets joy every time I go up on stage and have a story about her. She’s a ham, as you can tell.”
We joke about between his son and his mom, he ought to have a reality show on Bravo.
“I shot a pilot with Comedy Central which didn’t get picked up,” Koy said. “Now we’re moving along. I would love to shoot a pilot again based on me and my son.”
Like myself, Jo Coy is also disgusted that “Joe the Plumber” is really a guy named Sam. People that aren’t a first name Joe aren’t really Joes. “This is a classic name,” Koy said. “Don’t mess it up.”
With Jay Leno going to 10 p.m. next season, will there be even more opportunities for stand up comics with all the talkshows needing talent?
“I can’t wait to do Jay Leno again,” Koy said. “What a great talkshow to be on. That guy is nothing, but class. I love Jay. The Tonight Show changed my life completely. I did Kimmel and Carson Daly, but when I did The Tonight Show it was something special. Jay came into my dressing room and spent thirty minutes with my mom, dad, sister and me. He’s a class act. Him and Craig Ferguson are the two guys I admire a lot in the talk show world.”
His first visit with Leno got even better after the show wrapped up. “At the end of the show they do the local drops. He pre-tapes those and keeps the audience there. I’m standing next to Jay Leno. He did four station IDs. When he was done, he looked out in the crowd and said, ‘Where’s Jo Koy’s parents at?” My dad raises his hand. Jay says, ‘Come down. I want to take a picture of you and your son on my stage.’ It was so classy.”
Another show he enjoy is Chelsea Lately on E! He’s been a regular guest on the opening roundtable segment. “I’m pretty much a fixture there and I love it. She’s done so much for my career. She’s really giving and sweet. I want to pay it forward just like her.” And when it comes to her sidekick Chuy Bravo? “I love that guy. He takes those punches so good.”
Koy got his start in Las Vegas. We joked about the badness Criss Angel’s show at the Luxor. We got a little too ghastly with talk about the potential future home of the Jo Koy theater. He gave his recommendation for food in Sin City. “The best place for late night steaks is the Rio.”
When he was working out his material for Don’t Get Him Angry, did Koy work on the language to figure out what moments would work best when bleeped so people would be really interested into getting the uncensored DVD?
“The beautiful thing about the hour is that you get to go up and be yourself and (Comedy Central) has to deal with the bleeping,” Koy said. “It doesn’t take you out of your routine. I’m on the road every day of the week. I’m doing club style comedy. To prepare for my hour special I was one the road for eight months working on my set. I was writing jokes for the hour, but I still have to perform for these people who are coming out to see me.”
What’s always interesting about a comic how they have to constantly be updating their material. Once a comic gets a routine just right, they have to dump it. Don’t expect Koy to perform all the jokes on Don’ t Make Him Angry when he comes to your town in the next few months.
“That’s why people don’t understand how hard it to do stand up,” Koy said. “Writing a joke is equivalent to writing a song. It’s just as hard to work out the kinks and make sure it’s hilariously funny. It takes a while for each joke to develop and work out. Unfortunately when we finally get it on DVD, we have to retire it. Or when it’s on TV, we have to drop it. Otherwise people think you’re doing the same material all the time. It’s unfortunate, but that’s part of the game. A singer writes a song and can milk it for 25 years. We can’t do the classics. It sucks cause there’s a few jokes that I didn’t get to do on the road. I never really got to perform that Michael Phelps joke anywhere. That joke came right after the Olympics.”
There is one exception to the retirement rule.
“If they request it; let’s do it. But it’s a double edged sword for a comedian,” Koy said. “If I go up and do it, the crowd is like, ‘He’s just doing the stuff from the DVD.’ But if you don’t do it, the crowd says, ‘Why didn’t you do any of the stuff from the DVD?’ What do you guys want from me?”
Koy understands the ultimate reason that he needs to keep updating his material. “I don’t want be at the end of my set talking about my three year old and someone comes up to me and goes, ‘Isn’t your son six and a half now?’”
If you want to see Jo Koy talk about his son’s Ting-Ting while the kid is still young, visit his website at:
Anyone else suspect that the recent rash of hatred against Craigslist is being funded by big newspaper publishers wanting us to return to their “safe” classified pages? There’s such a rabid exploitation of any news story dealing with someone using Craigslist.
How can this season of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice not be viewed as fixed? Joan Rivers was a worthless mess on a majority of the episodes, but Trump refused to fire her. Did it have something to do with Joan’s charity being God’s Love We Deliver? Joan likes to call it a small, little known charity. Except it’s not that unknown in the world of Donald Trump since Blaine Trump, his sister-in-law, sits on the Board of Directors of God’s Love We Deliver.
Donald Trump funneled $532,000 of NBC’s money to a relative’s charity without admitting his connection. How could Annie Duke have a chance to win? She was dead meat in that boardroom. The network didn’t let us know that the judge had a rooting interest in this decision. I would normally say that this is against the game show laws, but there’s no real game in this show, Trump can do what he wants without preset rules and conditions. He doesn’t have to be consistent or make sense. He got rid of a Kardashian because he won’t tolerate people with a drunk driving conviction. Yet he allowed Dennis Rodman to stick around even though the Worm had also been nailed for drunk driving. Where’s the justice?
The bigger scandal is why NBC had to give this show three hours for its finale. Couldn’t they have cut it in half and started the Today Show early?
Another two James Bond classics are out on Blu-ray this month. Time to break out my martini glasses to enjoy 007 in 1080p.
The Man With The Golden Gun takes the Roger Moore Bond to the Far East. He’s in pursuit of a notorious hitman played by Christopher Lee. How will the secret agent do against a man who played Dracula in the Hammer Films? Lee gets a little help from Herve Villechaize (Tattoo from Fantasy Island). Bond gets stuck with a ditzy agent, Britt Ekland (The Wicker Man) so he’s out manned. The film does have quite a few exciting scenes including a spiral car leap off twisted bridge. Christopher Lee turns his car into an airplane with a few handy accessories. Unlike today’s CGI effects, they really did get that car to fly. All the bonus features from the Ultimate Edition have been brought over. The transfer image brings out the beauty of the Asian location. The Phuket islands in Thailand look like a high quality travel poster on the screen. And you’ll want to be able to see Britt Ekland and Maud Adams in extreme resolution as they wander around Lee’s lair in bikinis.
Licence to Kill was Timothy Dalton’s second and final outing as Bond. They wanted to make a harder Bond than the glib Roger Moore persona. While this film isn’t as intense as Daniel Craig’s Bond, Dalton wasn’t a happy go lucky agent. The cut on the Blu-ray contains the moments snipped after the MPAA rated the film with an R back in ‘89. The film has Robert Davi (the creepy stripclub owner in Showgirls) as a Latin American drug kingpin. Bond and Felix Leiter (David Hedison) bust the guy right before Felix’s wedding. The honeymoon goes bad when Davi escapes and gives Felix a really bad wedding gift. Bond is bent on revenge, but M wants him off the case. Bond resigns from MI6 so he can keep up his pursuit. His only help is Carey Lowell and Davi’s abused girlfriend. Davi’s main muscle is a very young Benicio Del Toro. Injecting a little humor to the film is Wayne Newton as a televangelist. The high definition transfer makes the shark torture scene more intense than the pan and scan run on cable. The bonus features include a breakdown of how they made the tanker trucks for the big stunt sequence. You also get two really cheesy ’80s videos from Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. If you’ve upgraded your home entertainment system, make sure you’ve upgraded your Bonds.
Man Hunt is our Ray Regis pick of the week. In the wake of Tarantino’s World War II fantasy called Inglourious Basterds, Fox has finally put out Fritz Lang’s own fictional plot against Hitler that was released in 1941. Walter Pidgeon has a clear shot at Hitler during a hunting trip in Bavaria. He’s captured by Hitler’s guards. They torture him in hopes of getting a confession that he is a British agent on a mission. Can he withstand the enhanced interrogation techniques? What would happen if he does as told? This was pre-World War II so plenty hangs in the balance for Pidgeon to resist. Can he escape before he becomes another victim of the Third Reich? The movie is a tight thriller for its time. Patrick McGilligan contributes a commentary track. He wrote Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast so he’s giving plenty of details instead of describing what we’re seeing. He lets us know the guy playing Hitler had already put on the mustache for Citizen Kane. The late film archivist Ray Regis was really excited to screen Man Hunt a few years back. I know he’d be pleased by the excellent black and white transfer on this DVD. Before you see Basterds, witness how Fritz Lang threatened Hitler while the Fuhrer was alive.
Pufnstuf is the winner of the DVD that requires you to be baked. The big screen musical adaptation of the Saturday morning H.R. Pufnstuf. This was the first major freakishness from Sid and Mary Krofft. A little boy is kidnapped by a witch who wants his magic flute. His only help is a giant lizard in little white cowboy boots. Can he get his flute back? Why is everything on Living Island alive? How do they eat without fruit screaming? Will Mama Cass sing more songs? This film is not made to be watched while sober. Only bonus feature is the trailer.
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