Quantity does not equate to quality, and an overwhelming amount of merely “good” does not make the overall product “great”, no matter how much of that acceptably pleasing material is thrown at an audience. While audiences at the Tivoli Theater were fed a steady stream of jokes by comedian Jo Koy, they seemed to leave feeling ever-so-slightly too full by the end of the two-hour show.
After Eric Schwartz’s opening act entertained the theater for a while, the headliner took the stage. The Filipino-American, who became a nationally acclaimed figure after starting as a guy doing routines after shifts at Foot Locker, promised to tell only new material. After all, with a lot of his jokes already featured on Netflix or the Internet, he did not want to tell funnies ticket-buyers already knew.
Jo Koy seemed to do too much though, spending his time in the spotlight by going through what could be described as stretching what should have been 30 minutes of entertainment into two shows worth of pointless fluff. He went from stories of his Filipino mother, to the joy of fatherhood, to his rise to the top of the comedy world, to the origin of his stage name, to an innumerable amount of other topics.
Toward the second half of the show, Jo Koy recounted the tale of his first few years in the industry during the 1990s, which coincided with his young adulthood. The references to 90s superstars like Boyz 2 Men were appreciated by many of the older onlookers. When his DJ began playing some of those classic tunes, a good portion of the audience sang along.
But his show was best defined by the running gag he had with a woman in the upper balcony named Tammy. She and her husband were the focal point of several of Jo Koy’s jabs, and he often went back to them in between stories. These jokes were a hit with the audience, but their constant repetition became something of a problem in the final stages of the show.
As the night grew long, many expected the show to wrap up whenever a Tammy joke was made and Jo Koy would pause as he was showered with applause. But instead of finishing the show, he would go into another joke, one the audience would of course laugh at. However, by the end of the show, one could see several audience members yawning as the clock grew nearer to 11:00.
But after Jo Koy told his final joke, the entire auditorium rose to their feet and gave him a standing ovation. For as drawn out and sometimes repetitive as the show was, no one could complain about the amount of comedy they saw.