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Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, and more hosts defend Jo Koy's Golden Globes performance

By Melanie Uson Published Jan 10, 2024 4:39 pm

Amid the criticisms, former awards show hosts and comedians defended Jo Koy’s performance in the recently concluded 2024 Golden Globe Awards, noting how hard hosting can be. 

Jo Koy's opening monologue, with jokes about Barbie's boobs and Barry Keoghan's genitals, was met with criticisms online from social media users and entertainment outlets like Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone. Some former awards show hosts, however, defended the Fil-Am standup comedian.

'Hosting is brutal'

Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, who has hosted several Academy Awards and a Tony Awards show, came to Jo Koy's aid saying, “Hosting gigs are brutal.” 

"They are just brutal. If you don’t know the room, if you’ve not been in these rooms before and you’re sort of thrust out there, it’s hit or miss," she said during their discussion in The View on Tuesday, Jan. 9.  

Goldberg, the first black woman to host the Oscars, said she loves Jo Koy and that “he is funny” especially in stand-ups, which are “not an easy gig.” 

“ I don’t know whether it was the room, I don’t know whether it was the jokes, I didn’t get to see it. But I do know, that he is as good as it gets when it comes to stand-ups and it is not an easy gig,” she added. 

For her part, TV presenter Sara Haines echoed this, stressing that people need to protect comedians like him, who she described as a “national treasure.” 

“Well, I love Jo Koy and I thought the whole time I was so nervous for him because I think he is so funny,” Sara said. 

“He is kind, he is good, you know all the things. What bothers me more in watching this is, get a sense of humor because we need to protect these national treasures called our comedians because life needs them,” she continued. 

She added, “We need to stop binding them in, and fencing them in. And in that room, Jo Koy is punching up. No one feels sorry. Just smile.” 


'Tough gig'

Meanwhile, Steve Martin, who hosted the Academy Awards in 2001 and 2003, applauded Jo Koy for taking on the “toughest gig” in show business, saying that hosting a live awards show is “not for the squeamish.” 

“I tip my hat to anyone who steps out on stage to host a live awards show. It’s a very difficult job and not for the squeamish. I know because I’m still throwing up from the last time I did it in 2010,” the award-winning host wrote on Threads on Tuesday, Jan. 9. 

“So, Congratulations to Jo Koy, who took on the toughest gig in show business, hit, missed, was light on his feet, and now has twenty minutes of new material for his stand up!” he added. 

Actor-comedian Kevin Hart, who was tapped to host for the 2019 Oscars, reiterated that Jo Koy is “an amazing comedian.” 

“I think Jo Koy is an amazing comedian, always has been,' he said in a quick interview with the Daily Mail. 

“It's a tough room, and without the knowledge and understanding of how to navigate a room - you can have some moments, some bumps,” he added. 

The Fatherhood star reiterated that the Fil-Am is a talented comedian, and believes that he will get through the criticisms. 

“Jo Koy is a talented, funny f---king guy, and forever will be. People want to highlight the world of bad but Jo will be good and always has been,” he said. “I love Jo, I can't wait to see what else Jo does; industry or not industry, he’s made it this far, [and] he will make it after."

The day after the ceremony, Jo Koy acknowledged the backlash of his performance, saying “It’s a tough room. It was a hard job,” also mentioning the lack of preparation since he was tapped just two weeks before the big day. 

It was a crash course,” he said. “I feel bad, but I got to still say I loved what I did.” 

He also admitted that his joke about Taylor Swift and the National Football League (NFL) was “weird.” 

“It was more on the NFL,” he said. “I was trying to make fun of the NFL using cutaways and how the Globes didn’t have to do that. So it was more of a jab toward the NFL. But it just didn’t come out that way,” he explained. 

The 81st Golden Globe Awards were held on Monday, Jan. 8 (Philippine time) in Los Angeles, California. It recognized the best films and TV series from the past year, with Oppenheimer and Succession as the big winners of the night. 

Prior to his Golden Globes gig, Jo Koy had shows in Hawaii, San Francisco, Winnipeg, and San Diego, as well as stand-up specials on Netflix, including Live from Seattle and Comin' in Hot. He also starred in the movie Easter Sunday and the animated supernatural horror Haunted Mansion