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[OPINION] The most awkward ten minutes in the history of the Golden Globes

By Joel Pablo Salud Published Jan 08, 2024 7:24 pm

“I saw a study that said speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. Number two was death. This means to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.” 

That was Jerry Seinfeld presaging what it would be like for Joy Koy and his monologues at the recent Golden Globes. His career’s leap from eulogy to the casket was definitely swift, though not tailored for the night in any way.

A disclaimer: So far as this writer is concerned, that half-Pinoy guy was never funny, not to me, and this statement comes from a standup comedy fan. As a dry bar comedy fan for years, I’ve always been amazed by wit and a clear show of intelligence, not by gutter-slapped irreverence.

Some may think of Filipino gutter comedy as good, which by turns profane and sacrilegious can be malodorous on many occasions. But not me. I am 100% a smell-ist. No doubt, there is a kind of irreverence that’s hilarious, but there is that dark sort that cuts deep and bores the mind to death. 

And not even for the promise of gold and silver would I make fun of my mother (unless I have a death wish), my nationality (save in certain circumstances), or my ideals. I am such a fan of great stage humor that the most Marxist I can be is Groucho Marx. Karl was a bit too stiff for me, and too much of a bourgeoisie for comfort.

Jo Koy is nowhere in my list of funny—“funny” being defined as entertaining and humorous. He’s closer to words like laughable, silly, and… much to my dismay, slapstick.

But then again, has anyone noticed how panicky he was? First three seconds and the aftershocks of an internal temblor had become noticeable. 

“I’m your host, Jo Koy (half-a-second delay in applause)… Look, I’m just taking this all in, let me look around, I’m just taking this all in. I’m so excited to be here. Uhm, this is a dream come true…” 

Anyone who begins his or her shift with what seems like an “apology,” like that I-don’t-think-I-belong-here tone of voice, or “I can’t believe I am here” star-struckness was already predisposed to crashing and burning.

But who wouldn’t be anxious about hosting such a grand event? I know I would.

He thereafter presumed that he knew what everyone else was thinking. “This is a dream come true not only for me but for everybody in here. We all dreamt of this moment.”

He got so fraught with excitement at seeing Kevin Costner—in a roomful of other bright lights of Hollywood—that he looked like a kid who had his first taste of slamming his face on a glass door.

Then he tripped at “Kevin Costner is on a mountain somewhere with a cow.” That was Jo Koy stepping on the gas instead of the brakes at 35,000 feet above sea level. There was more disaster in that one line than in the movie, 2012

On a night where the bright lights of Hollywood are gathered, it is wise not to get a screaming fan to host it.

The sudden shift from that unfortunate cow to his having the best seat in the house, dragged notoriously by that spiel about himself—how he and his family were fans of the Golden Globes—didn’t really sit well with those already squirming in their comfy chairs.

That Meryl Streep punchline—and no comedian can get away using a Meryl Streep as a punchline unless it is superbly good—ushered in what everyone was bracing themselves for. 

The next 10 or so minutes came dragging in the heels of a largely courteous crowd who, at first, chose not to be offended at the stiff act. Hollywood’s crème de la crème was only too kind to hoot and giggle their way like some snigger cult member whose titters were more costly than their applause.

It was unfortunate that the whole gig, which to Jo Koy may have become a positive turning point in his career, soon turned into a crime scene. HuffPost on X posted, “Some of these jokes were not landing, and some of them were just flat-out bad.” 

Other social media users immediately went for the jugular: “Jo Koy's career is finally over we used to pray for times like this.”

The 81st Annual Golden Globes would’ve done well to hire the Mexican stand-up genius Gabriel Jesús Iglesias or Fluffy to his fans, or Christian comedian Jeff Allen who can whip up several witty lines without digging into the litter box of swearwords and profanity. 

Since I am at it, allow me the question: Could that be it? Did Jo Koy force himself to deliver jokes away from his comedy box of Pinoy cheek and gall? 

I guess all I am saying is that: On a night where the bright lights of Hollywood are gathered, it is wise not to get a screaming fan to host it. Filipino or what-have-you makes no difference.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of PhilSTAR L!fe, its parent company and affiliates, or its staff.