I must admit that even though a lot of Pinoys are big fans of JoKoy, I was pretty on the fence about his comedy. Sure, he shares relateable anecdotes about his mom and growing up as a Filipino but my reservation comes from being taught to respect our elders, which I felt at first, he was not being to his mom, who was often the subject of his jokes.
Recently, I came across a very short clip of JoKoy giving a “tutorial” on speaking Filipino, and it was about how to say What did you say? in Tagalog. It really cracked me up, so much so that I decided to check out his latest special Comin’ In Hot on Netflix. I wanted to know why people found him so funny and I didn’t want to be a snob forever.
After seeing the special, I got why fans gravitate towards JoKoy. He knows how to work the crowd and connect with them using common experiences. When he talks about his mom, the crowd remember their own mom. When he regales the audience with talks about his baon, they lose their minds because Pinoys, no matter what part of the world they are in, will have that common trait of saving Tupperware containers, and reusing them until they are literally useless.
I loved the part where JoKoy depicted his mom as a no-nonsense interrogator, or the fact that she didn’t give any shizzz about his school cred. Ask any Pinoy kid in our generation and they probably had similar experiences. Most Pinoy moms won’t coddle you and will call you on your bull even before you create a plausible story in your brain. That’s why we shake in our boots when we do something wrong, even before the third degree arrives.
While I originally thought that JoKoy simply portrayed his mom as a tyrant, I now see the light and understand now that it was all in good fun. It wasn’t done to portray his mom in a bad light but it was a rather endearing (albeit unique) way of reminiscing his childhood memories. I apologize for being judgy, JoKoy.
For Comin’ In Hot, I liked that JoKoy shared pieces of Filipino history like the Spanish occupation. It justifies why the Spanish and the Filipinos share a lot of cultural traits. His no holds barred type of comedy is brutal and not for people with fragile sensibilities. But for the most part, they are grounded on truth so everyone relates. At times, the jokes seem crude but he tries to include everyone in on the joke so they don’t take offense so at the end of the day, its alright.
I did feel sorry for JoKoy’s son Joe, though. After all the anecdotes that his dad shared about him, I doubt if he’ll come out of the Netflix special without any kind of backlash from his schoolmates. Hopefully, he lets its slide down his back and takes it in stride like his old man.
All in all, JoKoy Comin’ in Hot was an entertaining way to spend an hour of your time. You have to brace yourself for the more brutal jokes but if you’re down with it, you can even learn a lesson or two — Cooking Rice the Asian Way and Fix Your Credit. These life lessons does wonders for your lovelife, says this comedian and he might be on to something.