Jo Koy’s Jokes Fall Flat at the Golden Globes

Pictured is comedian Jo Koy. Photo courtesy of Rich Polk for Getty Images.

Kerry Kadel | Arts and Entertainment

The 2024 Golden Globes aired on January 7th of this year, and there was much excitement surrounding the actors, actresses, and movies. Summer of 2023 was a blockbuster hit for movies such as Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer”, and audiences were eager to see which of the two would take home the most awards. With these two movies both premiering on the same day last summer, there was an array of memes that stormed the internet combining the two into one, which became known as the sensation “Barbenheimer.” However, the jokes and memes that were born from social media proved to elicit a more joyous response than this year’s Golden Globes host, Jo Koy. 

Jo Koy is an American stand-up comedian and actor, who appeared on E!’s late night show with Chelsea Lately as a panelist. He has six comedy specials from Comedy Central and Netlfix. Many users on X had posts commenting on the fact that no one knew who he truly was, and why the Golden Globes hired him to be this year’s host. The ‘why’ portion of these posts came from many users criticizing the jokes that Koy had planned for that evening. 

The two jokes from the comedian that many have been focusing on are about Taylor Swift and the premise of Barbie. In Koy’s monologue, he pokes fun at the runtime of Nolan’s “Oppenheimer”, while also praising it’s backstory, but he took a shot at Gerwig’s Barbie that depleted the meaning it had for viewers. “’Oppenheimer’ is based on a 721 page Pulitzer Prize winning book about the Manhattan Project. And “Barbie” is on a plastic doll with big boobies.” 

The camera pans to director Greta Gerwig, who nods, but the look on her face shows just how unbalanced the joke was for comparing two different movies, yet where both made box-office impact. A few moments later as the joke carries on, you can see celebrities such as Selena Gomez put her hands to her face in response, and it’s evident that many others within the crowd reacted in disapproval. Immediately after, Koy laughs and quickly chimes in to say, “Some I wrote, some other people wrote,” before moving on to say that he got the job ten days ago, and the jokes that the crowd was laughing at were his own.

One joke was shot at Robert De Niro, and the cast of The Color Purple with a crude joke connected to its name. When watching the monologue, Koy reminds the audience that not all of these jokes are his own, and he’s realizing that they are not flying as smoothly as the writers had hoped for. Realizing this, Koy seems to begin to try and save the joke, muttering into the microphone before he decides to move on. 

Finally, moving onto the second main joke that viewers weren’t fond of was Koy stating that, “The difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL: on the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.”

This joke especially has other comedians speaking up in Koy’s defense. Actors and SNL alums Dana Carvey and David Spade spoke about Koy and the jokes on their shared podcast “Fly on the Wall”. The two defended Koy, stating that his jokes weren’t that bad, that he’s a successful comedian, but one who lacks having a big name in the comedy field. The two comedians made note of how Koy’s comedy style doesn’t translate well to an award show, where jokes have to be aimed and fired off one after another. 

It can also be argued on Swift’s side that in her fifteen years of fame, she’s had to deal with a lot of low-blow jokes and comments on her personal life. For Swift, her reaction can be reasoned with past experiences she’s had with the media, and with her Eras Tour taking the summer by storm, breaking records and making headlines. She’s also had to deal with rumors and gossip pushed by the media focusing on her relationship with NFL Kansas Chiefs’ tight end, Travis Kelce. 

Yet, in all fairness, ten days to prepare for an award show is bad timing to put upon the host. In a USA Today article written about Koy’s performance, they say he was asked to rate his performance, to which he said, “A-plus just based on the courage [to do it].”

He also explained that the jokes were being written until they were live. Stating that it was no excuse, Koy said that he was happy he hosted the show anyways. He also explained that he had no intention of throwing his writers under the bus during his speech, when claiming a joke wasn’t written by him and laughing about how bad they were. Koy sees this as an experience to learn from, but to not hinder the excitement that it opened up for him to leave no regrets behind. 

For more coverage of the awards season check out other stories from Flyer News.

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