Jo Koy comes to Stephens Auditorium


Nov. 24 is officially marked as “Jo Koy Day”  in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Filipino-American stand-up comedy giant, Jo Koy, who most people might recognize from the Netflix Original, “Jo Koy: Live from Seattle” and multiple late night and comedy shows including “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Chelsea Lately” will be performing Friday at Stephens Auditorium. Additionally, one of the featured openers will be Iowa State alumnus and successful comedian, actor, writer and filmmaker, Andrew Lopez.

Koy will be dropping by Ames, IA as a stop on his highly successful “Break the Mold” tour before heading to his next show in Chicago. This tour, which started in 2017, is Koy’s first major headlining tour and has sold out shows in almost every major city in the U.S. including New York, Honolulu and Seattle.

The Filipino funnyman Joseph Glenn Herbert, better known as Jo Koy, originally hails from the state of Washington, but his comedic roots are in Las Vegas where he began performing stand-up comedy at a coffee house. In 1994, he started performing at a comedy club in Las Vegas then soon nabbed a regular spot on the show “Catch a Rising Star” at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

Jo Koy’s first television appearance was on the BET stand-up show “ComicView.” From there he has gone on to appear on a number of television shows and on comedy specials like “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Jamie Foxx Presents: Laffapalooza!” He rose to prominence in 2005 after being one of the few comedic guests to receive a standing ovation on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and after becoming a regular guest at Chelsea Handler’s discussions on “E!’s Chelsea Lately.”

In addition, the comedian won the 2018 Stand-Up Comedian of the Year award for his work in the Montreal comedy festival, Just For Laughs. He has broken a number of attendance records at places such as The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville and The Warfield in San Francisco. Koy holds the record for most tickets sold by a single artist at The Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu with over 23,000 tickets sold and in celebration, Honolulu’s office of the mayor designated Nov. 24 as “Jo Koy Day.”

Much of Jo Koy’s inspiration comes from his family, specifically from his son. Many of his acts also center around his background as a Filipino-American, taking his experiences and spinning them into some of his funniest work. His attitude on stage is explosive and high energy with jokes and bits that carry a universal appeal.

Currently, aside from touring, Jo Koy can be heard on the popular podcasts and shows, “The Adam Carolla Show”, Kevin Hart’s “Inglorious Pranksters” and on his own “The Koy Pond with Jo Koy.” His fourth comedy special is set to be released soon following the success of his last one on Netflix. Lastly, he will be playing the role of Vladimir Lenin in the upcoming live action film “Anastasia.”

The show will be started off by Andrew Lopez, who graduated from ISU in 2012 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams as a comedian, film maker and writer the very week he graduated. Lopez recalled his start at Iowa State and talked about he began stand-up comedy.

“I actually started doing stand up with a performance in ‘VEISHEA Says I’m Funny’ back in 2009,” Lopez said. “I don’t think it’s around anymore, but it was this huge comedy contest that I entered and did my thing for the first time. After that, I joined the Student Union board and began opening for comics that would come through the M-Shop.”

Lopez has since worked with many of his inspirations like Brendan O’Brian, who he considers a mentor, and on huge comedy movies “The House” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.”

“My mentor is Brendan O’Brien who wrote Neighbors, its sequel and a lot of other great stuff,” Lopez said. “He’s taught me everything I know but he’s also one of my biggest inspirations because he’s such a family man and he juggles such an amazing career and being a great father. That’s a big deal to me.”

He recently made an appearance in the comedy, “Blockers,” opposite Seth Rogan who he also calls an inspiration. While he only shot a few scenes, he found it inspirational and a “dream come true.”

“I knew those guys for a long time because I worked on the Neighbors movies and my friends were producing the movie, so it was fun to be around them as an actor to learn and grow. That movie was a dream come true and if I never act again, I think I’d be ok. I also want to be like Seth Rogan or Jordan Peele. I want to direct and write and act in things. I want to make things that are dear to my heart.”

Lopez has been on tour since September.

“I met Jo in a restaurant and I was such a big fan because I’m Filipino and so is he and eventually I got tapped to be on tour with him,” Lopez said. “Jo is such a great inspiration in the way that he treats young comics and the way he treats Filipinos and people of all back grounds. I mean, you go to a Jo Koy show, you haven’t seen anything like that. The inclusion you see in a room that he performs in is what the world needs.”

Tickets start at $38 and are available at Stephens Auditorium’s box office, online at or by calling 800-745-3000. $25 Student rush tickets for Jo Koy are available only at the Iowa State Center Ticket Office. Only one ticket per ID is allowed.