What’s the difference between challenging stereotypes and perpetuating those same stereotypes?
That’s just one of the many questions international comedy superstar Jo Koy tries to get to the bottom of on this week’s episode of The Last Laugh podcast. Koy talks about putting the jokes aside to deal with the harsh realities of his childhood as a half-Filipino, half-white kid in his new memoir Mixed Plate and breaks down how he forged his own comedy path, refusing to take no as an answer from Netflix and gaining a new fan in Steven Spielberg, who’s producing a new movie based on his life called Easter Sunday. He also tells stories about turning down the chance to be Chelsea Handler’s sidekick and shares his reaction to mentor Jay Leno’s recent apology for decades of anti-Asian jokes.
“What I love the most—and I hate saying this—but what I love the most out of what has happened [with the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes], is the community of people that have banded together,” Koy says. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Seeing the type of racism that my mom had to go through—we lived in a time where it was just like, ‘OK, let’s not talk about that, we’re just guests in this country.’ That was the mentality that my mom had. Even though she was an American, she still felt like a guest. It was like, ‘Oh, of course you could do that to me and it’s OK, I get it.’ But now we’re at a point where we don’t get it. And it’s not cool. And we’re all Americans and we all live here. And if you fuck up and do something evil like that, we’re going to band together and we’re going to shut you down.”
Listen to the episode now and subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts and be the first to hear new episodes when they are released every Tuesday.