It takes a selfless comedian to cede the starring role in his own stories to other people. Jo Koy is exactly that kind of comedian. In this hour-long set from the Alex theatre in Los Angeles, Koy gleefully digs through his family history and delivers laughs by telling tales where nothing is off limits (including his son's penis).
After getting a rock star's welcome from an adoring audience (he's Filipino, they're mostly Filipino...coincidence?), he gives us a taste of the advice his mother usually has in store for him. Without spoiling her words of wisdom, this bit does give Koy the opportunity to demonstrate how he likes to mess with drunk girls in bars (don't worry, it's not pervy but it is devilish). He then moves into a segment dedicated to natural disasters, which brings with it one of the highlights of the show as Koy describes experiencing an earthquake with his son. If the slo-mo reenactment of this story peppered with hilarious repetition of the phrase 'wet and naked' doesn't get you giggling, feel free to check out because you may be immune to Koy's charm.
From there, Koy launches into the next act of his show which is almost entirely devoted to his son. Before you get turned off at the thought of hearing stories about some dude's cutesy kid's adorable antics, let me assure you that Koy's son is a force of nature and Koy is just crazy enough to think he can tame him. Tale after tale paints his son as a cross between the Hulk and the Tasmanian Devil. Somehow, Koy cuts through the filth ("When you scratch your asshole, don't rub your eyes. I thought that was common fucking sense.") and the raunch (strumming matching boners with his kid as a bonding exercise) to expose the sweetness and joy that accompany being a father.
The parent-child relationship is flipped in the final segment as Koy talks about the challenges of growing up with a mother as complex as his own. By turns funny, condescending and hard-nosed, Koy's mom comes across as exactly the sort of woman who would have raised a son with his comedic sensibilities. She can be just as exaggerated and dark as him (perhaps even more so) and this comes through nicely in the story that Koy tells about his sleep apnea. Even though his mom was concerned for his health, it didn't prevent her from video-taping him in all his slumbering glory to support future I-told-you-so moments.
Although not all of Koy's stories are packed with punch-lines, they simply work because of his animated manner and the genuine affection he has for the people that populate them. To be fair, anyone who saw his last special (Don't Make Him Angry!) may recognize that he spoke at great length about his son and mother in that one as well. To his credit, Koy's material here feels like a natural progression and not a soggy retread. The intimate focus and personal flourishes almost give the impression that Koy is reading out loud from his diary, one where sentimentality has been replaced with dick jokes...and that's fine by me.