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Thoughts On Jo Koy's Golden Globes Monologue

Stand-up comedy is an extremely difficult thing to perform. Not only is it a performance art, it's also a form of storytelling. What makes it even more nerve-wracking is that it's an art form that works directly off of its audience in real time. The audience is supposed to laugh right then and there after the joke is told. If they don't, it could be daunting to continue with the act. This fact is often lost on critics who don't just judge jokes in isolation but criticize the entire artist as a person when things don't work out.

 

Wil Wheaton is a celebrity who doesn't hold back when it comes to speaking his mind. He made a very long, ranting post about Jo Koy on Facebook. It was a true condemnation of not just the monologue from the Golden Globes but Jo Koy as both a person and a comedian. I was surprised to see a prominent comics editor, who also doesn't hold back from speaking her mind, share the post. Having been familiar with Jo Koy's work and a fan of it, the post actually made me intrigued enough to check out the monologue for myself.

 

I gave it a watch and thought parts of it were funny. Not every joke was stellar. Some fell short. But it's important to remember that it's a performance, one which Jo Koy did not have a lot of time to prepare for (he even made that fact part of the act). He was trying to make a room full of the biggest egos in the world laugh at themselves. It's not an easy thing to do, especially in today's day and age when comedians are being criticized all the time for the lines they are pushing. Chris Rock literally got slapped for it.

 

Could some of his jokes have been better? Absolutely. But that's what they were. Jokes. An art that's meant to be critiqued and criticized. But you don't condemn the artist for it. Nothing Jo Koy said or did crossed the line. Some of his jokes could have been better delivered or adjusted to hit harder. But taking offense and criticizing an artist personally because you didn't like his art shows a misunderstanding of what stand-up comedy is all about.

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