Jo Koy Responds to Golden Globes Criticism: ‘It’s a Tough Room’

Jo Koy Responds to Golden Globes Criticism: ‘It’s a Tough Room’

Hosting a Hollywood awards show can be a notoriously difficult job, with its audience of image-conscious A-list celebrities on the receiving end and a large television audience scrutinizing the material in real time. After Jo Koy’s performance as the host of this year’s Golden Globes drew criticism, he acknowledged Monday that it had been “a tough room.”

“Well, I had fun — you know, it was a moment that I’ll always remember,” Koy said Monday on the ABC program “GMA3,” noting that he had only had a week and a half to prepare. “It’s a tough room. And it was a hard job, I’m not going to lie. Getting that gig, and then having the amount of time that we had to prepare — that was a crash course.”

At Sunday’s awards show, parts of Koy’s opening monologue seemed to fall flat in the ballroom, drawing a defensive aside from the comedian. “I got the gig 10 days ago!” he said. “You want a perfect monologue? Yo, shut up. You’re kidding me, right? Slow down, I wrote some of these — and they’re the ones you’re laughing at.”

Koy’s material gravitated toward more standard celebrity teasing. Last year, when Jerrod Carmichael was the host, he delivered a provocative performance, immediately addressing the turmoil over a lack of Black voting members at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that ran the Golden Globes until it was dissolved.

Koy’s opener did address diversity, pointing out the whiteness in the room, but it otherwise stuck with more standard fare, including a joke about Hollywood’s favorite weight loss drug. (“By the way, ‘The Color Purple’ is also what happens to your butt when you take Ozempic,” he joked.)

Many of the onscreen cutaways showed tepid reactions, but the responses on social media and from some critics was harsher. (A headline in The Guardian read: “The joke’s on Jo Koy: Golden Globes host delivers a bad gig for the ages.”)

Koy said in the interview that he would “be lying” if he said the criticism “doesn’t hurt.”

“I hit a little moment there where I was like, ‘Ah, hosting is just a tough gig,’” Koy said. “Yes, I am a stand-up comic but that hosting position, it’s a different style.”

One reaction from the crowd became an instant meme: When Koy joked that the Globes would have “fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift” than N.F.L. telecasts — referring to the frequent reaction shots of her recent appearances at Kansas City Chiefs games to cheer on the team’s tight end, Travis Kelce — Swift, who was seated in the audience, looked unamused, coolly sipping from her drink. In his interview, Koy acknowledged that the joke fell “just a little flat.”

So, one of the interviewers asked, if he could do it all again, would he say yes to the hosting invitation?

“That’s a tough gig,” he replied, “I’m not going to lie.”

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