‘Jo Koy: Live From Brooklyn’ Review: Latest Netflix Special Is Mid At Best

Do you know the famous meme where something (say, a TV show) is supposed to be funny, but when you’re watching it, it’s a whole other story? The famous Michael Scott poker face (please Google if you don’t get it) is used here to describe exactly how you feel. Why am I bringing it up here? Because most of the time I was watching Jo Koy: Live From Brooklyn, that was exactly how I was feeling. And that’s quite ironic considering the opening ten minutes of Koy’s Netflix special literally ask you to laugh out loud. Koy explicitly talks about people whom he terms “energy vampires.” These are the people with whom you hang out and then end up feeling miserable. Koy says you shouldn’t spend time with them. That’s quite alright, because why would you deliberately waste precious hours of your life with people who constantly bring you down? But Koy makes it a point that you should laugh wholeheartedly instead. He jokes about people who aren’t quite laughing even while watching a comedy special. Sure, it’s humor, but for these jokes to land, you actually need to be funny.

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I was actually expecting things to change after Koy got into the meat of the special. But then he goes full boomer and starts talking about the effects of social media. According to Koy, your social media friends are not your real friends; you should get out more and put effort into real-world friendships. I obviously can’t agree because all the genuine friends I have are actually the ones I made on social media, and hell, the same goes for relationships as well. Yeah, you might argue that’s my personal thing, but why shouldn’t I bring it up when a comedian is blatantly generalizing? And it’s quite stupid, to be honest, especially the bit where Ko speaks about how he used to get scared while talking to a girl and just kept looking at her for days, compared to how people can just slide into DMs these days. No surprise he mentions the eggplant emoji to put it under a lewd light.

At this point, I should clarify myself. I am not out here to launch a scathing attack on the comedian. I’m just doing my job here, which is honestly telling you how I felt after watching Live From Brooklyn. Now, if you ask me, I have seen worse standup sets compared to this. Jo Koy might be unfunny for the most part, but he’s certainly not boring. And I’ve got to admit, I did chuckle quite a bit during the second half of the set. 

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I thought the whole Biggie versus mumble rap part was quite something. Although it’s true that, just like Koy, I am also not particularly into modern-day music. I am not rigid, so I am not being biased when I say the mumble rap doesn’t quite hold a candle to the hip-hop of Koy’s younger years. It’s a nice touch that he played both kinds of music to offer context. 

If I have to pick the highlight of Koy’s comedy special, then that has to be the old-age trouble bit. The story of Koy suddenly discovering that he had developed lactose intolerance while driving with a girl beside him is quite funny, I would say. Too bad the man didn’t get laid that night. What’s even worse is his not being able to drink milk without worrying about his health! And the bacterial trouble is not the only thing Koy has been cursed with by his old age. There’s also Sciatica to give him company. Now I didn’t know what that thing was—just like what Koy said on stage. For the uninitiated, it’s nerve trouble that starts from below your waist (you know which part, right?) and goes down through the leg—and makes your life hella painful! 

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What’s even more chuckle-inducing? The story of how Koy got diagnosed in the first place. It’s not the doctor telling him about Sciatica being the reason behind his pain that is funny. The important thing here is that the doctor is unable to find much of the existence of a rear in Koy’s body. Most men tend to not care about having it, while they care a lot about the female kind having a substantial amount of it. In fact, this plays a very important role in men getting physically attracted to women, if you know what I mean. 

It’s quite common for a comedian to start a comedy special in a manner that’s not so convincing but still ends on a high. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have such hope from Koy during the middle part of his one-hour set. But alas! Koy had to go back to being a boomer yet again, this time by bringing his twenty-year-old son into the equation. His son has all the privileges that he didn’t have when he was that age. If the son is out late, he can just Uber back home. If he’s suddenly hungry, he can just order online. Sadly, when Daddy Koy was young, he had to run towards his house in pitch darkness at 1 a.m. And if he had to eat anything when his mom was not home, all he could have was a cheese ketchup roll—that too with almost expired cheese. Koy says his son (basically, Gen Z) is soft compared to how he used to be. This is obviously extreme boomer behavior, instead of being happy that this generation has all the privileges. Koy is a comedian, so he’s just joking about it, but haven’t we heard these jokes from so many boomers already?

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Koy does resurrect his act a bit with the Zaddy part, though, where he decides to take the self-trolling route, which works out in his favor. But then he had to mess everything up with an unfunny as hell ending—with a bit where he teaches the horrific nitty-gritties of a c-section to a twelve-year-old boy, just because the boy refuses to clean up his room. And whether scripted or not scripted, why even pick on a twelve-year-old kid in the audience (even though the boy, Caleb, took it quite sportingly) in an R-rated comedy show? 


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Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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