JO KOY @ Riverside Theatre gets 8/10

Jo Koy Just Kidding @ Riverside Theatre
w/ DJ Ryan Live, Andrew Lopez, Eric Schwartz
Friday, December 13, 2019


The Riverside Theatre at the Perth Convention and Exhibition centre offered up a well-equipped space for a night of rambunctious laughter at the hands of comedian Jo Koy. With over 20 years of stand-up comedy experience and a Netflix special under his belt, Koy is no stranger to a large crowd – with this one filling the venue almost to capacity.

DJ Ryan Live set the mood by mixing an array of songs whilst the crowd slowly filtered in. He would later provide his mixing talents as a part of Koy’s act. Excited whispers buzzing in the theatre before the show indicated that the audience ranged from die hard Jo Koy fans to comedy lovers who were simply looking for a fun night out with friends and family.

The show opened with two supporting acts, Andrew Lopez and Eric Schwartz. Both sets were only around 10-15 minutes long. Lopez had the crowd in hysterics over his Tinder escapades, whilst Schwartz utilised his musical talent to create a side-splitting and rhythmically impressive routine about his life and pop culture.

When the man of the evening himself finally took the stage, the cheers from the audience were deafening. Jo Koy immediately made himself at home, utilising a mishap with the microphone cables as an opportunity to pull an unsuspecting stagehand into his routine, which set the tone for a raucous night of fun and unexpected audience participation.

Koy playfully explained that his widely broadcast Netflix special meant that he needed to come up with a whole new lot of material, and this led him to playfully pick on four or five audience members whom he would cleverly continue to draw into his routine throughout the night. One of these audience members was a 14-year old boy who was celebrating his birthday at the show. He seemed nothing short of absolutely delighted at being a part of his favourite comedian’s show.

Koy’s material drew largely on family and his Filipino-American background, providing laugh out loud (and at times even heartwarming) messages about diversity. His engagement and connection with the audience left the entire theatre hanging off of his every word and made what could be seen as a very large and overwhelming space feel like an intimate venue.

There were a few very minor tech issues throughout the night, but the one that stood out was the follow-spots which seemed to be almost comically bad. The spots would move when Koy was completely still, and end up on the other side of the stage sporadically. Whilst this was certainly not an intentional part of the act, Koy mixed it in seamlessly, telling the follow-spotter to “Just take a quick nap and I’ll stay still for a bit.”

The laughs started early and didn’t stop for the entire evening, with multiple audience members having to quite literally wipe away tears as Koy shared anecdotes about his son and his mother. The night finished with some musical comedy, Koy inviting DJ Ryan Live back on the stage. The whole audience went from laughing in an array of different keys to all singing No Scrubs together as one.

Jo Koy’s Just Kidding world tour is an event that will be thoroughly enjoyed by the whole family (providing the family has tweens at the youngest). The crowd gave Koy two standing ovations and he graciously stayed behind to take photos with excited audience members.