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LOS ANGELES, USA – “I’m onstage! That’s what you look forward to,” Jo Koy quipped in my interview with him for Rappler about his history-making gig as the first Filipino American to host the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, January 7 (Monday morning in the Philippines).
“Like, I’m onstage, let’s go!” Jo added in our chat last Friday morning inside The Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom, where he will be watched in person by the biggest names in Hollywood and by millions of people via television and streaming platforms.
It’s the biggest TV audience for the comedian who fills huge arenas in his hit one-man live shows. The Globes show is viewed in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. In the US, Hollywood’s first major awards show of the year will be broadcast live on CBS and stream on Paramount+ at 8 pm ET/5 pm PTon Sunday.
The show can also be viewed live and on-demand on Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers in the US, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs in the US only.
“Like, we’ve done it, we made it, so let’s keep the ball rolling and just have fun. Laugh,” Jo said.
I told the genial, ever-smiling performer that as the first Filipino member and voter of the Golden Globes, I am glad and proud to witness this moment that a Fil-Am gets to host for the first time in the show’s 81-year history.
“Yeah man, this is that opportunity where you’re just indirectly inspiring somebody,” he replied.
“And there are kids out there who want to do something like this and want to see if they can make it in Hollywood. When I walk out onstage, they’ll know that, oh, okay, the door is open. There’s a chance.”
“So that’s what this means to me. I feel like there’s a lot of weight on my shoulders and I love that. I love the fact that I can do this.”
“Everyone’s so happy,” he beamed.
As to what to expect, Jo answered, “I want to make sure that I do the job. I’m hosting the Golden Globes. So, this is the night I get to have fun, poke fun, and make everyone celebrate this moment, so that’s what I want to do.”
On what excites him and his biggest worry or hurdle at this point, Jo remarked, “There’s no hurdle. The only thing was the time. I found out two weeks ago that I got it and we’ve been writing for about eight days straight.”
“I gotta come up with a monologue in like four more days. That’s about the only hurdle but, oh well, that’s the job and I can’t wait.”
With only a short time to prepare to host the Globes, which honor the year’s best in film and television, he has not slept much since he had to binge-watch the nominated movies and TV shows.
“Oh, I love them all,” he said when I asked what the most surprising thing was about all the films and shows he saw in record time. “But the one that I really enjoy watching is, of course, Beef. I think Beef is just so good, from shooting to writing to acting.”
“And I’m not being biased because Ali (Wong) is my friend. I genuinely love the show. So, it’s cool to see that it’s been nominated,” he added.
Beef is up for three awards – Best Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television, Best Actor (Steven Yeun) and Actress (Ali) in this category.
I also talked to the show’s multi-Emmy-winning producers and showrunners this year, Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner.
“Comedy,” Glenn, who also directs the show, shared what Jo will bring to the show: “We are very happy to have Jo as our host and Jo is going to bring to it his brand of comedy.”
“Honestly, beyond his comedy and humor, his energy, his enthusiasm are what make him really charming. And we hope that the world will embrace this but we think he’s a solid choice and he’s going to just do great.”
From the stage which workers were frenziedly working on during our interviews, Jo will be calling famous names as presenters. The list of talents gracing the show is impressive and stars are still being added, including Jodie Foster, Ben Affleck, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Costner, Jared Leto, Dua Lipa, Simu Liu, Hailee Steinfeld, Angela Bassett, and Michelle Yeoh.
“Everyone wants to be in the room,” Ricky shared. “There are a lot of people who want to be here and one way to get a ticket is to be a presenter. So, it’s a good carrot to have. Also, I think they want to honor their fellow actors and actresses.”
“And some have been in other shows, movies, and TV shows, with some of the nominees. So, they want to be here. So, it’s a really nice dynamic to have.”
Before the interviews, the red carpet rollout, a traditional pre-Globes ceremony, was held in the driveway of The Beverly Hilton, which was also abuzz with preparations for the arrival of the stars to Hollywood’s Party of the Year.
Jo joined Glenn, Ricky, Globes president Helen Hoehne, executive producer Barry Adelman, and a Moet & Chandon spokesman in rolling out the red carpet, which will witness the much-anticipated parade of talents wearing the most glamorous formal duds.
The red carpet action will be seen on Variety and Entertainment Tonight‘s official pre-show, which will stream live from 3:30 to 5pm PT/6:30 to 8pm ET, on Variety.com, ETOnline.com, GoldenGlobes.com and YouTube.
(Full disclosure: Ruben V. Nepales is a Golden Globe Awards voter.)