Internet, television, film and radio personality Michael Yo will be headlining two stand-up comedy shows this Friday, July 26, at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre, with special guests Nick Guerra and Justine Moreno.
Although this will be the first time Yo performs his live stand-up act in Tempe, he is a big fan of Phoenix.
“I love the people, I love the city. It’s one of the only places where you can jump into a pool and be dry the second you step out of the water.”
Yo is a busy guy. Best known for his work on the E! Network, including “Extra,” “Chelsea Lately,” and “E! News,” Yo currently co-hosts CBS’s “OMG! The Insider,” a nightly entertainment news show reporting on the latest pop culture headlines, and makes monthly appearances as a gust male host on CBS’ “The Talk.”
Yo’s resume is not limited to television. He was also radio host of Miami’s No. 1 afternoon drive show on Y100 and in April 2012, he launched “The Yo Show on Yahoo,” which garners an average of 1.5 million online views per episode. And yes, he has also appeared on the big screen. His filmography includes appearances in “Losing Control” and Sofia Coppola’s most recent film, “The Bling Ring.”
The only thing left for Yo was the comedy stage and he was lucky enough to have it fall into his lap after Chelsea Handler invited him to join her round table of comedians on popular E! show “Chelsea Lately.”
“Chelsea invited me on her show, and I told myself I would do three shows and see how I do. I ended up having a blast, and my career began from there,” he said. Yo has since become a regular on Handler’s round table.
Yo admitted that stand-up opened the door for more opportunities.
“Before I was just a host, now I’m a comedian who can host,” he said.
When asked whether he enjoyed stand-up as much as television, Yo replied that he is passionate about entertainment in general. He loves both but noted, “With stand-up you get an immediate reaction. If you tell a joke and it’s received well, it’s amazing. With television you have to wait until the show airs to get the reaction.”
Yo believes that the live personal interaction is the best part of doing comedy.
“I can build a different face,” he said, noting that his television appearances had specific audiences, but with stand-up he gets an opportunity to reach new audiences and allow them to know him on a personal level.
His comedic mentor, Jo Koy, who is also a regular comedian on the Chelsea Handler round table, taught Yo that in order to be a successful stand-up comedian, one must be willing to share personal life stories.
“I tell real stories about my family, my single life, my career, which allows me to connect with the individual audience members. Talking about life and making light of my situations has allowed me to grow tremendously fast in comedy,” he said.
Yo calls his “Hot Mess Comedy” show the “never-ending tour” because he only goes on the road when he finds a break from his busy work schedule.
“We call the show ‘Hot Mess Comedy’ because everything’s very spontaneous — you never know what you’re going to see. It’s always something different and crazy.”
Yo admitted that it can get lonely on the stand-up comedy circuit, but quickly added that his “Hot Mess Comedy Tour” allows him to do shows with his friends, and they have a great time together.
What can the audience expect from the Tempe show on Friday night?
“A hot mess,” joked Yo. “We have a crazy fun time with the audience. It’s a party atmosphere.”
The Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre is located at 930 E. University Drive. Tickets and show information can be found at http://tempeimprov.com/show.cfm?id=262180. Friday show times are 7:30 and 10 p.m.
• Jeremy Bush is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.