The world of comedy has room for a lot — politics, opinions, making light of situations, heartbreak, romantic endeavors. The list could go on and on. What the comedy world doesn’t always have room for, however, is love. Not just the lust kind of love or the admiration kind of love, but pure, unadulterated love. Comedian Michael Yo wants to change that. Instead of focusing on the darkness in the world today, he would rather crack jokes in the light and talk about the love he has for his parents, wife, son and the hilarious dynamic his family has. Yo sat down with Metro to talk about his career, his new comedy special on Amazon and his outlook on the comedy world today.
Yo first got his start in the entertainment world through radio at the young age of 14. “I just fell in love with it. Radio basically got me to television,” says Yo.
Now, the Houston native has his own show on Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio. “Radio is amazing because if someone doesn’t agree with you, they can call you up and talk to you. People can reach out to you on social media about things, but you don’t have to read it. But when they call up it’s great, it keeps you up-to-date on what America is actually thinking. I think when you just get caught up in movies and TV, you get stuck in a bubble away from what normal people think or feel, because you’re not around it. It’s that Hollywood bubble. On “The Michael Yo Show” I talk to people all day. I love feeling connected to them and you can feel the pulse of what they really want to talk about. Not just the left or right opinions, but people’s actual opinions. That’s what I love.”
Radio provides a great outlet for Yo to talk to audiences around the country, whereas stand-up gives the comedian an amazing outlet to talk about his life. Yo’s latest special, “Blasian,” is available for home viewing on Amazon now, and the 44-year-old does not hold back when talking about his favorite subject: his family. “I started comedy eight years ago and after I had my son, I wanted something on tape that all my family could be a part of. So during the special, my parents come in, my wife comes in and my son comes in.”
Yo’s son, Oliver, has been the continuous motivation for his comedy specials and the main reason he is overly joyed that his legacy will live on. “I have this fear of something happening and my son not knowing how much I love him. That scares the hell out of me. He’s young, he doesn’t fully understand. We can’t have a conversation about it yet. This is something that is now on tape forever. Hopefully, I’m around for a long time, but now, my son Oliver is going to know how much I love him. If he wants to look back on it 20, 30 or 40 years from now, he can do that.”
Yo likes the fact that his comedy is “family-friendly.” He wants it to be a breath of fresh air in a world that rarely seems to get one. “That’s the type of comedy I want to do and that’s the type I bring onstage. It’s a very uplifting comedy special and it’s all about family. It’s okay to love your wife and kids and talk about the love and positivity of that. It’s a comedy special — you don’t have to hate everything about marriage. Plus, it’s okay to talk about your parents and how it was growing up. I wanted to get that message out as well because it’s dark out there. I want comedy to be an escape, and positive and uplifting.”
FOX found Yo’s point of view refreshing as well, so much so that the network recently announced they are developing a new sitcom with the comedian based on his stand-up. “It’s my life and exactly what you see onstage. It’s about my family and my parents and my wife and their dynamics. Without going into detail, I’m writing the new pilot now, so we’ll see what happens.”
Yo’s view on the comedy world and life is invigorating, and some highlights of his career have been meeting others with that same outlook. Being in the biz a long time has led Yo to make many friendships and connections with Hollywood “A-listers” such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Will Smith and Kevin Hart. Yo says they have had a huge impact on his career and his motivation to keep the positivity going. “It’s not just for Instagram. These people are really like that, they keep pushing. That really stands out to me as a highlight, when we kind of see these people as not obtainable, and when they are obtainable and go above and beyond to make you feel special. That blows me away. It’s so inspiring and motivating.”
Yo is willing to go above and beyond to keep his career in the light. His love for his family and comedy go hand in hand, making it relatable, uplifting and downright hilarious. The proof is in the pudding.