Comedy is fun, but it can be lonely.
Somebody give Jo Koy a hug.
The popular Filipino-American comedian, who appears this week in The City, jokes about the creative yin and yang of his art form.
“You have to have really thick skin, man,” Koy says about being a comic. “It can be a really lonely and depressing journey because it’s only you. You’re the only person that believes you can make it. You have to really believe in yourself and go for it. I know that’s very cliché-sounding, but it’s true.”
Time for the yang.
“But it’s the thing I wanted to do as a kid, the thing I loved the most. It was my childhood dream,” he says.
“When I was watching Eddie Murphy and Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams — at 10, 11, 12 years old — I remember telling myself, ‘I want to be this, I want to do this.’”
Koy, who has made a dent as a regular guest panelist on E’s late-night hit “Chelsea Lately” and beyond, opens a four-show gig at Cobbs Comedy Club on Thursday.
Expect irreverent humor and an abundance of spunk.
“I don’t mess around — I am a comedy whore,” he says, describing his full tour schedule and an upcoming performance that will air on Comedy Central.
“I love comedy that much,” Koy adds. “When you first do stand-up, you don’t get the gigs that you get now. There were times that I was literally paying people to let me tell jokes. That’s how it was in the beginning — performing for dinner, people paying me by allowing me to order whatever I wanted on the menu.”
Naturally, Koy picked the most expensive food items to feel as if he got his money’s worth.
“Now, I pinch myself and go, ‘Wow, I’m actually telling jokes and able to put clothes on my kids.”
Koy has a son. About that … “Some of the best advice I ever got was from a solo comic who said, ‘Hold your kid a lot — because there comes a time when you won’t be able to hold him any more.’ So, I took that in.”
He pauses when asked how old his son is. “Forty-six!”
He’s really 8. Funny.
IF YOU GO
Where: Cobbs Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Tickets: $32.30 to $35.50
Contact: (415) 928-4320, www.livenation.com