You've probably seen Michael Yo interviewing celebrities on E! News or Chelsea Lately. But staring at a screen is bad for your health, so this weekend you'll be able to see Yo live. He won't be interviewing anyone, because he'll be onstage for his Hot Mess Comedy Tour, giving audiences a humorous peek inside his life.
Miamians probably remember Yo as an afternoon radio host on Y100, where he worked for 12 years.
"It did really well," Yo says. "I did six of the years in L.A. I was doing it out of my house."
TV took him away from radio hosting duties in January, but now his upcoming performance onstage at the Improv at Homefield is set for the homecoming.
"I love Miami because Miami is the place that really put me on the map," he says. "It's amazing. The feeling is like no other. Miami is very loyal. As my career goes up, it's because of Miami. It put me on the map, and every time I go back, people say 'I'm proud of you.' I'm from Houston, Texas, but I consider Miami a second home. These people are amazing to me. I love them to death."
So how did Yo, an entertainment reporter with experience at E! News, and now, CBS's The Insider, come to the world of stand up?
"I've been doing Chelsea Lately since she first started, almost seven years ago," he says. "I was just on the show as an entertainment reporter. Then, about three years ago, everywhere I went, people were like, 'Where are you performing?' She said, 'You need to try this.' I made a joke at the [Chelsea Lately] roundtable, saying, 'It doesn't look too hard,' and she was like, 'Oh my God!' and all the comedians got mad."
Perhaps it wasn't that hard for Yo> His first gig at the Miami Improv went over more than well enough.
"[The owner] put me up and after I went up once, he was like, 'Is that really your first time?,'" Yo says. "The second night, he had me open up for the Wayans Brothers."
Now, he's expanding his comedy reach with his own tour.
"I put together this Hot Mess Comedy tour where I show up with comedians I really like, and it's really taken a life of its own," he said. "I just love doing it."
Natural comedic talent isn't the only thing Yo's got on his side. He's quick to thank fellow comedian Jo Koy who has never been too busy to help Yo learn the ropes.
"He's been my mentor all along," he says. "To me, he's one of the funniest stand-ups in the country, his live shows are great."
The two don't only share a mentor-mentee friendship, but also a podcast. You can listen in to the The Michael Yo and JoKoy Show via iTunes.
But what's in it for us with the Hot Mess Tour? According to Yo a typical set includes topics ranging from his day job to what life was like growing up in an interracial household in the south.
"I talk about entertainment. I talk about growing up in Houston, being the only blasian kid, being the only ethnic at the whole school. I talk about my trials and tribulations with that," he said. "I talk about my parents a lot in the show. I talk about dating, why I'm single, I talk about all different types of things. I'd say it's a stand-up comedy show, but it's also like a one man show, too, because you see pictures of my family and stuff like that. It's really more than just a stand-up show."
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His material is developed as stories instead of just one-off jokes, a method Koy also uses when creating his shows.
"So many comedians tell jokes, I tell life stories," he says. "[Koy's] advice was that if you ever sit down and write a joke, stop. If you ever sit down and write a real story, that's where you want to be. I think I progressed so fast because I don't tell jokes; I just tell stories that are really funny."
Come out to see Yo at the Improv @ Homefield (8575 SW 124th Ave, Miami) Saturday at 7 and 9:30. Tickets are $20. Visit homefieldimprov.com.