Stand-up comic Michael Yo and the comedians of the Hot Mess Comedy Tour will be taking over the Houston Improv on January 31 and February 1, and they promise to deliver a night unlike any other.
"Hot Mess Comedy", Yo explains, "is when you go to a show and you never know what's gonna happen next. You never know what craziness is coming up. It's like if you saw Lindsay Lohan, you have no idea what she's gonna do. That's basically what we want for this show." For audiences new to this comic's high energy, pop culture minded on-stage persona, he guarantees his comedy is "all about having a good time."
Yo has plenty of reason to be hopefully about his first time headlining at the Houston Improv. "This is my first homecoming show! We've really been moving tickets and this is all kind of a reunion for me." Yo says audiences will get the chance to watch him alongside his parents and all his "old Houston friends."
To add to the nostalgia, Yo says the night will be full of stories from personal life. "My comedy deals heavily on my parents. Growing up in Houston, I went to a predominantly white school. Being half black and half Asian," the comedian laughs, "I was always the only one of me!"
While Yo was once a Houston local, since moving to LA seven years ago, he has made quite the name for himself: "Yeah, I got a crazy schedule", the comic muses. Mondays through Fridays, Yo can be seen as the host of The Insider on CBS. Add to that regular appearances on the E!'s Chelsea Lately and CBS's The Talk, his own weekly web series, The Yo! Show on Yahoo, and even movie roles in films like Cookout 2 and The Bling Ring, and it's clear this comic has a full plate. But Yo has decided to make performing live a priority: "[these days] I can really only do Friday nights and Saturday nights in different cities. But anytime I can get out [of Los Angeles], I do. I just love doing stand-up."
For ladies interested in this self-proclaimed "Hollywood expert", Yo is looking. "I talk about my dating life a lot. I'm single and I'm getting older. My mom wants me to have kids... but I don't have kids." When asked to compare the biggest difference between California and Texas, Yo's answer was immediate. "The women! [Girls from Los Angeles] are so aggressive to be famous. [But] Texas women are the best. They're southern, they're nice, they don't care about being famous. It comes down to different family values."
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Those family values, Yo feels, are infused in his act. "My stand-up show actually has a slideshow in it, which is different. [But] you'll see me talking about different celebrities or my parents, and you'll actually see the photos. It's almost like watching a one-man show."
Unlike most one-man shows, Yo has brought an all-star team of stand-ups with him the Houston leg of the Hot Mess tour. "All the comedians [with me] are amazing," Yo boasts, "its just a mixture of different flavors onstage." Yo's comic entourage includes Justine Marino, who Yo describes as "one of the biggest upcoming female comedians around"; Orlando Leyba, who won the title of Florida's Funniest Comic in 2012 and Nick Guerra, who just made his Comedy Central debut on Gabriel Iglesias' Stand-Up Revolution. "[This group] is such a hot mess. In a good way."
"My bucket list for the next five years [is that], I want to have my own late night talk show and I want my own sitcom based on my life." With all of Yo's success, it's understandable why he plans to shoot for the moon. He credits his willingness to try different things with his success, along with his move to Los Angeles. "Everybody says you gotta live in LA to make it big. This is where things happen. I didn't believe that, but honestly, once you get out here and you get on a role, there is so much opportunity." That may be true, but it's always nice to have a Houstonian come home.
Performances of The Hot Mess Comedy Tour are scheduled for 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, January 31 and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 1 at the Houston Improv Comedy Showcase, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $20 to $30.