Confined to the virtual space of Microsoft Teams, this year’s Homecoming Stampede Comedy Show was more of a Q&A for Cody Ko’s dedicated fans than a stand-up comedy performance.
With at least 250 people participating, Ko’s guest appearance had the crowd active as the chat box filled with comments about inside jokes from his YouTube videos that only his dedicated fan base would know. This included comments about Ko being old, how short he was and him being another Jonas Brother. However, for those who weren’t familiar with him, there was a limited side to Ko’s humor.
“Yeah this is gonna be kind of a Q&A format because stand-up over Zoom or Microsoft Teams, which, come on … that would be a little bit awkward so we’re gonna do Q&A,” said Ko.
The Microsoft Teams setting seemed to present a challenge to Ko’s introduction right off the bat. His microphone was muted, so for about 20 seconds, the audience watched him speak with no sound.
“Muted the whole time, what an embarrassing way to start the show,” said Ko.
“This is probably the third time I’ve done one of these, and I’m clearly not that used to it yet because I started it muted like an idiot, but we’re here now.”
Throughout the show, Ko was asked questions created by moderator and engineering student Benjamin Kreiger from USF’s Campus Activities Board as well as questions selected from the chat box.
For the most part, the questions were regarding Ko’s personal life — how he prepares for his projects, thoughts on virtual classes and his life as a computer science student at Duke University.
“I was a DJ and I used to DJ frat parties,” said Ko. “It was basically a college cheat code — if you’re wondering ‘How can I meet girls? How can I drink for free? How can I be the coolest kid ever?’ Be a f*cking DJ.”
Throughout the Q&A portion between Ko and the moderator, there were points of prolonged silence and they both talked over each other at times. Ko also frequently laughed to himself throughout his own commentary, something that the audience picked up on and expressed through the chat box.
“By the way, before I start this I want to say, I am reading the comments, the chat. I’m treating this like a Twitch stream, and someone said ‘It’s the laughing at his own jokes for me,’” said Ko. “You understand that I can’t hear anyone else, not to say you’re laughing or not, maybe I’m bombing, right, but I can’t hear sh*t. I say something and it’s just dead silence. I have to laugh, it makes me feel better, all right. Haha.”
While there were times that Ko laughed to fill some silences that were just a bit too long, the show still provided a significant amount of interesting experiences Ko has had with the subjects of his videos as well as other famous celebrities like Post Malone, Miles Teller and even Elon Musk.
“[Musk] has one house that he lives in, and I think that his kids live in. And then he has one that’s just for functions,” said Ko. “So [the house] was empty, and like we were trying to find the way out, and I couldn’t figure out which door it was.
“So I came back upstairs to ask someone and I walked in the kitchen and [Musk] and Grimes were just making out. So I saw Elon Musk playing tonsil hockey with his goth girlfriend. And I was like, ‘This is a dream, a nightmare I mean.’”
Ko also shared a story about a fan interaction he had on his Tiny Meat Gang tour with Noel Miller, the other half to the podcast and rap duo both called Tiny Meat Gang.
“[The fan] gives us a DVD, and says ‘I got you guys a gift,’” said Ko. “And we’re like ‘Thank you so much.’ And we look down and it’s like a porn DVD and it’s called ‘Big Busty MILFs 5.’ And we’re like ‘What is this?’ and she was like ‘Oh, that’s me.’
“That was probably one of the weirdest meet and greet experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve never met someone and then just been presented [with] their naked body.”
One of the most popular questions from the crowd, gaining 117 likes in the chat box, was asking when Ko was going to propose to Kelsey Kreppel, his girlfriend of three years.
“Why would I tell you guys that,” Ko said while laughing.
“Unfortunately, I’m not going to reveal any details about my planning, even if there is one. I wouldn’t say it to you guys because then you guys are just going to f*cking go tweet her and say ‘Oh my god he just said this on the thing.’ You would, you know you would,” Ko said looking directly into the camera as he does in his YouTube videos.
“And then I would be pissed and then I would never do this again ever again. Not that I’m going to unless you guys get off of Microsoft Teams.”
When asked about the favorite part of his entertainment career, Ko became nostalgic about his time doing comedy tours, describing it as “surreal” and trailing off into a message of gratitude for where he’s at now in his life.
“It’s been a great few years, let’s say that. It sounds like I’m gloating when I say that,” said Ko as he continued to mock himself. “‘Let’s just say it’s been a f*cking great year, my wallet is fatter than ever now,’ No, I’m kidding. It’s been fantastic, it really has.
“It’s super rewarding to work really hard on sh*t that I think is funny and for other people to find it funny too.”