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Melissa Rivers Defends 2024 Golden Globes Host Jo Koy: The Hate Isn’t ‘Justified’ (Exclusive)

Melissa Rivers defended 2024 Golden Globes host Jo Koy after the comedian received less than favorable reviews.

“That was not justified,” Rivers, 55, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, January 8, about the lack of love Koy, 52, received for his hosting debut. “Anyone who knows these shows knows that the hosts prep for months and they have a team of writers. He only got hired 10 days ago.”

Koy was announced as host on December 21 after a lengthy search. Rivers added that she thinks because Koy was an “unknown” to a lot of the audience, the room decided “they’re not going to laugh.”

“A lot of the material was, I wouldn’t say his strongest, but was strong enough that it should have gotten laughs and no one was insulted,” she continued. “I just think the room decided they weren’t going to have fun.”

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Rivers pointed out a few moments that she felt deserved laughs, including a joke about Oppenheimer and one regarding the NFL’s extensive coverage of Taylor Swift since she’s been dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

“It totally was about the NFL,” Rivers said of the joke. “And it was actually a great reference because every football fan has gotten so oversaturated because even the NFL on Instagram is like, ‘Taylor Swift has arrived at the stadium,’ and I love that she’s happy.”

Melissa Rivers Defends 2024 Golden Globes Host Jo Koy He Got Short Tripped
Melissa Rivers, Jo Koy Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images for MGM;Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moët & Chandon

After Koy made the remark about Swift, 34, on Sunday, the camera panned to the “Karma” singer who wore a less than amused expression on her face and took a sip of her drink. While Swift didn’t seem to like being the butt of the joke, Rivers called the dig an “innocuous” one.

“Especially coming from being funny … I don’t call myself a comedian, but coming from that family, you want to say to people, ‘Oh, come on, play along,’” Rivers said, adding that there was “nothing rude.”

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Rivers continued that the ceremony was “not fun,” noting that the Golden Globes are “supposed to be the most fun.” She added that the awards show is “early enough in the year that people have just gone back to work” and “nobody hates each other yet.”

After his hosting debut, Koy failed to impress guests seated inside the Golden Globes and many of those watching at home. Some took issue with Koy making up excuses for his jokes falling flat by placing blame on his writers. (The awards show occurred just months after the end of the dual WGA and SAG strikes.)

“I got the gig 10 days ago! You want a perfect monologue? Yo, shut up. You’re kidding me, right? Slow down,” he told the audience. “I wrote some of these, and they’re the ones you’re laughing at.”

While Koy’s hosting didn’t receive a lot of praise, Rivers wasn’t the only one to come to the comedian’s defense. During an episode of The View on Monday, cohost Sara Haines took aim at celebrities reactions during the ceremony.

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“I love Jo Koy and the whole time I was nervous for him because I think he’s so funny. He’s kind, he’s good, all the things. What bothers me more in watching this is, get a sense of humor, because we need to protect these national treasures called our comedians, because life needs them,” she said. “We need to stop binding them in, fencing them in. In that room, Jo Koy is punching up. No one feels sorry. Just smile.”

Reporting by Travis Cronin and Robyn Merrett

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