Jo Koy remembers the high of receiving a standing ovation from a national television audience one night just to return to the real world the next day.
“I was holding two jobs, one from 7 a.m. to 10 or 11 a.m. at Borders Bookstore, the other from noon to around 9:30 p.m. at Nordstrom Rack. Earlier I had participated in a ‘New Faces’ segment of the Montreal Comedy Festival and no sooner had I gotten off the stage than I was approached by the talent scouts for Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show,’ ” said Koy. “Four months later (in 2005), I’m on Leno but I’m also working the two jobs.
“The ‘Tonight’ gig starts off none too well. Joaquin Phoenix goes over time and I’m told to stand, do my monologue, and not join the panel, just stay on mark. I do, and I get a standing ovation. I look over and Jay is motioning me over to him, so I join the panel. Later, I told him I was told not to and he said, ‘Are you kidding? You get a standing ovation and I’m not going to invite you over?’
“I had no idea how many people watched ‘The Tonight Show’ and the next day at work a lot of people recognize me. There’s this one: ‘You were great! Do you have this in a size 9?’ and I’m right back to reality.”
Koy, who appears Saturday night at Thunder Valley, is still working multiple jobs, only they are now all in show business. Audiences are familiar with him from his many appearances with Chelsea Handler. He hosts his own podcast on iTunes called “The Koy Pond” and is completing and shopping a cartoon based on his standup.
Koy also is filming a yet-to-be-titled movie, co-starring James Denton, in which a depressed woman keeps flashing back to her ex, played by Koy. If all that isn’t enough, Koy’s latest comedy special, “Live from Seattle,” recently became available on Netflix.
“My first two specials were on Comedy Central and they sat on the shelf a long time with little rotation,” Koy said. “Netflix has been great.”
Opening for Koy at Thunder Valley is the dance crew Jabbawockeez.
“We’ve known each other since we were little kids,” Koy said. “They’re on ‘World of Dance’ now and just won their last round.” (7 p.m.; $45.95-$94.95, over 21, 13-20 if accompanied by an adult; thundervalleyresort.com)
Lake Tahoe is one crazy location this weekend with the American Century Championship golf tournament at Edgewood on South Shore through Sunday with celebrity players like Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Emmitt Smith, and Larry the Cable Guy (americancenturychampionship.com); and the annual Reno Philharmonic performance at Sand Harbor Monday, an evening of symphonic classic rock (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Like a Prayer” and so forth). (7:30 p.m.; picnic or on-site menu; $60-$130; http://laketahoeshakespeare.com)
And be warned that both Harrah’s Tahoe and Harveys will be charging for parking this weekend and whenever special events (American Century Championship, outdoor concerts at Harveys) are scheduled. ($20 for self-parking, $25 for valet parking, free for Total Rewards card holders, platinum and above)