Stand-up comedian Michael Yo almost didn’t make it to the live shows of “America’s Got Talent.” This former entertainment journalist contracted the coronavirus soon after his original audition and ultimately had to be hospitalized when he struggled to breath. “My life did change after ‘AGT,’ but not in the way I thought it was gonna change,” Michael revealed during the August 11 live show. He chronicled his entire story prior to his latest comedy routine, which involved jokes about being a father and a husband (watch above).
“I told my wife I didn’t feel good,” he said in his pre-taped video. “I had a fever, about 101. I just couldn’t breathe anymore. My wife immediately called 9-1-1. I’m lying on the kitchen floor gasping for air. She’s screaming, my son’s crying. The ambulance shows up and he puts his hand on the window. I walk over to it and I put my hand on it, and then they take me away. They roll me in the ICU. The doctor says, ‘You’ve got COVID.’ I said, ‘I’m gonna make it, right?’ And she goes, ‘We’re gonna try our best.’ My biggest fear when I was in there, it wasn’t dying — it was my kids not knowing how much I really loved them.”
Michael teared up during his story, but luckily it had a happy ending. “I fought hard,” he said about surviving coronavirus. “When I kissed my wife for the first time and I hugged my son and daughter, me and my wife looked at each other and she said, ‘Baby, you’re here for a reason. You’re here to make people laugh. You’re here to make people come together.’ And that’s why I want to be on the biggest stage with the best talent in the world. To show people that a comedian can win this thing.”
Sure, the judges were moved by Michael’s story, but more importantly they laughed till they cried at his stand-up routine. Kelly Clarkson said he “nailed it.” Howie Mandel noted how comedy is “the hardest” type of act without a live audience, but that he “delivered.” Heidi Klum called him “a lot of fun.” And Sofia Vergara remarked how “this time was better than the last time.” Will Michael become the first stand-up act to win “America’s Got Talent”?
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “For his set tonight, Michael focused on the birth of his new son and the difference between how women (the strong ones) and men (the useless ones) handle it. It’s always hard to gauge whether a set is working or not when there’s no audience to react, but Kelly was supportive of Michael and thought he did a great job. Howie acknowledged that comedy is always hard on the show and that with the virtual audience it’s even harder. Sofia told him that this was a better set than his previous one, which Michael loved to hear.”
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