april 2012 | thebellevuescene.com | 15
MICHAEL yo This hot blasian is turning heads, commanding laughs on national TV and across the U.S. BY GABRIELLE NOMURA Even from the telephone, it’s a little intimidating to interview a man as good looking as Michael Yo – the 38-year-old hunk who calls himself the “Half-Black Brother with a Korean Mother.” You can see Mr. Right for yourself if you tune into the E! channel, where, as a celebrity correspondent, he can be seen asking 50 Cent how to perfect the “mean face” or making Jennifer Aniston giggle at the question, “What’s the biggest similarity between a man and a dog?” As a panelist for the late-night E! show, “Chelsea Lately,” you can find him being shamelessly belittled on national television by host, Chelsea Handler (who invented the verb, “Michael Yo-ing” used to describe “serial celebrity ass-kissing”). You may also have seen him as a correspondent on CNN, FOX and MSNBC and on the reality show “Kourtney and Khloé take Miami,” which he assures is indeed, real. “When the cameras go off, the fight that they were having on TV is still going on.” For his latest endeavour, standup comedy, Yo is fittingly billed as “Sexy, unpredictable and funny” for his “Hot Mess” tour coming to Bellevue’s Parlor Live Comedy Club this month. With bits such as “the black-and-yellow rap,” Yo pokes fun at himself, using his often difficult experience growing up biracial in Houston, Texas for material. “They didn’t have the word ‘blasian yet – it was ‘N-word chang,’” he says. But, while once bullied for being different, Yo’s exotic look (in addition to the rippling six-pack) would come in handy as he grew older, making him stand out in a good way. “When I was young, kids in school would be like, ‘What are you? When I got to college, the ladies were like, ‘What are you?” Nowadays, he doesn’t just identify as black, despite that many mixed-race people partially of AfricanAmerican descent are often only seen as such in society. Instead, Yo takes his cue from golfer Tiger Woods, embracing the fact that he’s black, as well as Asian American. Like Woods or model, Tyson Beckford, this uniqueness was an asset as Yo climbed his way up Hollywood’s glittering ladder.
Hello handsome: Yo will perform at the Parlor Live Comedy Club, located on the third floor of Lincoln Square, 700 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue on April 19. For tickets, go to www.parlorlive.com After working in radio in Houston and Miami, he made his debut on E! News in 2008, and later, developed a friendship with the “Chelsea Lately,” host, whom he now appears with on her show as a panelist. It was actually Handler who inspired Yo to try his hand at standup. And, even though she typically teases Yo, calling his fashion sense “an updated version of Bill Cosby” and that she’d rather “have diarrhea than attend one of his comedy shows,” Yo says she does it for a reason. “By making fun of me, Chelsea draws attention to me, which helps me out a lot,” he says. “I just love that girl.”