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Comedian Michael Yo Is Back On Stage After Surviving COVID-19 — And Headed To St. Louis

A year ago this month, Michael Yo’s standup comedy career was on the upswing. Then he came down with a scary case of COVID-19.

“I was in New York City — I performed at the legendary nightclub Gotham … March 8th, 9th and 10th,” Yo recalled Monday on St. Louis on the Air. “Now we all know the shutdown happened on the 12th. So there was no mask enforcement [yet]; we were all trying to figure it out.”

A little over a week after those performances, Yo became severely ill, and ultimately wound up in intensive care for eight days. He was diagnosed with both the coronavirus and pneumonia. At times, he didn’t know if he would pull through, nor did the doctors.

Dana Patrick
Michael Yo joins the show to talk comedy, COVID-19 and more.

“My temperature got to 104.8, and literally I felt like I wasn’t even inside my body,” Yo said. “My body was so hot, it felt like I [was] watching a movie. I was in dream state because my body was so hot, and I can’t even describe the pain I was in. … It was a bad time.”

It took Yo months to fully recover. But now the horizon is looking a lot brighter, and Yo is even traveling to St. Louis for in-person appearances this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Funny Bone in Maryland Heights. Those will be safe, masked, limited-capacity shows, and they’re expected to sell out.

Audience members can also expect some COVID-related laughs, even as the pandemic drags on.

“I think they’re ready to laugh at my story about [the virus],” Yo explained. “For me, it’s hard to talk about COVID as a broad statement … but when I talk about myself dealing with COVID and finding the funny in it, people can laugh about that.”

Yo added that his COVID-19 story is part of new material he’s working on as he anticipates releasing a new comedy special this November. St. Louis is the first city away from his current home of Las Vegas where he will try out the new material.

Related Event
What: Michael Yo at Funny Bone St. Louis
When: Various evening shows on Thursday, March 25, Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27, 2021
Where: 614 W. Port Plaza Dr., Maryland Heights, MO 63146

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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