Everyone knows Jo Koy in 2022. Pinoys can’t get enough of him, which is why it came as a shock to a lot of us comedy fans to hear fellow Fil-Am comic Rex Navarrete pretty much call out Jo Koy for using a joke in his latest movie, Easter Sunday, that happened to be a joke Rex himself attests to have written in 1999, and put on his comedy DVD Live at Cobb’s in 2010.
We’re not here to point fingers and make judgment calls between the two comics. At the end of the day, it’s a matter between the two of them that they should settle sooner than later. That being said, for a lot of younger comedy fans who have only been exposed to Jo Koy (or Mikey Bustos), you’re missing out. Rex Navarrete has been at it since the ‘90s, and with seven comedy albums under his belt, he’s got tons of material that just resonate with Filipinos and Fil-Ams alike. Let’s talk about jokes like…
8. Rex In Church
The Pinoy Catholic experience is almost downright monolithic, and the minute Rex starts joking about the poor acoustics in the church, anyone who grew up in the ‘90s can attest. Nowadays, it’s almost a given for churches to have great sound systems and air conditioning, but there was a time when going to church was a challenge in focus and lip-reading because the sound system won’t help you understand the Gospel of the Lord. At all. And don’t get us started on the omnipresent OHPs. Oh, wow.
7. Foodie Invaders
Nowadays, Pinoy food is becoming a fad here and there around the world, but when Rex performed this, it was just a pipe dream, showing how ahead of his time Rex’s jokes about Filipino culture and how food shaped it just as much as anything else did. The point he makes about hotdogs and America? Brilliant.
Rex paints such a hilarious picture of how Easter Sunday must have come to be, you’re left considering the possibility that it might be true! Indeed, Rex tends to be at his very best when he makes jokes about religion because he’s not poking fun at Catholics or at God — he’s poking fun at the idiosyncrasies that come with it.
5. Magical Lolo
The skit in this video is just the beginning of one of his funniest wordplay jokes ever — a literal pun that is set up by a funny story with his Magical Lolo that spans anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. We won’t spoil the punchline for you, so you need to look for the rest of the Magical Lolo clip from his 2001 album Bastos.
4. Tito Boy’s Joke of Jokes
Tito Boy’s Joke of Jokes may be funny, but it’s his appetizer joke that takes the cake. Unfortunately, Rex seems to perform that appetizer joke only when he’s in town in Manila, which means it’s not in the album, but the joke goes like this:
Q: What do you call a haunted vagina?
3. The Sto. Nino
Everyone can relate to not having the toy they want, but Rex’s imagination takes it to a whole new level as he proves that the Sto. Nino can indeed be the next big toy since the Tickle Me Elmo. Or not.
2. SBC Packers
There’s a chance you don’t know Rex because you’ve never heard of him, but it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve heard snippets of this lengthy joke. It speaks for itself, so there really isn’t much else for us to add to it.
1. Maritess and the Superfriends
Ah, yes. More than anything else, the animated version of this is one of the earliest viral videos in the Philippines, and it has absolutely taken Rex Navarrete places. It’s one of his most-requested bits, so much so that he almost never includes it in his setlists because someone else is guaranteed to demand it in the middle of his show anyways. “I’m sorry, Aquaman — I was just cooking fish” will go down as one of the funniest punchlines in history, and there’s no taking that away from Rex, no matter how many Fil-Am comedians try to duplicate his schtick for the rest of eternity.