Through his humour, famous Filipino-American stand-up comedian Jo Koy has broadened the conversation about what it means to be half-Asian in America.
When Joseph Glenn Herbert was a child, his Filipino aunt called him to the dinner table by shouting, “Jo ko, eat!” But he misheard his aunt’s mix of Tagalog and English as “Jo Koy,” which would eventually become his stage name as a comedian. That’s just one example of how Jo Koy’s Filipino-American heritage—his mother is Filipino, his father is American—has been central to his success and celebrity. Through jokes about being part-Filipino, Koy went from working modest gigs in Los Angeles coffee shops to making regular television appearances, performing in stadiums, and releasing two of his own Netflix comedy specials.
Koy’s early success includes appearances in The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly, and Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Lately. But with his 2017 Netflix special, Jo Koy: Live From Seattle, Jo Koy went global, and quickly became a favorite in his other mother country, the Philippines. He has since gone on to do two more Netflix specials: Jo Koy: Comin' In Hot in 2017 and Jo Koy: In His Elements in 2020. In 2021, he published his memoir, Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo.
Just For Laughs Comedy Festival “Stand-Up Comedian of the Year”
Did You Know?
It was announced in October 2021 that Jo Koy and fellow comedian Chelsea Handler are dating.