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Jo Koy - Biography


Jo Koy at the 2009 Just for Laughs Chicago festival.
Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images


June 2, 1971

Jo Koy Overview:

Jo Koy is one of those comics that's not quite a household name, but who still has an enormous fan base and sells out theaters and arenas across the country. His largely observational act incorporates high energy and silly physicality, while a large amount of Koy's material consists of stories about his Filipino mother and his son -- imagine the family-based comedy of Bill Cosby, but with a harder edge.

Quick Jo Koy Facts:

  • Joseph Glenn Herbert was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, to a Caucasian father and Filipino mother.
  • His professional name, Jo Koy, is derived from his childhood nickname, jokoy, a Filipino word for "joker."
  • He began performing stand-up comedy at a Las Vegas coffee house open mic in 1994.
  • He taped his first Comedy Central Presents special in 2008.
  • His first hour-long Comedy Central stand-up special, Don't Make Him Angry, debuted in 2009.
  • Koy is a regular guest and contributor on Chelsea Handler's late night talk show on E!, Chelsea Lately.
  • His second stand-up special, Lights Out, debuted on Comedy Central in 2012.

Additional Jo Koy Facts:

  • Koy was originally a cast member on Chelsea Handler's NBC sitcom, Are You There, Chelsea?, but was let go from the show when it went through some cast restructuring prior to premiering in 2012.
  • His first TV appearance was on BET's Comic View.
  • He runs his own charity, the Jo Koy Foundation, which was established to provide help for children in need. In 2009, Koy organized the very first "Hilarity for Charity" fundraiser at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club.
  • He was one of only a few stand-up comedians to receive a standing ovation from the audience during his first appearance in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2005.
  • Variety named him one of their "10 Comics to Watch" in 2007.
  • In 2006, Koy was one of the featured comics on Carlos Mencia's "Punisher Tour."
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