On this day in comedy on June 2, 1971, Comedian, Jo Koy (Joseph Glenn Herbert) was born in Spanaway, Washington.
Though Koy began his career in 1994 he is considered a pioneering comedian in the Filipino community. The product of a European-American father in the Air Force and a pure Filipino mother, Jo Koy was a military baby. Once Koy graduated high school, the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where he took up stand-up comedy after handling a little formality like dropping out of college.
Koy developed his act at Catch a Rising Star at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. With his confidence built he rented the Huntridge Theater and hustled his own show. A Los Angeles talent agent got a load of Koy and booked him on his first national TV spot: BET’s Comic View. The urban circuit agreed with Koy and he also appeared on Laffapalooza and won on Showtime at the Apollo. He toured internationally performing for the troops and then became a cable television favorite. Koy was a regular on the VH1 series of I Love the 70s, 80’s and 90’s. He was on Tru TV’s World’s Dumbest and New Millennium and Chelsea Lately starring Chelsea Handler. He also has the distinction of being one of the rare breed of comedian to receive a standing ovation on The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno.
Koy’s career has not been without controversy. He was derailed for a while after making an anti-gay slur while the cameras were rolling. This faux pas forced Koy to issue a public apology. On the flip side his philanthropic organization, the Jo Koy Foundation does shows for charity, donating the tickets sales proceeds to The Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
Koy has toured with Carlos Mencia, done commercials for AMP’D Mobile Phone, been a semi-regular on The Adam Carolla Show, had his own Comedy Central special and won the prestigious Gemini Award; one of Canada’s highest honors.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: