Jo Koy’s Ethnicity, Nationality and Family Explored

Jo Koy (real name: Joseph Glenn Herbert) is an American stand-up comedian and actor who is half-White and half-Filipino. Jo grew up in an interracial home until about the age of 10 when his parents divorced. He was subsequently mostly raised by his mother’s side of the family.

According to the comedian, he battled identity issues as a child and was often confused about where he actually belonged – the whites or the Filipinos. He was literally stuck between two cultures.

What is Jo Koy’s Ethnicity?

Jo Koy’s ethnicity is mixed as he was born to a white father, John C. Herbert, and a Filipino mother, Josie Harrison. Thus, Jo Koy is half-white and half-Filipino. His mother came to the United States in the ’60s and faced some serious identity issues. She could only find equality with the people around her whenever she attended church services. She had a hard time making friends and fitting into a community where people looked at her funny.

On the other hand, Jo Koy’s father was a white American man serving his country in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in the Philippines when he met and married Koy’s mother. The couple then came back to the United States, where they started a family. It was presumed to be easier for Jo Koy’s father to fit in as he didn’t have to battle identity issues as a white man in America.

Being half Filipino and half white was a big challenge for Jo Koy, and he had to face rejection from both communities sometimes. This stems from the fact that he was seen as incomplete, not belonging to a particular ethnicity in full. His film Easter Sunday is based on his life experiences and the racism he had to live with.

What Nationality is Jo Koy?

Born on June 2, 1971, in Tacoma, Washington, U.S., Jo Koy is an American by nationality. His father is a white American man who served his country in the United States Air Force, which further cements his status as an American citizen.

In addition to being born in the States, Koy also grew up there. His childhood was mostly spent in Washington and Las Vegas before he ventured into his stand-up comedy career. His family first resided in Spanaway, Washington, before they moved to Tacoma, Washington, where he was born.

Jo Koy finished his high school education in Tacoma at Foss High School before his family moved again to Las Vegas this time. The reason for the relocation was to be close to Koy’s grandmother, who was sick. Koy also enrolled in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but after a few semesters, he dropped out to focus on his career.

Who are Jo Koy’s Sisters and Brothers?

Jo Koy’s sisters are Rowena Cook and Gemma Herbert, while his brother is Robert Herbert. Jo Koy grew up in a family of six with three siblings. His was a large family, as they had aunts and other extended family members coming around. Among the four children born to his parents, Jo Koy is the only famous one.

Meet Jo Koy’s Sisters

Jo Koy has two sisters named Rowena Cook and Gemma Herbert. Both sisters prefer to live a private life and hardly make the headlines.

Rowena Cook

Rowena is seemingly married, judging from her last name, which is different from her family name. Her date of birth is not public knowledge as she has mostly kept a low profile away from public scrutiny. Thus, we can’t say who is older, between Jo Koy and his sister Rowena.

They all grew up together, but as adults, the kind of relationship they share and how close they are is not known. What Rowena Cook does for a living has remained a mystery to the public.

Gemma Herbert

Gemma Herbert is Jo Koy’s second sister, and just like Rowena Cook, her date of birth is not known. One thing that is confirmed is that both sisters were born in the United States of America. Nevertheless, it remains to be k own if she is older or younger than her popular comedian brother.

At the moment, there is nothing on the actual career paths Jo Koy’s sisters have followed. However, the comedian remains the only one with celebrity status in the family. No other talent has been identified in the family.

Who is Robert Herbert, Jo Koy’s Brother?

Robert Herbert is Jo Koy’s only brother, but the older brother has not been established between the two. This is because Robert Herbert’s date of birth is not known to the public.

Robert’s career endeavors are also not public knowledge. So far, his only claim to fame is his relationship with Jo Koy, but we cannot confirm if they share a close bond.

Jo Koy Has One Son – Joseph Herbert Jr. 

Named after his father, Joseph Herbert Jr. is the only child of Jo Koy. He was born on April 21, 2003, in the United States. Jo Koy welcomed his son during his marriage with Angie King, whom he divorced in 2013. They began dating during the early stage of Koy’s career and got married soon after. However, the marriage hit the rocks in 2013, and both parties have moved on with their love lives.

One of the prominent relationships Koy has been associated with happened with Chelsea Handler. Their romance was made Instagram official on September 27, 2021, and though they looked all loved-up with fans warming up to the duo, the affair took a nosedive barely a year after it began. In July 2022, Koy and Chelsea Handler announced their breakup on Handler’s Instagram. They decided to quit the relationship in June 2022 and made it public the next month.

So far, his son’s mother is the only woman Jo Koy has been married to. Koy now resides with his son in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California. The younger Jo is often at the center of his father’s jokes as he targets him to get the material for his comedy. Instead of hating it, Joseph Herbert Jr. seems cool, with his father constantly targeting him to get his content. He has even joined Koy on stage.


Who is Jo Koy?

Jo Koy is an American standup comedian and actor. He has released multiple Netflix specials. He has also appeared on TV shows such as Chelsea Lately and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Where is Jo Koy From?

Jo Koy is from Tacoma, Washington, United States of America. This was where he was born on the 2nd of June 1971. He spent his formative years in Tacoma but moved to Las Vegas after high school with his family.

What is Jo Koy’s Ethnicity and Nationality?

Jo Koy’s ethnicity is half Caucasian and Filipino, while his nationality is American. He was born on American soil to a Caucasian American father and a Filipino mother. His father, a soldier, married his mother in the Philippines, and they then relocated to the United States of America.

Who is The Real Mother of Jo Koy?

The real mother of Jo Koy is Josie Harrison, a Filipino woman born in 1948 in Quezon City. Jo Koy is quite close to his mom and has featured her in some of his social media posts.

Who is Jo Koy’s Real Dad?

Jo Koy’s real dad is John C. Herbert, a veteran of the United States Air Force. Jo Koy’s dad served in the Philippines, which was where he met and married his mother, Josie Harrison.


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