Comedians Chelsea Handler and Jo Koy absolutely adored each other when their decades-long friendship turned romantic in 2021 — at least it sure seemed like it, judging by her gushing about him in her new Netflix stand-up comedy special, “Revolution.” And that makes their breakup earlier this year that much more surprising. It also begs the question, “Why was their togetherness celebrated and their split not addressed in her act?” But, at closer look, you’ll see that it was.
“No man has ever spoken to me or treated me the way that Jo Koy speaks to me and treats me. I mean, some of the things he says to me, I can’t even believe he’s for real,” Handler said of her fellow comedian and her former boyfriend in “Revolution.”
Handler spent a chunk of her special trashing the male dating pool out there. You know, guys who exude “micro d— energy,” wear flip flops in the winter, talk about their genitalia on a first date or complain about being a white guy. She’s had enough of them. That, she said, is why she was dating a Filipino man – Koy.
She went on to talk about one of their first dates. They were out having dinner when a man approached their table and said, “I’m not a big fan, but my wife is; but she’s my third wife.” Handler responded to him, saying nonchalantly, “Well, good luck with your fourth wife, sir.” After the man walked away, Handler said that Koy looked at her and said how her talking like that turned him on. (Those weren’t actually his words but we’re trying to keep it PG here.)
“My confidence and my inability to take s— from anybody turns him on,” she said of Koy. “Instead of me having to shrink my personality to avoid emasculating a man, he’s turned on by who I am.”
And the anecdotes about his thoughtfulness continued. Like, him saying, “Cellulite is what makes a woman a woman” and the time he traveled 2 ½ hours one way to kiss her good night and then two hours back that same night to appear at a booking. Or the time he volunteered to go to a drug store at 2:30 in the morning to buy her tampons, saying, “You’ve been buying tampons your entire life; I’m gonna buy your tampons from now on.”
“Just start saying that to us!” she told the men in her audience. “You don’t have to believe it. Just start saying it and you’ll start believing it. But more importantly, we’ll start hearing it. We need to hear that stuff. We need to hear that cellulite is sexy.”
To the women in attendance, she shouted a rallying cry. “And if you’re sitting in this audience and you haven’t found your person yet, OK, please do not ever lower your standards or panic because you think you’re getting too old. Your person is coming.”
Knowing that they are no longer together but then hearing her speaking so lovingly about him speaking so lovingly about her makes you wonder, one, why they broke up in the first place? And two, why she didn’t say something about the split in the special?
The answer to the first question: They haven’t said why they broke up. And to the second question: She sort of does “mention it” in the special. You just have to stick around to the very, very end to catch it.
Because the special was taped on June 10, a month before their breakup, their relationship was part of her act, and the material is solid enough that keeping it in the final edit was probably a good idea. But to clear up any misconceptions, a title card was added to the very end with a quote from Handler. Although it doesn’t mention Koy by name, it is undoubtedly about her feelings post-split.
It reads: “I still believe in love, and I now know more than ever before, my person is coming.”
Chelsea Handler’s new stand-up comedy special, “Revolution,” will premiere globally on Dec. 27 on Netflix.