Jo Koy Criticized by Critics Choice Host and Ex, Chelsea Handler

Comedian Jo Koy faces backlash after Golden Globes.

by Nouman Rasool
Jo Koy Criticized by Critics Choice Host and Ex, Chelsea Handler
© Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

In a dazzling display of wit and comedic timing, Chelsea Handler, the renowned comedian and television host, made a subtle yet pointed remark towards her former boyfriend, Jo Koy, during the 29th Critics Choice Awards. The event, held amidst the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, saw Handler masterfully navigating her role as the host, a task often considered one of the most challenging and thankless in the entertainment industry.

Handler's remark came during her opening monologue, which was peppered with humorous observations about her personal life and the current state of Hollywood. Among her witty anecdotes was a playful nod to her attraction to older men, humorously expressing a desire to treat famed director Martin Scorsese "like a little Italian meatball." It was in the midst of these lighthearted jests that Handler delivered her clever jab.

After a particularly well-received joke, Handler acknowledged the audience's response, stating, "Thank you for laughing at that. My writers wrote it." This comment, which elicited applause and laughter from the attendees, was interpreted as a subtle dig at Koy, especially in light of his recent performance at the Golden Globes.

Koy's Golden Globes Misstep

Jo Koy, also a comedian, had experienced a less favorable response during his monologue at the Golden Globes. His set was marred by a perceived lack of preparation and an awkward moment where he criticized his own writing team.

Koy later expressed regret over this incident, admitting to the Los Angeles Times that his comments were a "rookie move." However, Koy's subsequent stand-up performance revealed a defensive stance. He described the celebrity audience at the Globes as "a lot of marshmallows," a metaphor for their perceived softness, and lamented the changing times in comedy, yearning for an era where laughter was more freely embraced.

Meanwhile, Handler, who had been romantically linked with Koy from September 2021 through the following summer, demonstrated her adeptness at delivering sharp, yet playful critiques of the rich and famous. Her performance at the Critics Choice Awards, where she returned as host for the second consecutive year, was a testament to her skill in balancing humor with poignant observations.

She didn't shy away from commenting on topical issues either. Handler's monologue touched on various successes of women in entertainment, from box office hits to popular music tours, and even made a tongue-in-cheek reference to a recent high-profile ski trial involving actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

In a particularly memorable quip about the Hollywood labor strikes, she sardonically remarked on the hardship faced by studio executives forced into extended vacations. Handler's performance at the Critics Choice Awards not only highlighted her comedic prowess but also underscored the ever-evolving landscape of humor and celebrity culture in Hollywood.