Comedians in love! Chelsea Handler knew her boyfriend, Jo Koy, for nearly 20 years before they started dating — but their romance happened right on time.
During an October 2021 episode of her “Dear Chelsea” podcast, Handler admitted that she may have had feelings for Koy when he was a regular guest on her late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately, which ran on E! from 2007 to 2014, but she “suppressed” them.
“By the way, who gives a s–t?” the Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea author said. “Look where we are now. I would’ve ruined it if I had those feelings earlier, probably.”
During their time working together on Chelsea Lately, the host was often combative with Koy. Now, however, she believes it was her just being unable to express how she really felt for the standup comic.
“In retrospect that was my version of flirting,” Handler told E! News on the red carpet of the People’s Choice Awards in December 2021. “I think I was so out of touch with my own emotions that that was my currency.”
She added, “He keeps telling me that I’ve been in love this whole time and didn’t know it so I’m just choosing to believe that.”
The New Jersey native also believes that the only reason she’s been able to make things work with the Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo writer is because she chose to focus on herself first.
“I think you have to be healthy to get healthy, so I had to really dig deep and get my stuff sorted out and then all of a sudden I saw him through a completely different lens,” she said in December 2021. “I was like, ‘Wait a second — that’s my guy, I think.’”
Finding love with Koy made the My Horizontal Life author believe that it’s possible to find “The One” — and she wants her fans to believe it too.
“For everyone who is still looking for their person, do not adjust who you are or make yourself smaller to find them. Be patient and never settle for anything less than you deserve,” the Girls Behaving Badly alum wrote via Instagram in November 2021. “Your person is coming and sometimes — they’ve been standing in front of you the whole time.”
Handler previously dated TV executive Ted Harbert from 2006 to 2010, before moving on with hotelier André Balazs in 2011. The two broke up two years later. She was also linked to rapper 50 Cent in 2010. Koy, meanwhile, shares son Joseph Herbert Jr. with ex-wife Angie King.
Keep scrolling to read more about how this funny duo went from friends to lovers: