HomeBad Ass AsiansJo Koy's upbringing as a Filipino American inspires a movie

Jo Koy’s upbringing as a Filipino American inspires a movie

by Ed Dionko, Views from the Edge

Comedian Jo Koy played to a sold-out audience at San Francisco’s 18,000-seat Chase Center and held them in the palm of his hand throughout his entire set.

During his monologue, he often told stories about growing up in Seattle by a strict single  Filipina mother. The audience, the majority of which were Filipino Americans, guffawed as they recognized their own relatives.
Being raised by a Filipino mother is a major part of his routine. “I really bonded with my mom,” says Koy. “That’s why I identify with being Asian, with being Filipino. Those stories are true. It’s from my heart. It’s what I lived growing up so that’s all I can talk about.”

Now his Filipino American family — at least the comedic version of his family — will be the subject of an upcoming movie titled Easter Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As the title suggests, the Amblin Partners project centers around a family gathering to celebrate Easter Sunday.

“This is a dream come true for me to work with such a legendary production company like Amblin who have produced some of my all-time favorite movies from Jurassic Park to 1917. I’m so honored to be a part of the Amblin family, and to have them help bring my personal stories to the big screen,” Koy said Tuesday in a statement.

Besides being the subjects of the movie, Asian Americans will be behind the camera as well.  Rick and Morty writer Jessica Gao and Silicon Valley star Jimmy O. Yang are among the executive producers. Dan Lin’s Rideback will be partnering with Amblin for the comedy. Comedian and writer Ken Cheng (Wilfred) will write the screenplay.  

Easter Sunday will be released domestically by Universal Pictures.
Koy, who says he has been doing standup comedy for over 30 years, was named the “Stand-Up Comedian of the Year” at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal in 2018. His Netflix special “Live From Seattle” album reached No. 1 on the 2019 Billboard comedy album chart.

“Jo is one of the most popular comics working today and I’m delighted to be starting this journey with him. Jo’s comedy is at once unique to his life and his experiences, and at the same time relatable and familiar to us all,” added Holly Bario, Amblin Partners’ president of production. “With every performance, he shares his comedy, his heart and his family with us. His poor family … who will now be lovingly made fun of in a whole new medium. To them, I apologize.”

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