Joey “CoCo” Diaz, a Cuban-American stand-up comedian and actor, has captured the hearts of millions with his unique storytelling abilities and a larger-than-life personality. But how did Joey Diaz get famous? In this article, we’ll explore the life of Joey Diaz, from his early struggles to his rise to stardom. Learn about his foray into the world of comedy, acting career, podcast journey, and much more.

how did joey diaz get famous

Early Life and Struggles

Joey Diaz was born in Havana, Cuba, on February 19, 1963. At just three years old, he and his family fled the Castro regime and settled in North Bergen, New Jersey. Diaz grew up in a tough neighborhood and was exposed to a life of crime early on. Tragically, both of his parents passed away by the time he was 16, leaving him to navigate through life on his own.

Diaz’s tumultuous upbringing led him to dabble in drugs and petty crime. He was even incarcerated for kidnapping and aggravated robbery in the late ’80s. However, it was during this dark period that Diaz discovered his love for comedy. He would perform stand-up routines for his fellow inmates, providing much-needed laughter and relief.

Breaking Into Comedy

how did joey diaz get famous

In 1991, after serving his time in prison, Diaz decided to pursue a career in comedy. He started performing at open mic nights in Denver, Colorado. His raw, brutally honest storytelling style and gritty humor quickly gained him a loyal following. Diaz drew upon his own life experiences, touching on topics like crime, drugs, and immigration. This authentic approach allowed him to stand out in the competitive world of stand-up comedy.

Over time, Diaz’s reputation grew, and he started opening for other comedians like Joe Rogan and Dave Chappelle. This exposure led to his first TV appearance on “Evening at the Improv” in 1994. Diaz continued to refine his craft, performing in clubs across the United States, and eventually moved to Los Angeles to chase his dreams.

Acting Career

While his stand-up comedy career was taking off, Diaz also ventured into acting. His first big break came in 2000 when he was cast as Spider Mike in the cult classic film “Baseketball.” Diaz’s unique comedic timing and strong screen presence led to other roles in popular movies and TV shows like “The Longest Yard,” “My Name is Earl,” and “Spider-Man 2.”

Diaz’s acting career enabled him to reach a broader audience, but it was his candid storytelling and authentic personality that solidified his status as a beloved entertainer. He continued to pursue both comedy and acting, showcasing his undeniable talent and versatility.

The Joe Rogan Experience

In 2009, Diaz’s long-time friend and fellow comedian Joe Rogan launched a podcast called “The Joe Rogan Experience” (JRE). Diaz quickly became a regular guest on the show, and his appearances would often rank among the most popular episodes. The podcast’s massive audience gave Diaz a new platform to share his compelling stories and unique insights on life, relationships, and personal growth.

Diaz’s natural chemistry with Rogan and his infectious laughter made him an instant fan favorite. His brutally honest and unfiltered perspective, coupled with his unmistakable storytelling abilities, resonated with listeners around the world. It was through his appearances on JRE that Diaz’s fame skyrocketed, exposing him to an even larger audience.

The Church of What's Happening Now

Encouraged by the success of his appearances on JRE, Diaz decided to start his own podcast in 2012. “The Church of What’s Happening Now” (TCOWHN) quickly gained a dedicated following. Diaz, alongside co-host and producer Lee Syatt, dove deep into various topics, ranging from comedy and entertainment to Diaz’s personal experiences and life lessons.

Guests on the show included fellow comedians, actors, and friends from Diaz’s past, each bringing their own unique stories and perspectives. Diaz’s magnetic personality, uncensored humor, and openness about his own life struggles created a relatable and engaging atmosphere that resonated with fans.

The success of TCOWHN further solidified Diaz’s status as a household name in the world of comedy and podcasting. It also allowed him to connect with his fans on a more personal level, as he often shared valuable life lessons and advice based on his own experiences.

Social Media Presence

As Diaz’s fame continued to grow, he became more active on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. His authentic and unfiltered content allowed him to connect with fans and share his journey with them in real-time. Diaz’s openness about his struggles with addiction, weight loss, and personal growth endeared him to a wider audience.

Diaz’s social media presence also played a crucial role in promoting his comedy shows, acting gigs, and podcast episodes. His engagement with fans, coupled with his candid and approachable demeanor, made him a beloved figure in the world of entertainment.

Giving Back to the Community

As Diaz’s career flourished, he became increasingly involved in charitable causes and giving back to the community. He often used his podcast and social media platforms to raise awareness about various issues, such as addiction recovery and mental health.

Diaz’s commitment to helping others stems from his own experiences with addiction and personal growth. His dedication to making a positive impact has only endeared him further to his fans and helped reinforce his status as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.


So, how did Joey Diaz get famous? Diaz’s rise to fame is the result of his relentless pursuit of his dreams and an unwavering dedication to his craft. From his early days as a stand-up comedian to his acting career, podcast success, and social media presence, Diaz’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and authenticity.

Joey Diaz’s story is an inspiring example of overcoming adversity and using personal struggles to fuel creativity and success. His larger-than-life personality, unmatched storytelling abilities, and genuine connection with his audience have secured his place as a beloved and respected figure in the world of comedy and entertainment.