Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Cierra Spurlock.
Ali Wong, who was named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch,” recorded her very first comedy special in September titled “Baby Cobra” while being seven and half months pregnant, ignites the comedy world with her ever so clever comedic craft. You may have heard of Wong as she’s appeared on NBC’s Are You There, Chelsea? and ABC’s Black Box.
Wong, who began her comedy career nearly a decade ago touches on subjects that include the transition from being a young adult to “full blown” adulthood, her single life versus married life, conceiving a child then drastically suffering a miscarriage, her envy for housewives, her very passionate thoughts on feminism, and many other hilarious topics.
Wong doesn’t plan on slowing up at all while being pregnant as she says in her stand-up special that motherhood sometimes allows for women in comedy to easily “fade” away. She states, “It’s very rare and unusual to see a female comic perform pregnant because female comics don’t get pregnant. Just try to think of one. There’s none of them. Once they do get pregnant they generally disappear.”
Her delivery is absolutely amazing as she connects with audience members on a multitude of different topics. Wong’s facial expressions during her stand-up special are absolutely hysterical. She draws out certain stories and jokes which build up the crowd’s excitement as it finally leads to an overwhelming eruption of laughter.
You know that kind of laugh that leaves you smiling afterward? Yup, that’s the type of effect Wong brings to many audiences all over. One of the best moments in Wong’s special is when she discusses the time she met her husband.
“But my husband, I first met him at this wedding and uh he’s much better looking than me. He’s way out of my league and I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh my God, who is that?’ and the first thing I learned about him is that at the time he was attending Harvard Business School and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to trap his ass!’”
The fact that I know some women who think exactly like Wong is what easily connected me to this particular story. I mean what woman in their right mind would pass up an educated guy?
Wong’s topic selection is perfect as the crowd applauds and erupts in great amounts of laughter. A close zoom in of the camera on audience members faces helps confirm the enjoyment many men and women happen to be experiencing during Wong’s entire comedy special.
Wong times her jokes wonderfully with her excellent perceptual and very blunt style of delivery. Her disclosure of her personal life is wide open as she speaks to audience members about her awful past decisions that include stories from her young-adult dating life to her happily married life now, which seems to bring about the most laughter.
Wong takes an un-feministic stance in this special by stating, “I’ve been reading that book by Sheryl Sandberg… she wrote that book that got women all riled up about our careers. Talking about that we as women should challenge ourselves to sit at the table and rise to the top and her book is called Lean In. Well, I don’t wanna ‘lean in’, okay. I wanna lie down.”
Wong continues on her rampage of wanting to possess old traditions as she states, “I think feminism is the worst thing that ever happened to women. Our job used to be no job. We had it so good. We could’ve done the smart thing which would have been to continue playing dumb for the next century and be like, ‘We’re dumb women. We don’t know how to do anything so I guess we better just stay at home all day and eat snacks and watch Ellen.’”
As Wong neared towards the end of her special, the man of her dreams that she most desperately wanted to “trap” seemed to have backfired after all as she closes the show by stating, “Two weeks into the escrow process, I discovered that my beautiful Harvard-educated husband was $70,000 in debt and me with my hard-earned T.V. money paid it all off.”
Wong’s show gets two-thumbs up as she strongly closes out her very first special, and the crowd ecstatically applauds her performance. Her engaging comedic style is quite unique, relatable, and bold.
While Wong’s material seemed to have a big connection with many audience members, some of her jokes seemed to make some audience members uncomfortable and even awkward at some points in her stand-up performance all while discussing controversial topics like interracial dating, sleeping with homeless men, and even racism.
Wong shouldn’t necessarily shy away from addressing these controversial topics, but instead find better ways to tell personal stories about said topics so audience members don’t feel so awkward and even confused at times. Since Wong is a new comic on the scene, finding a newer and better rhythm when story telling should be no big deal at all.
Some of Wong’s jokes are extremely raw, uncut, and even cringe worthy at some points, leaving many audience members wide-eyed in disbelief and lips tightly pursed together.
An obvious cringe-worthy moment in Wong’s special is when she discusses her sexual escapades with her husband in efforts of trying for a baby for the second time around. Let’s just say, Wong ends of up on the floor acting it all out, giving audience members a little too much of a sneak peek.
Still, Wong adapted well to the awkward laughter by moving on to the next joke in a rather slick fashion. Since this is Wong’s first comedy special, she has time to better familiarize herself with her core audience members and hone in on what jokes better connect with the audience in order to avoid these hiccups.
Overall, Wong delivers her stories with perfect comedic timing and beautifully engages audience members. Wong’s writing aesthetic and overall material aren’t exactly miraculous or anything, but Wong’s fiery personality is a key contributor in this comedy special being a great hit. This is a marvelous start to Wong creating and potentially launching another great comedy special.
Wong’s special can be found on Netflix today!
For the latest on Wong, be sure to visit AliWong.com for all upcoming show information. You never know, she may be coming to a city near you.