Ali Wong

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Ali Wong
Ali Wong in June 2012
Born Alexandra Wong
(1982-04-19) April 19, 1982 (age 35)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, comedian, writer
Years active 2005–present
Spouse(s) Justin Hakuta
Children 1
Relatives Ken Hakuta (father-in-law)
Website aliwong.com

Alexandra "Ali" Wong (born April 19, 1982)[1][2] is an American actress, stand-up comic, and writer.[3][4] She is noted for her Netflix stand-up special Baby Cobra, as well as her television appearances in American Housewife, Are You There, Chelsea?, Inside Amy Schumer, and Black Box. She also wrote on the first three seasons of the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat.

Early life[edit]

Wong was born in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Her father, Adolphus Wong, is an American-born Chinese anesthesiologist. Her mother, Tam "Tammy" Wong, emigrated in 1960 to the United States from Huế, Vietnam.[5][6] She is the youngest of four children.[1][7]

In 2000, Wong graduated from San Francisco University High School,[8] where she was student body class president.[9] She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, where she majored in Asian American studies.[10]

At UCLA, Wong discovered her love of performing as a member of the university's LCC Theatre (Lapu, the Coyote that Cares Theatre Company), the longest running Asian-American theater company in the United States.[11] During college, for her junior year, she spent time in Hanoi, Vietnam.[1] After graduating from UCLA, Wong received a scholarship to study further in Vietnam.

Career[edit]

Following graduation from college, in 2005 when she was 23 years old, Wong tried stand-up for the first time at Brainwash Cafe, then moved to New York City soon after to further pursue comedy. In New York, she would perform up to nine times a night. She became one of the few select female comedians to be "passed" at the Comedy Cellar.[12]

In 2011, Variety named her one of the "10 Comics to Watch".[3] Soon after, she appeared on The Tonight Show, John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show and Dave Atell's Comedy Underground Show. She was also cast as series regular in the NBC comedy series, Are You There, Chelsea?, and appeared on Chelsea Lately.[13] Following that, she was in VH1's Best Week Ever, and MTV's Hey Girl in 2013. Additionally, she starred in Oliver Stone's Savages opposite Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek, and as Kate in the film Dealin' with Idiots.[2]

In 2014, Wong played Dr. Lina Lark in the ABC medical drama series, Black Box, opposite Kelly Reilly and Vanessa Redgrave.[14][15] Since then she has guest starred in several episodes of Inside Amy Schumer. Wong has been a writer on Fresh Off the Boat since 2014.[16]

On Mother's Day 2016,[17] Netflix released a stand-up special called Baby Cobra which was filmed in September 2015 when she was 7 months pregnant[18] at the Neptune Theater in Seattle.[7][12][19]

Ali Wong hosting stand-up night at MaxFunCon, June 2013

According to the New York Magazine, "The special’s arrival on Netflix is the sort of star-making moment that unites the tastes of the unlikeliest fans."[20] She quickly received public praise on twitter from Questlove, Steve Yeun, Jay Duplass, Mindy Kaling, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Damon Wayans Jr., Randall Park, W. Kamau Bell, John Mulaney, Taylor Momsen, Meghan McCain, Janet Mock and Olivia Munn. Elle applauded it as a "comic genius gem" while Vogue called it "The special that everyone is talking about."[21] Emily Nussbaum hailed it as "funny and refreshingly rude." The day before its premiere, Wong's interview with Marc Maron on his podcast WTF was released. He called the special "the most honest, rawest, funniest special I've seen in years."[22]

In an episode of his Monday Morning Podcast, Bill Burr said "It was so fuckin' great...she went out there and she was fuckin' original, all of her stuff. It was just a great set, it was worthy, it really was a stand up special. Everybody is making a big fuckin' deal that she was pregnant and did it, and I understand why they did that because no one has ever done that. But there should be more questions about how great the material was...The jokes are fucking killer. The subject matter, all of it. God knows, there's a zillion specials out there, but...that was one of the best ones I've seen in awhile."[23]

On September 11, 2016, Wong spoke and walked the runway during New York Fashion Week for Opening Ceremony's show.[24] As of October 2016, Wong is a series regular on the ABC sitcom American Housewife.

Personal life[edit]

Wong lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Justin Hakuta, the son of Ken Hakuta aka "Dr. Fad", an inventor and TV personality.[25] They married in 2014 and had a daughter named Mari in November 2015, inspired by author Marie Kondo, who wrote The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.[18] Her husband is half-Filipino and half-Japanese.[6]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Breaking In Ana Ng Recurring role, 3 episodes
2012 Controversial Racist Short film
2012 Chelsea Lately Herself—round table 9 episodes
2012 Are You There, Chelsea? Olivia Series regular, 12 episodes
2012 Savages Claire
2013 Hey Girl Herself 5 episodes
2013 Best Week Ever Herself 16 episodes
2013 Dealin' with Idiots Katie
2014 Black Box Dr. Lina Lark Series regular, 11 episodes
2015 Ali Wong: Baby Cobra Herself Netflix Comedy Special
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Betty (voice)
2016-present American Housewife Doris Series regular

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wong, Ali (Winter 2004). "Discoveries Terrible and Magnificent" (PDF). Asian American Studies 116. UCLA. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Black Box: Ali Wong. Lina Lark on ABC's "Black Box"". ABC Television (Press release). May 18, 2013. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Shady, Justin (July 26, 2011). "Ali Wong: Spitfire standup embraces dark". Variety. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ Molyneaux, Libby (October 3, 2013). "Ali Wong: L.A.'s Raunchiest Vietnamese-Chinese-American Standup Comic". LA Weekly. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Adolphus A Wong mentioned in the record of Adolphus A Wong and Tam T Nguyen". FamilySearch. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Wong, Ali. "Baby Cobra". Netflix. 
  7. ^ a b Maron, Marc (5 May 2016). "Episode 704 - Ali Wong". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "San Francisco University High School Podcasts: IV. Ali Wong (1:02.45) Adorably Inappropriate". San Francisco University High School. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ Tseng, Ada (June 8, 2015). "Get to Know Stand-Up Comedienne & ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Writer Ali Wong". Audrey. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ "COMEDIAN ALI WONG: 'YOU CAN'T JUST BE CRASS WITHOUT BEING WITTY'". vita.mn. April 22, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Ali Wong: Q&A". LCC Theatre Company at UCLA. Retrieved May 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Nguyen, Sahra Vang (25 November 2015). "Off Color: Ali Wong on Nepotism, Network TV, and Becoming a New Mom". NBC News. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 25, 2008). "Ali Wong Joins New NBC Comedy 'Are You There Vodka' As Regular". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 4, 2013). "ABC Series 'The Black Box' Adds Trio". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (January 17, 2014). "ABC Announces Premiere Dates for 'Black Box' & 'Dancing With the Stars' + 'Mind Games' Replaces 'Killer Women'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ Collins, Scott (8 April 2015). "'Fresh Off the Boat' writer Eddie Huang slams ABC comedy hit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  17. ^ Fox, Jesse David (May 9, 2016). "Appreciating Ali Wong’s Powerful Pregnancy Joke in Baby Cobra". Vulture. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  18. ^ a b Kovan, Brianna (May 6, 2016). "Ali Wong Did a One-Hour Comedy Special While Seven Months Pregnant, DGAF". ELLE. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  19. ^ White, Abbey (April 29, 2016). "Ali Wong's Got Bite in This First Look at Her Netflix Comedy Special, Baby Cobra". Paste. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  20. ^ Choi, Mary. “Talking Pregnancy and Prostate Stimulation With Ali Wong”. New York Magazine. May 30, 2016
  21. ^ Ruiz, Michelle. "Ali Wong on Baby Cobra, the Netflix Comedy Special Everyone’s Talking About". Vogue. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  22. ^ "Episode 704 - Ali Wong". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  23. ^ "Ali Wong’s Radical Raunch". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  24. ^ "Opening Ceremony’s Funny, Political Show Redeemed Fashion Week". The Cut. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  25. ^ Wong, Gerrye (9 December 2014). "On the Scene December 9 Holidaze: Happy Occasions". 丁丁網路電視 Dingding.tv. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 

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