Ali Wong is a cutesy-pie, potty-mouth, Vietnamese-Chinese-American comic. What more do you need to know? Here's our Q&A with her:
You're hilarious. Were you funny as a kid?
I constantly peed in my pants up until the 8th grade and wore an extra-large sailor uniform from kindergarten to 8th grade because my mom was scared I'd grow out of it. So I learned to make fun of myself at school and summer camp. Making people laugh was the only thing I ever truly excelled at. But at home, I was so quiet with my family, which taught me to be really observant.
You get pretty raunchy onstage. What do your parents think of your act?
My sister is gay so I can do whatever I want. The most valuable thing my dad taught me was to never care about what other people thought. When he came to my shows and I'd announce his presence, he'd stand up with his hands clasped in victory and cheer my name. My mom used to get embarrassed, but we've been through a lot together so she's just happy I can support myself. Press like this always helps, so thank you LA Weekly.
After being named “Best Comedian” in San Francisco, how did other comics treat you?
Unfortunately, no different.
What do you love/hate about L.A.?
I love how serious all the ethnic enclaves are; they do such a good job of preserving culture. Vietnamese food in Orange Country is so authentic because they are catering to their own. So it's nice to have access to good bun bo hue (spicy pig's feet soup) and mam tom, this delicious sauce that smells like foot. And I love the pre-cut fruit on every corner here. Whenever I see one of those rainbow umbrellas, I do a kegel. The biggest downside of L.A. is the traffic and parking tickets. They turn me into Michael Douglas in Falling Down.
Who do people say you look like?
If you weren't a comic, what would you be?
A Real Housewife of San Francisco.
How would you describe your comedy to someone who's never seen you?
What do you do all day when you're on the road?
I'm very “stuff white people like” when I go on the road I try to visit all the interesting museums, find farmer's markets and eat at the most highly reviewed places on Yelp. I watch a lot of Pawn Stars and Keeping Up With the Kardashians since I don't have cable at home.
Is there anywhere where you are treated like royalty?
Do you really have a bachelor's degree in Asian American Studies from UCLA? How has that come in handy?
I'm now an expert on how to blame everything on white people.
Ali Wong performs The Wong Show at the Lab at the Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Wed., July 13, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 651-2583.