In Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, we meet this 33-year-old, married, 7 and a half months pregnant woman who is still ready and able to perform standup. And while it seems her life may seem a little too put together for comedy, she erases that perception and brings the funny.
Characters & Storyline
How do you make a stable relationship, having a kid on the way, and seemingly having the life most comics only joke about funny? Well, you remind people that you have HPV and you trapped your husband. It was all a plot to retire and become a housewife. Because, you know what? Screw feminism! Who wants a job when you can have free time, not have to defecate in a repressed manner and just live a sponsored life?
This is what Ali Wong: Baby Cobra is about. Opening up your mind to the way relationships work, how Asians like her are, and even a bit of anal sex. Because, you know, you got to mix things up every now and then.
Not Much For Self-Deprecation
You know there are double standards when it comes to men and women. Often female comics are only accepted if they are of the Ellen Degeneres variety and then a few Amy Schumer’s sneak in. However, when they are like Schumer, notice how they are the traditional male, “Don’t feel threatened by me, my life sucks, I’m borderline suicidal.” Ali Wong isn’t like that. She is as vulgar as Schumer, as accepting of herself, but in no way is begging for your pity. She lets you know that yeah, she may have done some embarrassing or regretful things but she is on a come up.
Culturally Relevant Material
Being that Asian comics are a rare sight, unless you are specifically looking for them, that is in comparison to Black and Jewish comics, it is always good to hear a different take on things. Especially in terms of the even more rare Asian female comic for while there is Margaret Cho, she has been doing this for decades. She is established. But so comes the question of where is the next generation who she isn’t going to necessarily pass the torch to, but can say she opened some doors for?
Well, Ali Wong everybody. For Wong doesn’t shy away from her Chinese and Vietnamese heritage. She pokes fun at the idea that most Asian women date white men but she went against the norm. She jokes about how bad Asian women drivers are and notes it is just to test their invincibility, and she even talks about the internal racism between Asian nationalities. For whether it is referring to some Asian countries as fancy Asian and others as jungle Asian, to speaking on she and her husband talking negatively about Koreans, you are kind of given a peek inside what it is like to be in an Asian household.
Even Though She Is Pregnant, She Moves Around Like She Isn’t
At 7 and a half months pregnant, you aren’t expecting a comic to be as physical as many try to be. However, Wong does not let a child slow her down. She tries to twerk, does some sort of movement which she saw possibly at a strip club, and at times you almost wonder if she is actually pregnant. For she really does defy the usual expectation of what you think a pregnant comic would act like. Even though, she notes, finding one female comic who will even support the idea is a hard task.
On The Fence
She Doesn’t Necessarily Craft Running Gags as She Repeats A Joke With A Slightly Different Spin
Let me admit, sometimes I forget what people say or just don’t catch things. Hence why all my screencaps have subtitles. It isn’t so you can get a glimpse of what was said but because subtitles and me are a necessary. But, one thing which may bug some, but was fine with me, is Wong does repeat certain information, like the cultural makeup of her and her husband a few times, how far along she is, and her HPV joke.
Now, for some comedians, like Kevin Hart, they grind a good joke into the ground to the point it isn’t funny anymore. With Wong, she does use it for what it is worth, or to set up another joke based off the same information, but she gives you time to forget the last joke which was presented. That way, it doesn’t seem like she is stretching out her material but just setting off a reminder to get you mentally prepped for a funny.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
At 17 laughs, I can’t say she is one of the funniest comics or had one of the best specials. She is worth your time but this isn’t some hidden gem that you’d think would have put her on the map. It’s the type of special which would be on the level of, let’s say, Trevor Noah. You can hear a voice you aren’t used to being presented, but what they give you doesn’t make you wish to pay $25, $50, or more to see them live. It is just a good way to spend an hour, get some giggles, and then move on with your life. Hence the mixed label.