Everything We Need To Know About Motherhood, We’re Learning From Ali Wong
Every time Ali Wong gets pregnant, she manages to come up with a hit Netflix special.
The latest of which was released just last Mother’s Day. Hard Knock Wife follows the success of 2016’s Baby Cobra, and boasts the same dirty maternal humor.
At 36, Ali now has two children and several acclaimed writing and acting credits to her name. She’s one of the scriptwriters for ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, and also appeared as guest comedienne for Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, and as part of the main cast of another ABC sitcom, American Housewife.
In 2016, Ali won critical acclaim for her performances in Baby Cobra, which was filmed when she was seven months pregnant. For both Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, she wore a body-hugging dress which highlighted her baby bump and her no-shame attitude towards her changing shape.
Ali tells it like it is as she touches on motherhood, pregnancy, the immigrant experience, even the tightrope nervousness of the Asian-Caucasian dynamic. To say that she does this with candor and irreverence is simplistic; what she does is subvert norms and popular mores by calling them out first. One of her tweets reads, “If I ever do a nude scene, I want to be in shape just enough so no one calls me ‘courageous’ for doing it.”
About being a second-generation Chinese American, Ali complains about bathroom stalls that don’t have purse hooks: “My mom didn’t come to this country so I could shit with my backpack on,” she tweets. All at once, she pokes fun at her mother’s quest for the American dream, and at how in its most banal realities, the dream has let her down.
But lately, Ali has us in stitches for her “mom comedy” shtick: “I tried being a stay-at-home mom for eight weeks. I liked the stay-at-home part,” she says. For the most part, she says things all mothers don’t know they’re thinking, or won’t admit to thinking. She’s brassy, sassy, and fierce, and she’s telling it not like it should be but like it is.
In which Ali Wong writes a perfect punchline for one of the oldest joke setups in the world pic.twitter.com/EU9XgdbDB4— Caroline Framke (@carolineframke) May 13, 2018
Much of her critical success came from jokes where she would draw comparisons with male comedians, especially those whose wives just gave birth. If these men didn’t take much “paternal leave” away from the stage, then Ali would return, too.
Here are more mic-droppers from the Wong and only:
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018) pic.twitter.com/PjNa0IJnLw— Adriana González V. (@adrianagonv) May 14, 2018
ali wong's mother's day special is KILLING ME pic.twitter.com/kyjLboGeNb— alexine martina (@AlexiniMartini) May 13, 2018
Perhaps winking at Fresh Off the Boat, Wong takes jabs at life as an Asian-American:
Damn Ali Wong pic.twitter.com/84APSylHTJ— modern-day hippie (@trishaobannon) May 13, 2018