Lenny Bruce – Asian Female Style

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Title: Ali Wong

First of all, let me start with an old man rant. A comedy show at a large venue like this usually has an opening act that lasts about twenty minutes and then a headliner that lasts about an hour. Therefore the entire show is about ninety minutes.

This was at The Moore Theatre. It’s not a huge theater, but it is a good size. About 7:05, about five minutes late, the opener is introduced. For a good fifteen minutes after, many people were still streaming in. The theater is dark, so the ushers, with little flashlights, were ushering people to their chairs. Nonstop. For fifteen minutes.

I basically got nothing out of the opening act because people were streaming constantly in front of me for all but about the last five minutes of the act.

First of all, how hard is it to show up on time for an event? Granted, it’s easy for me. It’s a ten minute walk. However, I didn’t always live here. For shows, I used to come in from the ‘burbs. If I drove in, then like a normal human being, I factored in the time to drive in (including the possibility that traffic might suck), factored in time to find a parking spot, factored in time to walk, and throw in a buffer on top of that. It’s not hard. Yes, you might show up early, in which case, walk in and get yourself a drink and relax. Or go to a local bar.

Speaking of which, many of the people coming in had drinks in their hands. In other words, they considered it more important to get a drink than to come in ten minutes late to a ninety minute show. Hey, maybe you can drink before the show or after ? Are you such an alcoholic that you can’t sit through an entire performance without alcohol?

The Moore Theatre clearly has some responsibility here. They need to shut down the bar once the opening act is close. I know that that is lost revenue for them, but it’s annoying as hell for the people that actually have sat down.

And, now for the final old man rant, it’s not as if these were like $5 tickets. I paid somewhere around $50 for it. If I’m paying that much, I don’t want to miss the first fifteen percent of it so that people can get their watered down whiskey and Coke.

I’m ranting because this is the second time in about a month that this has happened. Pretty much the identical situation went down with Sarah Silverman at the Paramount.

OK, whew. No more old man ranting. Onto the show.

First of all, I can’t comment on the opening act since I missed so much of it. #angryShakeOfFist.

I’d first heard of Ali Wong on a Marc Maron WTF interview. She did a great one, which piqued my curiosity. I poked around and found her Netflix special (Baby Cobra). It was wild and unpredictable. If you haven’t seen it, it really is awesome. It’s convention busting. Picture a five foot tall, seven month pregnant, Asian woman telling absolutely filthy jokes.

When I saw that she was coming to town, I had to see her live.

And it was amazing.

She is the rawest comic that I’ve ever seen. Absolutely nothing is off limits. If there’s a body function that you are in anyway shape or form squeamish about, she will talk about it and take it up to eleven.

Here are things that she talked about:

  • Being in labor for thirty-two hours and then having a C-section
  • What a woman’s vagina looks like after giving birth
  • Comparing being a stay at home mom to a prison isolation cell
  • Lactating with breasts that shoots out milk in every direction like a Bellagio fountain
  • Bringing in a lactating specialist and the crazy breast exercises that they make you do
  • Somehow moving on from lactating to shitting into her husband’s mouth
  • Having sex while menstruating
  • Her one and only experience with a micro-penis

And it’s not just shock value. She is legitimately hilarious. Although her topics are crude, her comments are trenchant.

She is not overtly political. I don’t think she mentioned Trump once. All of her jokes were personal experiences that became universal by her telling of them.

However, there is no doubt a strong political element to her act. She is clearly an ardent feminist. She is the embodiment of a Social Justice Warrior.

She strongly advocates for maternity leave. She angrily rejects the double standard that rewards fathers for the little things while ignores the huge things that a mother does daily. She makes a mockery of the demure Asian female stereotype.

I remember there was a time when comics openly scoffed at the idea of female comics. They’re not tough enough. They can’t handle the road. They’re not funny. Similarly, they mocked Asian comics. No one can relate to them. They’re not funny.

Ali Wong kicks the shit out of those stereotypes, and she does it on her terms. She tells jokes that not a single male or non-Asian could tell, and the audience, which as usual at Seattle comedy shows, has a strong white male contingent, was roaring, if at times somewhat uncomfortably. She also drew a significant Asian and female crowd, who cheered her on. She sold out all four shows at The Moore. She owned the audience from the moment she stepped onto the stage.

This was a professional at the top of her game.

 

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