Comedian Joe Wong Finally Performs In Mandarin For Boston!

I’ve blogged about Boston-based comedian Joe Wong a few times, as well as seen him twice live in person. It takes a lot of courage for anybody to do standup comedy, but a whole lot more if you’re an immigrant doing it not in your native language. However, Wang will be finally doing a gig in his native language – but not in China – but in Boston:

His efforts will take an interesting side trip on Tuesday at ImprovBoston, when he performs a sold-out show entirely in his native Mandarin Chinese. The idea was sparked by a visit back to China last November, to promote his autobiography. After the trip, he began to realize how many Chinese speakers he encountered in the Boston area. “Before that, I never thought about doing comedy shows in America in Chinese,” he says. “When I started doing comedy, 99 percent of the audience are either white or black. Very few Asians are in the crowd. I didn’t even know if my English jokes would go over well with the Asian community. Later on, I found a lot of Asians in America kind of liked my comedy.”

I don’t know if Wong has ever performed in China in Mandarin (or English for that matter). I wonder if his sense of humor “translates” over in China. I went to a comedy club once in Auckland, New Zealand and was pleasantly surprised that I could related and laugh at most of the jokes. Having been born-and-raised in the Springfield, Massachusetts – about 90 miles west of Boston – I was one of a handful of Asian Americans in my graduating class of 273 students. Certainly there are a lot more Asians in the Great Boston area, but seriously, Boston is no San Francisco Bay Area. I’m impressed Wong has a sold out show to his Mandarin show! Given my limited fluency in Mandarin, I wonder how of his act I would get.

The last time I saw Wong perform in San Francisco some time last year, he had quit his full-time day job as a biochemist to do comedy full-time, which I was impressed with because I think trying to make a living as a comedian has got to be pretty tough. I hope Wong can keep it up! Best of luck to Wong with his Mandarin show – if it’s a hit in Boston, he definitely should take his Mandarin act to California – to places like San Francisco, Cupertino or in Southern California like Arcadia, Monterey Park and Rowland Heights!

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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