“Don Wong” Review

Story posted March 10, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Sophia D’Ovidio.

Comedian Ali Wong released a new stand-up special on Netflix titled “Don Wong.”

While Wong is a recognized comedy writer and actress, she is best known for her work as a stand-up comic.

Her first Netflix special, “Baby Cobra,” dropped in 2016 and is widely believed to be responsible for catapulting Wong into stardom. She released her second Netflix special, “Hard Knock Wife,” just two years later.

In “Don Wong,” Wong continues her confident, snappy, clever and vulgar comedy that is paired with commercial and critical success. “Don Wong” does differ from her previous specials, considering it’s the first one she isn’t pregnant in.

Regardless, “Don Wong” helped further establish that Ali Wong is one of the best stand-up comedians of this time.

There have been immense strides in female comics getting more recognition and respect for their work; stand-up has remained a largely male-dominated field.

Wong spends a lot of her time pointing out the disparities between herself and her male colleagues. Making fun of the fact that while her male counterparts get to date models, pop stars and movie stars and female comics don’t typically receive the same opportunities.

Wong called out her friend, who she claims is one of the top female stand-ups right now, for dating a magician who has two stars on Yelp.

Wong also hilariously mentions that she would be significantly more successful if she had a husband. She noted one of the main reasons she wouldn’t get a divorce is because her husband would have a much easier time finding a great wife, and she couldn’t “let him win.”

Many know Wong for her inappropriate and blunt humor, especially when talking about sex which is the main topic for the majority of her set. However, Wong’s intelligence and ability to intricately weave previous jokes throughout the entire special is severely underrated.

Wong also has an exceptional stage presence. She is confident, lively and big on the stage. Her voice is loud, and she remarkably commands the stage.

There are points in “Don Wong” that are a bit stale, mostly when Wong makes big generalizations as she is at her funniest when telling personal stories.

There’s not much memorable about Wong's time talking about how men don’t like dating successful women until she tells the story about her nephew dating a girl who makes more money than him.

To say that Wong’s social commentary is wrong or too political would be completely false. It’s just that Wong is at her funniest and brightest when speaking from a personal experience.

However, Wong’s ability to weave her jokes throughout her entire set can salvage any moments that are a bit lackluster. Along with this, her set performance is exceptionally engaging, and even at the slowest moments, Wong’s energy carries the special along.

“Don Wong” may not be Wong’s best stand-up special, but it makes a serious statement to be considered as one and is one of the best stand-up specials on Netflix. Wong is one of the most captivating and clever stand-up comics performing right now, and “Don Wong” is an impressive addition to her catalog of stand-up specials.

Rating: ⅘ stars

Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her email sgd5184@psu.edu.