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Growing up, it never even occurred to me that Asian Americans could be funny, successful comedians. That just wasn’t the stereotype.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered some amazing Asian American stand-up comedians that demonstrated it was possible. Not only are they funny, but their comedy is also super relatable.
They have struggled with some of the same issues I’ve had growing up as an Asian American. These guys get it and in some ways it’s even therapeutic to be able to laugh and joke about it.
So during AAPI Heritage month, I want to share a few of my favorite and relatable Asian American comedians in the hopes that they’ll bring you laughter and joy as well.
Asian American comedians are already rare so just imagine being a female Asian American comedian. Regardless of her race and gender, Ali Wong is killing it in this competitive field.
This woman has delivered not one, but two of her most popular specials while pregnant.
I love that Ali is a force to be reckoned with and breaks all the stereotypes of a submissive Asian woman. She is the polar opposite and her humor is definitely not for the weak.
If you’re a fan of raunchy, fierce, and bold (often sexual) comedy, Ali Wong is definitely for you. She doesn’t hesitate to embrace the most racy side of humor.
Luckily, Netflix has pushed her to the forefront of comedy and you’ll find her 3 specials available to stream on the platform.
And if you’re craving more Ali Wong, you have to check out her rom-com Always Be My Maybe with Randall Park and Keanu Reeves.
Watch Ali Wong on Netflix:
Jimmy O. Yang
Jimmy is not only a talented actor but also a hilarious comedian. I loved his role as Jian-Yang in Silicon Valley, but didn’t realize he did stand-up comedy until I saw his Good Deal special on Amazon Prime Video.
As a Chinese-American immigrant, Jimmy has a lot to share with us about his experiences growing up in America. Some of his stories about Asian stereotypes, parental expectations, and cultural habits are as painfully accurate as they are relatable.
I appreciate his ability to turn traumatic experiences into hilarious entertainment. They say laughter is the best medicine and, if that’s true, Jimmy Yang’s comedy will turn your troubling childhood memories into an easier pill to swallow.
I have major respect for Hasan Minhaj. He has a knack for epic storytelling and comedic wit. He’s possibly the most well-spoken and thought-provoking comedian I know.
I first discovered him on his talk show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj where he shares some hard truths about global news, politics, and culture through a comedic voice. He delivers informative yet entertaining news that will keep you wanting more.
Hasan also does stand-up and his Homecoming King comedy special is amazing. He shares his personal experiences growing up as an Indian-American Muslim with immigrant parents.
His stories are powerful, emotional, and resonating. He’s definitely someone you can enjoy and learn from at the same time.
Watch Hasan Minhaj on Netflix:
Jo is a hilarious and passionate Filipino-American comedian bringing Asians together through comedy. His performances are always animated, witty, and non-filtered. You won’t find clean jokes here, folks.
Some of his content will have you belly laughing and fanning your tears. I also love how connected he is with his Filipino roots and upbringing. He isn’t afraid to share his difficult experiences and poke fun at it.
Honestly, anyone can enjoy his comedy, even if you’re not Filipino! His deliveries pack a serious punch and there’s never a dull moment.
I recommend catching Jo Koy: Live from Seattle and working your way through his other specials on Netflix.
Watch Jo Koy on Netflix:
Aziz Ansari is a two-sided comedian. As much as I expect him to always be his goofy Tom Haverford character from Parks and Recreation, the real Aziz can also be surprisingly mature and genuine.
Recently, I caught his latest special Nightclub Comedian filmed in New York City. He returns to his roots and performs up-close and personal with his audience with witty, lighthearted comedy and social commentary.
I appreciate Aziz’s unique ability to make us not only laugh but think deep. He seems to connect with you in a way that shows his humanity and talent as a comedian.
Netflix seems to have all of Aziz Ansari’s specials. I have enjoyed his most recent specials but you can start anywhere you’d like and you can’t go wrong!
Watch Aziz Ansari on Netflix: