"It is fascinating to watch what happens when comedians become very famous," says Kathryn VanArendonk of the newly released Ali Wong: Don Wong. "There is no single version of how that transformation goes, but there is an underlying theme that starts to pop up. Their lives, the experiences that become stand-up material, no longer operate in the same world as their audience. Some topics still work; parenting is one of the great go-to themes for a shared human experience, as is sex, marriage, and the fact that there is a global pandemic. But the details start to drift into a distinctly separate space, like, for instance, building a brick pizza oven in your home because you were so impressed by the pizza when you went over to Jerry Seinfeld’s house for dinner. It’s not a shift that makes comedy impossible by any means, but once a comedian moves into that level of fame, it’s a challenging divide to bridge. The best moments in Ali Wong’s new Netflix special Don Wong are the ones where she embraces that problem and puts it front and center. The weakest sections are the ones where she pivots back toward the comfortable, familiar, or unsurprising." ALSO: Ali Wong artfully deconstructs the challenges facing successful women, while questioning why successful and powerful men are lauded and excused for bad behavior.
TOPICS: Ali Wong, Netflix, Ali Wong: Don Wong, Standup Comedy