Introduction: What is It Like to Be a Comedian in Hollywood?
Ali Wong is a comedic actress, writer and comedian. She is on TV and has made some blockbuster films. Joan Rivers is a TV and film actress, writer, producer, director, editor and columnist. She has been in films such as “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” which won her an Academy Award. They have been on the scene for many years and they have had some similar experiences. In this paper one comedian will be compared to the other through their career paths from a young age all the way up to present day. I have chosen Ali Wong and Joan Rivers because they are two great women in comedy, who also have had some interesting experiences.
Ali Wong was very young trying to perfect what she could do with comedy. She did many sketches as well as stand up comedy. Some of her favorite line will be “I’m addicted to the internet.” This quote will help show that even in her early stage she knew a lot about computers and television. When she did her standup shows, she showed that she can act as well as write jokes. In her shows, she did the same joke over and over again. She knew that if she said the same line, it would send the audience crazy. But if a comedy artist says a line one time and it is funny, then they will not get bored of it.
“I Wish I Could Quit My Job” – The Agony of Being a Comedian in Hollywood
Joan also goes on to say that she hates every aspect of her job and that she wishes that retirement meant you could get up and say “I’m not going to do this today!” The audience roared with laughter at this but apparently the joke was lost on Ali Wong who took the time out to call in to Joan’s Sirius XM radio show and expressed her discontent: “It’s like, ‘Hold on Joan, I’m not dead yet.’ I’m working for laughs, but I don’t have to enjoy it.”
In another interview Wong went on to say that it was offensive for Joan to use a term like “retired” in reference to stand-up comics, as if comedians are no longer relevant once they leave the spotlight. “I’m so tired of hearing comedians referred to as ‘retired,'” she stated. “It’s really offensive because it implies that we have a shelf life and we’re not relevant once we’re a certain age. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, you’re too old to do that job,’ even though someone can be 20 years older and still working at a job.”
Ali Wong & Joan Rivers Battle for Comedy Supremacy on “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj”
After the show aired, Joan posted this on her blog: “Well, I’m glad she put an asterisk on it. She said she’s not ‘traditionally attractive.’ But that’s like saying, ‘I’m not a typical Muslim!’ Ali Wong is Islamic? I don’t know. Wasn’t she going to go to Mecca?” Ali Wong saw this and responded on the Huffington Post: “I was so disappointed with Joan Rivers. First off, I wanted to thank her for including me in her blog yesterday; it’s always nice to be recognized. But then I saw the comment about calling me a Muslim and I was like, ‘Oh god.’ Joan is notorious for making offensive, ignorant and hurtful comments about race. I’m Middle Eastern, but she’s not white. So I was taken aback by her comment. As far as being Muslim goes, I would never say that because Islam is my spiritual practice. I’m not Muslim in my day-to-day life, though. I was born and raised as Catholic, but spirituality runs very deep in my family anyway. So it’s not like I’m not practicing Islam; I’m just not practicing it as a Muslim. But I can understand how someone else could feel attacked by her comment. It’s just unfortunate that it had to go down the way that it did. If Joan had said it in a funny way, I could have laughed it off and brushed it off. But because of her political incorrectness and misogyny, it really stung. God bless Joan.”
For more information see:
The Truth about Ali Wong and Joan Rivers’ Friendship
tweet: “Anyone who claims to be a friend of Joan Rivers but is mad at Ali Wong…either are liars, or have never met Ali Wong.”
Ali Wong is not hiding her opinion of the recent controversy with Joan Rivers.
The writer and stand-up comedian just offered up a blunt comment about it on twitter.
“Anyone who claims to be a friend of Joan Rivers but is mad at Ali Wong, either are liars or have never met Ali Wong.” – Quote by @aliwong , tweeted on 12/14/14 at 9:36 PM PST
She was replying to a tweet that expressed outrage towards comedian and actress, Ali Wong.
On Dec. 9, 2014, Joan Rivers passed away.
Rivers and her daughter Melissa Rivers were once close friends.