Ali Wong’s full name is actually Alexandra Dawn “Ali” Wong and she is famous for being quite a funny stand-up comedian and actress. Ali Wong had struggled during her early years before finally getting a break at Netflix where she reached stardom overnight through her stand-up special, Baby Cobra (2016) and later on, Hard Knock Wife (2018).
Ali Wong has been working in the industry for over 15 years now, being an inspiration to other comedians and doing a phenomenal job in the context of comedy and acting. She has also appeared in shows like the American Housewives, and Inside Amy. Other than that, in 2020, Ali Wong was named one of the most influential people 2020 by the Times.
Wong had gotten into comedy at 23. Since then, she’s been spreading laughter amongst the crowd. People interested in comedy all over the world know her by name. Although it took her a while to get where she is today, she’s known to be a great mother as well as an amazingly funny person to talk to.
Table of Contents
Overview of Ali Wong
Check out Ali Wong’s overview right here. You will find the basic information that you need to know about here as well as a few details, giving you an overall idea about where she stands.
|Alexandra Dawn Ali Wong
|San Francisco, CA, USA
|19 April 1982
|1 Brother and 1 sister
|University of California
|Filed for divorce
|2 children – Mari and Nikki Hakuta
Ali Wong’s Education
Ali Wong had graduated from San Francisco University High School and she was her class president. Later on, she enrolled at UCLA, majoring in Asian-American studies. At university, she fell in love with theater and acting. She graduated in 2005 with a summa cum laude from UCLA.
Later on, she received a Fullbright scholarship and went to Vietnam to continue her studies.
Ali Wong’s Family
Ali Wong’s family was inclined towards art. Her parents made sure that she receives exposure to Asian participation in the world of cinema and other forms of creativity. Both her parents were of Asian descent and she comes from a good family background as well.
What Was Her Childhood Like?
One of the most important things in Ali Wong’s life is family. Her mother is Vietnamese and her father is Chinese. They were both immigrants in America when they moved. She expressed in an interview that family was very important to her and her entire family had a strong attachment to all things artsy.
She said that her family would take her to the Asian American Film Festival and every time a new Wong Kar-wai film, her family would take her to see it. Wong mentioned that this had affected her confidence on a positive note since it taught her more about how representation matters.
Were Her Parents Supportive of a Career in Comedy?
Wong says that her parents were not very supportive of her decision to pursue a career in comedy. When she told them that she was moving to New York City to become a stand-up comedian, they said the chances of her making it big in that field were very slim because of her race.
She pointed out that Margaret Cho was successful, and they responded by saying, “they are extraordinary exceptions.” Wong did say that her parents were very progressive and enthusiastic about pursuing a career in the arts but they had different opinions about comedy. That did not stop Wong from becoming popular in the art of making people laugh and she certainly did a good job which we’ll find out.
Ali Wong’s Career
As a comedian, Ali Wong had to struggle in her early years. Sleepless nights and working late hours were aspects of hard work that she was familiar with from an early age. The route toward her success is inspirational.
How Did Ali Wong Get Into Comedy?
Wong first tried out comedy at the age of 23, after graduating from college. Her friends used to tell her that she had a really good sense of humor and that she should definitely try her luck in comedy. That’s exactly what she did. Not because her friends told her but also because she was interested in merging art with what she was a natural at – making people laugh!
The Beginning: How Did She Pursue Her Interest in Comedy?
Wong had decided that she was going to move to New York and that was what she did. She started off by performing at comedy clubs, sometimes up to 9 times a night. After finally getting a break on television in 2011, she appeared on a show called ‘Breaking in’. However, Wong did have to struggle before she finally landed on Netflix, which you’ll find out shortly.
The Struggle: What Were Things Like Before Wong Became Successful?
The early days of most comedians are usually packed with struggles, frustration, and sometimes even depression. Wong had her downs as well just like all successful people do.
Wong tried to make money by doing stand-up shows but she could barely fill the audience seats from the start. So she decided to sell tickets on Groupon for her business but it wasn’t long before she began feeling depressed. Groupon wasn’t really working well for her even though it did play a role in increasing the audience.
This was because her listings decreased her brand value by subtly announcing to the world that she was struggling to find an audience for her shows. Groupon listings only brought in low-quality customers and she decided enough was enough.
The Break That Wong Needed in Her Career: Netflix
Netflix’s decision to invest heavily in comedy took Wong’s career trajectory to a whole new level. Since the company wanted to produce original comedy specials. This meant that artists who were sort of fresh off the boat could make their mark. This jumpstarted Wong’s career and took her to fame overnight when the audience loved her comic material.
Netflix’s subscription fee allowed a large audience to access her shows online. While Groupon focused on local markets, Netflix went international. While Groupon diluted Wong’s brand image, Netflix bumped it up to an eccentric level.
Wong is best known for her Netflix stand-up comedy specials, ‘Baby Cobra’ and ‘Hard Knock Wife’. Fans fell in love with her comedy routines. In 2022, she came up with the comedy, ‘Ali Wong: Don Wong’ and fans loved that too. This premiered in February 2022, and this is the third special added to Wong’s special resume.
Ali Wong’s Net Worth and Income
Ali Wong’s net worth as of 2024 is roughly around $4 million. By profession, she refers to herself as a comedian, an actress, and a writer. She makes over $40,000 in salary every month. Over time, her net worth has increased by quite a hefty bit.
In 2017, her net worth was $0.5 million. In 2019, this rose to $1.5 million and in 2021, the figure reached $2.5 million.
Ali Wong’s Kids and Husband
Unlike many other celebrities, Ali Wong got married once as the records tell us. Marrying someone of Asian descent was a priority for her as she had mentioned in an interview. She thought they would connect well and have a family together. But she also thought of quitting work after getting married. Sadly, that didn’t happen.
Who Did Ali Wong Marry?
Ali Wong got married in 2014, to Justin Hakuta. He is a tech exec and also the son of TV personality and inventor, ‘Dr. Fad’. They met at a public park wedding in 2010 and had hit it off immediately. Hakuta loved her sense of humor. Wong said in an interview that when she heard Justin was attending Harvard Business School, she wanted to ‘trap’ him!
Justin and Wong’s Children
Wong and Justin have two children from their marriage – Mari and Nikki Hakuta. Mari was born in 2015 and the younger one Nikki was born in 2017. Wong does not like posting pictures of her kids on social media and she tries to keep them away from the media. She said she likes a little bit of privacy when it comes to raising children.
Is It True That The Couple Filed for Divorce?
Yes, it is, although the reasons are not known to the public. You won’t find the reasons behind their divorce anywhere but you can make a few guesses. Wong said in one of her comedy routines that she didn’t know her husband was in debt and that she had to pay the bills and repay the loans. Maybe you can guess something from that statement.
However, there is no bad blood between the two of them and they still maintain a cordial relationship. Well, they have to since they have children together. People can just hope that there aren’t any custodial issues arising in the near future when it comes to children.
Ali Wong’s Perception of Her Career
In several interviews, Wong mentioned that if she hadn’t chosen a career in comedy, she probably would have become a professor. She is obviously smart since everyone can’t get a Fullbright scholarship!
She was an Asian-American studies student and she thought that becoming a professor in that field would be a good idea. But fate had things decided for a more adventurous path. Wong fell in love with comedy and things took a different turn after that.
Now that you’ve gotten to know quite a bit about the comic sensation, here are a few bonus FAQs that might interest you. Starting with how Wong’s humor is perceived in her opinions of success, these are facts from her own statements.
What are Wong’s Jokes Really Like?
Most of Wong’s jokes could seem unpleasant, alienating, and a little uncomfortable at times but that’s just how Wong operates. The honesty in her delivery is captivating and the way she blends the little things in life with a comic touch really intrigues the audience.
Did Ali Wong Really Work While She Was Pregnant?
Both ‘Baby Cobra’ and ‘Hard Knock Wife’ were filmed when Wong was over 7 months pregnant. She is extremely hard-working and consistent when it comes to working.
What Does Ali Wong Dislike?
Wong does not like being asked how she feels being an Asian-American in Hollywood. She thinks it’s racist and said, “Nobody wants his or her identity and defining characteristics reduced to just race and gender, and I resent that white men never get asked what’s it like being a white man in movies”.
Surprisingly, she said that most of the people who ask her this question happen to be Asian-American themselves!
What is Ali Wong’s Take On Success?
Wong said that Asians like predictability and knowing that a good payoff will come after hard work. She expressed that in the entertainment industry, there is no linear path to success and no linear path to maintain it as well, even if one does achieve it.
Ali Wong’s one of the most inspiring comedians today and that’s not just because she is funny. The way she manages everything is something other people look up to. The struggles that she had to face and the constant grinding that had to be done over the years give her the reputation that she holds today.
She was only 23 when she entered the world of comedy and she has been working hard ever since. Having two daughters to take care of, a divorce on the way, and a career that’s centered on hard-earned fame is something extremely difficult to achieve.
Wong made it to Hollywood, made it to success, and made it to the hearts of her audience; making them laugh with her and at others when needed!