The NETFLIX Comedy Special Redefining Motherhood
Performing seven months pregnant ALI WONG makes a bold statement that she’s not going to conform to the archetype women are pressured into. Rather than be a glowing form of sainthood Wong embraces being raunchy, candid and opinionated.
I had to think about it and it’s true I couldn’t recall any image of a pregnant women on stage performing comedy. Women in comedy have often had to downplay their sexuality, anatomy and their femininity in hopes not to exclude male audiences. Thankfully comedians like Ali Wong, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler are pushing back against the status quo. The female perspective on either end of the spectrum in comedy is important and audiences and Netflix seem to agree.
Choosing to subversively make a statement about feminism by making an argument against it is where Ali’s material shines. It was fun listening a successful woman argue why women who don’t work have it better than women who do. Ali explores this with actual potty humor, it’s cringe-worthy and hilarious.
Over the hour Ali covers a lot. She charges through topics about trapping her Harvard educated husband into marriage, their sex life, a miscarriage, being pregnant and having aspirations to be a housewife. Ali explores these topics with fresh candor and graphic detail. This isn’t mild mannered comedy, it’s confident, filthy and pushes boundaries from an Asian American perspective. Ali is a writer on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat and her set is structured as a story not unlike an adult sitcom. I think this attracts a broader audience and you don’t have to be up on pop culture or politics to follow her story.
The only issue I had was the first fifteen minutes weren’t nearly as engaging as the last fifteen. I didn’t know much about Ali before seeing her stand up so this was my first introduction to her. The first fifteen minutes struggled to identify what she was about. There’s a bit about how she’s slept with more than one homeless man accidentally that just felt like randomly placed filler but in comparison the last fifteen minutes were strong and she ends her set rather effectively.
The topic of motherhood isn’t new to comedy but in the past it’s usually delivered as clean and safe for the entire family. Baby Cobra certainly isn’t clean or safe for the entire family but it’s a funny and will subsequently have audiences wanting to catch up with her.
Review Written by Matti Bygod – @mattibygod