Recently I just finished a Netflix Original; Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho which is affectionately a shoutout to the strong woman who walks through life with him. He talks about his previous life as a doctor with Kaiser Permanente (which happens to be the insurance I use so that’s where I go), a bit about depression, Asian-Americans in the media, his family and how he got started in the entertainment industry.
In all honesty, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with the stand-up comedy genre. I was never really into it though I’ve come across some on Netflix. Don’t quiz me on any comedians though because I don’t know many. I typically don’t learn about the ones I like until I’ve already seen them in a movie or TV show then I go back and watch their stand-up so I can see them in their own element with their own original content but I commend them for being great storytellers.
I love that Ken Jeong and many others recently in the entertainment industry have brought to light more Asian-Americans. Quite frankly, the only Asian films or films that happened to have a token Asian that made it into Hollywood really just overplayed the typical Asian stereotype: the nerd, the martial artist, etc. It got like, really, really old–and fast. For a couple of years they had a breakthrough with Jackie Chan and Jet Li but again–martial arts played a major role. One year we had Joy Luck Club and only 25 years after that, we got Crazy Rich Asians. Finally, a movie that Asian-Americans can relate to–sort of. I mean, I wish I was crazy rich–but the traditions and culture, it’s all there. We’re more than just butt-kicking nerds!
Growing up, we’ve been instilled with upholding our parent’s culture and traditions. Our parents–immigrants who came to the US in search of a better life for their children and more opportunities. We grew up bilingual maybe even trilingual…etc. We’ve had pressure from many sides such as from our parents to succeed and become something worthy of their praises like a doctor or lawyer and then also to fit in with the American kids you’ve grown up with because who wants to be the odd one out? In the end, whether you become a doctor, comedian, or work in IT; your parents are going to be proud of you. I find that many immigrant families whether they’re Asian or not come from a similar upbringing. These are the qualities that are needed for improvement.
Watching this special was like a breath of fresh air. Someone in the entertainment industry who is absolutely funny yet down to earth. You can tell what a good husband and father he is when he doesn’t seem to miss a beat with praising his wife’s accomplishments and not forcing his kids to do something they don’t want to. These are the times when we need something real. Something positive.
So if you have a moment, you should check out his Netflix special. Also, I’m having a fangirl moment so let me just leave this here..
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) March 5, 2019