Representation in the entertainment industry — particularly on Netflix — has been slowly but surely increasing over recent years, and comedy is no exception. These three comedians with hidden diversity are taking the comedy world by storm.
Jo Koy on Netflix
Comedian Jo Koy, born Joseph Glenn Herbert, was born into a cross-cultural family. With his Filipina mother and his U.S. father, Koy grew up between cultures living in the United States. As a child, he was raised primarily by his single mother and did not always have the connection that he wanted to the Filipino side of his culture. Now a father himself, Koy has the ability to teach his son about Filipino culture in addition to his exposure to U.S. culture in his everyday life.
Catch Jo Koy’s stand-up comedy special “Comin’ In Hot” on Netflix.
Although Ken Jeong’s professional life started as a doctor, he found his way into stand-up comedy during his medical residency. Born to South Korean parents in Detroit, Mich., U.S.A., Jeong always had a passion for performing and the arts.
During his early years of practicing medicine, he would spend his nights performing at comedy clubs and immersing himself in the industry. These performances begat bigger roles in movies and television. Jeong’s stand-up regularly addresses stories about his patients and his background.
Ken Jeong’s Netflix special “You Complete Me, Ho” is now streaming.
Born to a Vietnamese mother and a Chinese-American father, Ali Wong grew up primarily immersed in her father’s Chinese culture while living in the United States. As reported by Defining Cultures, Wong’s mother immigrated to the United States alone at a young age and had been taught to “assimilate [and] forget her Vietnamese culture.”
Wong decided to reconnect with her Vietnamese culture as a young adult. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 with a degree in Asian-American Studies and took her education abroad by studying in Vietnam to better acquaint herself with her culture.
Ali Wong’s “Hard Knock Wife” is streaming now on Netflix.
These comedians are representing hidden diversity in the mainstream media every day by talking about their lives as adult Cross-Cultural Kids, both in their stand-up and out in the world. Having their specials on Netflix provides a new platform to discuss life as a 21st century citizen and increases representation in new ways.