Monday, November 2, 2009

003 - Vote for Joe

Tomorrow is Election Day and this Joe is voting for Xi Huang, or rather, Joe Wong, his American name.  While Joe Wong might not officially be on any ballot for political office, he should be on a ballot for funniest comedian.

Joe has already received endorsements from some of television's most influential hosts and has appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman."  He is also a favorite of Ellen DeGeneres' and has been on "Ellen's Bigger Longer Wider Show" on TBS and most recently on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."  His set is linked below.

"Hi everybody.  I'm Irish." - might be a typical opening line for Joe but in reality, this 29 year old funny man was born in Baishan City, Jilin Province, China.    He has since become a naturalized American citizen and incorporates his life experiences into his act. An act devoid of the profanity, too often used by comedians, for shock value.  Joe's answer to the citizenship test question "Who was Benjamin Franklin?" is "Um...he's the reason our convenience store gets robbed."

Joe, has been performing for seven-and-a-half years but professionally for just four.  I asked him how he got started.  "By reading Woody Allen and other masters, taking an adult education standup comedy class, and going to open mic nights and telling jokes."   His first gig was at Hannah’s Bar in Somerville, Massachusetts, which has since ceased to exist.  In addition to Woody Allen, his style is very influenced by Mitch Hedberg, Steven Wright, but mostly by the late George Carlin.

In addition to his comedy, Joe Wong holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and works as a research investigator at a pharmaceutical company.  Joe is married and has one son.  He is currently working on "work related humor and jokes."  He has shows this weekend - Friday, November 6th, and Saturday, November 7th at the Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston.

Joe also has quite an online following on You Tube and can be seen in many videos including "Joe Wong for President," which served as the inspiration for some of the photos.  There are many variations of this video, including one translated into Chinese.  In one scene of "Joe Wong for President," Joe proves that he is American by eating pizza and chips but does so with chopsticks.  On the day of our photoshoot, Joe and I sat down for a Chinese meal.  We had the option of chopsticks or fork.  Joe chose the fork.  This Joe voted for the chopsticks.

Joe Wong on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"


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