By Ayumi Davis
Ken Jeong’s first ever comedy special released on this past Valentine’s Day with a fitting title, “You Complete Me, Ho,” paying tribute to his wife, Tran Ho.
Unlike many comedy specials viewers see on Netflix, the special was held at the Ice House, a comedy club in Pasadena, CA, providing an intimate space for Jeong to interact with his audience. The Ice House is where he got his start and where his wife first saw him do comedy, making it the perfect place for Jeong to have his first comedy special.
The special continues the trend of Asian-American celebrities in the limelight, as viewers saw the rise in Asian-American actors on the big screens in big roles, Jeong starring in one of those himself, “Crazy Rich Asians.” “You Complete Me, Ho,” was directed by John M. Chu, who also directed “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Jeong gets real as he talks about how he got his big break, his life as a doctor, how his comedy and medical experience mix and his wife in this hilarious one-hour special. The special was filled with laughs as he threw anecdotes, self-deprecating jokes and Asian jokes everywhere throughout. He interacted a lot with his audience, as well, providing laughs together with them.
The jokes were relatable and brought Jeong down to earth, as he tells of his origins before comedy, that he worked a normal job and happened to get a lucky break. While he plays those Asian stereotypes, in witty ways, he breaks them, in his own life story and through the punchlines.
However, being as it is his first comedy special, there are always things to improve. He played on many Asian stereotypes that many know and have made jokes about, as well as throwing jokes of the same kind one after another at times. His jokes were not quite strung together as well as they could have been, jumping from joke to joke, then going back to finish the joke he was telling three jokes before. Ken Jeong lacks the fully-packed arsenal that other comedians command, such as Gabriel Iglesias and Kevin Hart, with their vivid facial expressions and many different voices.
While he may lack what others have, he works with what he’s got. He makes his jokes relatable, and what’s often relatable, is often funny. For those who watched live in the Ice House and those who watched at home on their computers and TV, Ken Jeong completed everyone, making them full of laughter and some love on Valentine’s Day.
3.5 out of 5 Torches