Strike a blow for motherhood, all you standup fans. Not since Joan Rivers has there ever been such a visceral and hilarious dissertation of what it's like to spit a new life from your innards and endure the trials and tribulations of ensuring that the little pink wonder stays on the straight and narrow. And the successor to that crown of thorns, diapers and baby mush, is comedian Ali Wong.
Before her Nexflix debut, Baby Cobra, Wong was anything but a household name, although she did have short-lived success on primetime medical series Black Box as well as a few appearances on Inside Amy Schumer. But once the special started streaming, comedy fans started paying attention, until she disappeared from the limelight.
PREVIOUSLY: CHRISSY TEIGAN HAS HAD ENOUGH OF BEING PREGNANT
It turns out Wong's absence was to have a baby, which meant new responsibilities, and thankfully more comedic fodder to hurl at her audience in much the same way a defiant infant would catapult a spoonful of Gerber's back into mama's face. Fitfully on Mother's Day, Hard Knock Wife, Wong's second standup stream on Netflix didn't disappoint.
Currently a mother of two and married to a man who makes fewer bucks than she earns, Wong relives highlights of her maternity hiatus, including how pregnancy turned her body into a cafeteria, capped by a difficult labor during delivery. And even though the show, which clocks in at roughly 70 minutes, is peppered with a series of four-letter words, there's nothing gratuitous about her patter. Motherhood, it turns out, is hard.
Her onstage physicality during the special, filmed in Toronto when she was in her third trimester with her second child, adds a bit of a slapstick element to the proceedings, especially while wearing a leopardskin dress. Also hilarious is a demonstration of the function of a lactation consultant, descriptions of her post-delivery lady parts, the injustice of maternity leave and the agony and ecstasy of raising a rugrat.
Fuller House it ain't. But Wong's account runs the gamut of pain and jocularity, sometimes interweaving the two, where it crosses a line where folks aren't sure when to laugh. Evidently getting knocked up and enduring life's hard knocks after has never been this wild.