BCB Profilin’: Sheng Wang

This edition of Profilin’ features Sheng Wang, stand-up comedian and lover of grubbin & cyclin. Along with a frequent touring schedule that takes him ’round the country, Sheng has a half-hour showcase premiering on Comedy Central THIS FRIDAY! Don’t miss it! Also, he has a restaurant in NYC Chinatown named after him. Kinda. Go there and order the special and tell ’em Sheng sent ya.

Greetings, I am…

Sheng Wang. Comedian. Guy.

I’ve been known to bitch about…

Very little. But if I must…let it be about those with incredibly narrow minds when it comes to eating food.

My influences are…

America, Mitch Hedberg, Tom and Jerry, Rene Magritte, Mom, cheeseburgers.

On a Saturday night you can find me….

Telling jokes on stage.

On a Tuesday night you can find me…

That’s for me to know and for you to find out. Remember when people used to say that? What does that even mean? Why would it be for you to find out? I mean it sounds like it’s pretty private, right? Well, it’s not. I’d probably just be telling jokes like on Saturday…or writing, reading, or drinking with friends (I prefer going out on school nights).

My usual drink/poison is….

Good whiskey and hoppy beers.

If I was a superhero my name would be…

“Id” – as in the part of Freud’s psyche model that acts on the “pleasure principle.”

The last song/album I listened to is…..

Sit Down, Man – Das Racist.

I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with…

Food comas.

Favorite thing to do in New York….

Ride my bike.

Free Association time! First word I think of after “Asian America”:


My weapon of choice is….


Be sure to check out my…

Half hour Comedy Central special on Jan 28th 11:30pm. I know it’s a Friday…DVR it!

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Sheng Wang is a Taiwanese Texan who developed and honed his comedy in the thriving standup community of the San Francisco Bay Area. He performs jokes based on personal experiences and addresses common non-sense with honesty and ill logic. His refreshingly affable stage presence combined with a healthy penchant for absurdity and self-deprecation make his act universally accessible and hilarious.

He has toured with the Comedians of Comedy and American Eagle’s ‘Campus Comedy Challenge.’ He has also appeared on Comedy Central’s ‘Live at Gotham’ and attended the ‘Just for Laughs’ comedy festival in Montreal. His half hour Comedy Central Presents will air Jan 28th 11:30pm.  NBC just awarded him with a one year holding deal for 2011.

Sheng Wang currently resides in New York City.

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Top Ten Asian American Comedians of All Time

Re-posting this piece written by David Fung from MakeitintheMotherland.com. I’m not necessarily familiar with the work of every one of these comedians, but wanted to cross-post nonetheless.

Weigh in on your fave API comedians in the comments (I’d like to add Sheng Wang and Ali Wong to the list. Just sayin’!)

Top Ten Asian Comedians of All Time

For the past few decades, steady progress has been made in one of the last frontiers of Asian American occupation: the entertainment industry.  More recently, things seem to be approaching a tipping point – with Asian comedians boldly leading the way.  Comedy has the unique ability to bring audiences across racial barriers to come together and is the first genre to experience breakthroughs.  Asian comedians are beginning to get more leading and supporting roles in Hollywood, with increasing diversity in characters.  The internet has been crucial in the discovery and dissemination of new Asian comics, allowing some to cater entirely to Asian audiences and sustain a career.  The Asian comedians on this list range from the goofy, to the nerdy, to the intelligent and everything in between.  Some play to the mainstream, others to ethnic niches or both.  But they all have one thing in common: in an Asian American entertainment scene where the odds are stacked against you, the following ten comics have left their mark.

10.  Jo Koy

Asian connection: Jo Koy is half-Filipino and originally from Tacoma, Washington but started his career in Las Vegas.  He often touches on race, stereotypes, growing up with a Filipino mother and does various accents.

Jo Koy reminds you of your funny friend who always got told they should be a comedian, except that Jo actually followed the advice and became a star.  Armed with a frenetic physical style that reminds you of Dane Cook but with Carlos Mencia’s material, his ethnic jokes are definitely surface level (i.e. Asians can’t drive, Mexicans don’t have insurance) but are often based on solid observation (his bit on the questionable service at Chinese restaurants is on point).  The most notable thing about Koy’s act is its universal appeal – he makes fun of every single group and manages to do it without being offensive.

Final word: Jo Koy is the type of comedian who grows on you as you watch more of his material.  His act is nothing groundbreaking but he is a very solid comedian who could perform his act in front of both mainstream and Asian audiences without having to change a single joke.

Check out: Jo Koy – Performs at the Laugh Factory

9.  Kal Penn

Asian connection: Kal Penn is an Indian-American who is best known for his role as Kumar in the “Harold and Kumar” comedy movie series.  His ethnicity often plays a part in the joke but is rarely the punchline.  Ironically, his Indian accent impersonation is quite bad.

Kal Penn was the first Indian-American to play a major character on Hollywood screens.  Not a stand-up comedian but a comedic actor, Kal plays the sly frat-house-but-smart persona to perfection.  Kal’s strength is his ability to craft a hilarious but believable character that can transcend race without completely ignoring it.  Everyone knows somebody who acts like Kumar, which makes the character more hilarious – even if it’s the only one he ever plays.  Plus he gets points for putting a hold on his lucrative acting career to serve as part of the Obama Administration and also having taught a class at the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania.

Final word: Kal Penn reminds me of Ben Stiller.  He’s making audiences of every background laugh by playing a character that’s easy to relate to.

Check out: Kal Penn – Harold and Kumar: Weed

8.  Rex Navarette

Asian connection: Rex was originally born in the Philippines but raised in the Bay Area.  All of his jokes are geared towards a Filipino audience, often going in-depth into the culture, history, and of course – the Filipino accent.

Significance: Rex Navarette started his career in 1989 and was the first Asian comedian to ever sustain a career doing shows for a predominantly non-white audience.  In his many years on scene, Rex has become a legend in the Filipino community (while remaining relatively unknown outside of it) for his hilarious parodies of working-class citizens which are intended to educate as much as they were supposed to make you laugh.  Even those who are not Filipino can relate to the spot-on accents and 1st-generation immigrant characterizations.

Final word: Rex Naverette is the first Asian comedian who did comedy directly targeted for Asians and may be the only Asian comedian more popular in his motherland than in America.

Check out: Rex Naverette – SBC Packers

Read the rest of David’s Top 10 (including Aziz Ansari, Henry Cho, and Dat Phan) here.

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GO!STYLE: Saturday, February 5 in SF

BcB favorite Sheng Wang will be hosting GO!STYLE with Ali Wong at the Palace of Fine Arts here in SF on Saturday, February 5. RAMA and viveSF are hosting this Asian American variety show. The show features local, pan-Asian American performing artists including Sheng Wang, Magnetic North, Ali Wong, Goh Nakamura, Michelle Martinez, The Odds Dance Crew, Tattva Dance Academy, and Loa and FuiFui Niumeitolu.

Go for the great line-up, or for an AzN spotting…

Tonight! Sulu Series Haiti Benefit

This month’s Sulu Series — a recurring showcase of established and up-and-coming APIA talent, will be a special fundraiser to benefit The Lambi Fund of Haiti. Lambi provides earthquake recovery and works toward sustainable development, economic justice, and democracy in Haiti. Featured performers are BCB buddy Sheng Wang, Cynthia Lin, Sahra Nguyen aka Nash, The Kitchen Cabinet, and Maya Hatch. Hosted by Ruby Veridiano and tunes spun by DJ Boo.

8 to 11 pm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York
$ 8 general / $ 5 students

Sulu Series/CACF Fundraiser this Sunday!




Yo NYers! Come check out this very special edition of Sulu Series – curated by yours truly. Sulu is a monthly showcase of established and up-and-coming APA artists – and this installment will also be a fundraiser the incredible pan-Asian children’s advocacy organization the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF).

 At the risk of sounding immodest, the event will feature a blow-your-bowels lineup — with spoken word queen Kelly Tsai, rapper Koba, singer-songwriter/emcee Taiyo Na, comedian Ali Wong, and many more amazing talents — peep the flyer above. Jams spun by the one-and-only DJ Boo (dance party afterwards if you bum rush the floor!) 

While I’m leaving the mc’ing in the capable hands of Taiyo so I don’t utterly destroy the evening, I will need to hop up briefly for an announcement about CACF – meaning you’ll still have a chance to see me blank out, mumble incoherently, offend the audience, and/or trip and fall off the stage. That alone is worth your $8! And the chances of making an ass of myself are in direct and positive correlation with the number of drinks you buy me. Just a heads up.

And yes, I know it’s a Sunday night, but think of the children! If you don’t come, consider yourself personally responsible for their squalor and deprivation. RUDE!  Avoid the guilt and shame and get that juicy booty to Sulu.

8 to 11 pm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (between Houston and Bleecker), New York
$ 8 general / $ 5 students