Ali Wong /Katie-Ellen Humphries / Jane Stanton Yuk Yuk's, Vancouver BC, February 13
Published Feb 15, 2015The soothing minstrelsy of the Ramones and host Garrett Quinton set the tone for a largely female crowd. Quinton had a presence like Matthew Gray Gubler as he delivered some casual grocery store, Internet porn, dating, and tattoo humour leading to a brief set from Jane Stanton, whose set was like Pam from Archer, if she went to Fort McMurray and developed fascination with popping zits. Then came a more in-depth and self-aware set from Katie-Ellen Humphries, who attacked marriage tropes and coming to terms with your mid-30s with the tenacity of a younger Megan Mullally. Humphries did more stuff on dicks and prostates than the kind of neuroses typically associated with female comics.
When Ali Wong took the stage, she looked like she was shorter than the mic stand, but the Comedy Central favourite had a huge, daring presence, like the Wolverine of women comedians. Her set was a well-oiled machine, a routine seasoned by years of working in San Francisco and, more recently, Los Angeles. She did roll through some of the more typical topics that Humphries made a point of avoiding, bits on tampons, HPV, and dating regrets, with a queef joke thrown in for flavour, but she was all over the map, topic-wise, and she worked it all tenaciously.
Wong went all the way from the comfort of UGG boots to travelling to Peru to cure eczema with ayahuasca to sharp racial humour, discussing the immortality of Asian women, to local references like dining on Robson, and Vancouver's Lululemon cult, punctuated by hilariously graphic physical humour. She was grinding on herself against the brick wall, hair-pulling and choking a la Fifty Shades of Grey, and abusing the pull-out method of birth control by twerking beyond the male "oh" moment and then flipping to make sure she caught all the sperm. That transitioned into a lengthy exploration of the concept of not working, her life goal in response to Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. In that vein, she made a compelling case about the value of bald and/or Asian men. Building her set to a peak, Wong's time was capped off by her biggest gross-out bit, lamenting the drying of her vagina as she enters her mid-30s by remembering how she used to be able to blow bubbles with her wetness. Yeah, she did.