Ali Wong is best known for her Netflix stand-up specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, both of which have received critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Starting her comedy career in San Francisco, her life changed when she took advice given to her to take her stand-up routine all the way to New York. Within two weeks of moving to the Eastside, Wong was already getting calls to perform her comedy at clubs and bars. Working with a crass attitude and a dirty mouth, Wong’s jokes have landed her acting roles and deals that have made her into a millionaire.
How Did Ali Wong Make Her Money?
Discovering her passion for performing while in college, Ali Wong’s journey to becoming a millionaire started right after she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. At the age of 23, Wong tried stand-up comedy for the first time at Brainwash Café, San Francisco. Not too long after her first stand-up performance, Wong moved to New York with the hopes of pursuing her comedy career forward. The move was a pretty good one as she got to perform at comedy clubs about nine times a night.
Her success as a comedian began to soar so much that by 2011, Variety magazine named Wong one of the 10 Comics to Watch. Ali Wong’s prominence in the comedy scene continued to grow, and she made guest appearances on several talk shows including The Tonight Show, John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show, and American comedian Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground Show. The same year, Wong had her first TV role as Ana Ng in three episodes of the American sitcom, Breaking In.
How Ali Wong Rose in the Film Industry
Ali Wong got her first major acting role in 2012 as Olivia in the sitcom comedy series, Are You There, Chelsea? The series ran on NBC for one season before it was canceled. 2014 brought forth another major role when she was cast as Dr. Lina Lark on ABC’s psychological medical drama series, Black Box. The series also starred Vanessa Redgrave and Kelly Reilly. Sadly, the series was canceled by ABC after one season. Wong also got to guest star as different characters in three episodes of the sketch comedy series, Inside Amy Schumer—created and hosted by comedian and actress, Amy Schumer.
Ali Wong had her first Netflix special, titled Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, released on Mother’s Day, 2016. The special, filmed in September 2015 at the Neptune Theater in Seattle, features Wong pregnant with her first child. Two years later, she had her second special, Hard Knock Wife, released on Netflix. Performed at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, Wong was seven months pregnant with her second child during filming.
In 2019, Ali Wong gained more acclaim thanks to the romantic comedy movie, Always Be My Maybe. Besides having the lead role, Wong also co-wrote and co-produced the movie. Her leading co-star is Randall Park, who also co-wrote and co-produced. The movie was directed by Nahnatchka Khan.
The Comedian’s Total Net Worth
Even though her career path is all about making people laugh, Ali Wong took it quite seriously and gave it her all. With guest star appearances, main TV and movie roles, and her own stand-up comedy, Ali Wong is in the millionaire rank with an estimated $3 million net worth.
Besides her stand-up, Ali Wong has nabbed several acting roles (both major and as a guest star) in movies and TV series. She is also a writer, acting as a writer for the first three seasons of Fresh Off the Boat, an ABC sitcom loosely based on the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang. She walked the runway in September 2016 during New York Fashion Week and even spoke at its Opening Ceremony show.
Ali Wong has been nominated for four awards, including the Legionnaires of Laughter Legacy Award for Best Stand Up Comedian Female, People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Movie Star, and an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production. She is also an author, releasing the book Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets and Advice for Living Your Best Life in October 2019.
Her Marriage with Justin Hakuta: Here’s What You Should Know
The comic and writer is a happily married woman, living with husband Justin Hakuta in Los Angeles. The two met at the wedding of mutual friends in 2010, and Ali Wong remarked in an interview with The New Yorker how she was immediately impressed with what she saw of him. She was especially impressed with the fact that he was at Harvard Business School, a fact she revealed in her first stand-up special, Baby Cobra.
Meanwhile, Justin fell for Wong after he attended one of her comedy shows. The way she took the stage and made everyone laughed really got to him. The duo decided to start dating at a slow and steady pace; they didn’t share a kiss until their fifth date. At the time they were dating, Ali Wong helped Justin clear out a $70k student loan.
Ali Wong and Justin Hakuta got married in 2014, but before that happened Justin’s parents made Wong sign a prenup. This happened because at the time Justin was making more money than Ali was. Of the prenup, Ali says she was very scared about it but it also helped push her to greater lengths in her career. As she puts it, she got very motivated to make her own money because she had to sign a document that stated just how much she couldn’t depend on her husband. She tags signing the prenup as one of the greatest things to happen to her.
The couple had their first daughter, Maki, in November 2015. Ali Wong had to go through a c-section to give birth after having a long period of labor for 24 hours. Maki was named after one of Ali’s idola, Mari Kondo. In December 2017, the couple had their second child together, a daughter named Nikki.
Justin Hakuta is the son of TV personality and inventor, Ken Hakuta. Ken is best known for the Wacky Wall Walker, an octopus-shaped sticky toy that could walk down walls. In the 1980s, it became one of the best-selling toys and also earned Ken a hosting gig on The Dr. Fad Show, which aired on TV from 1988 to 1994. With Japanese and Filipino origins, Justin is a Fulbright Scholar with an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 2010, he co-founded Avacara, a financial services company for which he also served as the product lead.