Helen Hong
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Helen Hong

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Comedy Comedy

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


2007/2008- NY Comedy Festival NY’s Funniest Stand-Up Contest, Semi Finalist
2007- NYC Underground Comedy Festival Emerging Comics Showcase
2007- March Comedy Madness at Caroline’s Final 4 out of 64 competing comedians
2006- California’s Funniest Female Contest Semi Finalist
- Various


New York may have eight million people, but no one ever said it would be easy to date them.
These days, there seem to be as many dating services as there are lonely singles. There are
uncounted species of online advertising services and matchmaking services and singles classes
and singles nights, many conveniently demarcated according to race or fetish. The nearly
decade-old phenomenon of speed dating, in which singles chat each other up for a prescribed
number of minutes — or seconds — before switching partners, seemed tailor-made for New
York: it’s highly efficient and makes a virtue of the volume that can make the whole endeavor
so dispiriting.
Helen Hong, a television producer and stand-up comedian of indeterminate age — “I could tell
you 27, but I’d be lying” — had given a fair share of those services a shot and gotten pretty
much nowhere. So she decided that the business, saturated though it might be, could benefit
from yet more innovation. Here’s what she came up with: speed matchmaking.
Actually, it’s more refined than that: it’s speed matchmaking of singles in the audience of a
comedy show. Actually, it’s even more refined than that: it’s speed matchmaking of singles in
the audience of a comedy show that has been packed with Asian-Americans.
Ms. Hong often does the matchmaking, and she brooks no demurrals once she, or one of the
four other comedians with whom she performs, has made an instamatch. “Just drink and have a
good time,” she ordered a young woman who looked as if she might bolt after Ms. Hong walked
her over to the table of a young man Thursday night. “You’re not going to die if you do a shot
together.”
The management of Comix, a comedy club near 14th Street and Ninth Avenue that’s more
Tanqueray than Sam Adams, invited Ms. Hong to host a show a few months back in hopes of
attracting an Asian audience, a plan she initially deemed futile. “An Asian comedian wouldn’t be
a draw, unless they thought they might meet a mate there,” she said Thursday night, a few
hours before she changed into a hot red number and hit the stage.
Raised on the East Coast, Ms. Hong spent enough time in South Korea to be familiar with a
phenomenon called “booking,” in which men at a nightclub heavily tip a waiter to physically
drag a young woman they’ve noticed over to their table. “It’s barbaric,” Ms. Hong said. “And of
course the women have to look like they’re really protesting or else they look like a slut.” But
she understood the basic motivation: “In most East Asian cultures, you can’t meet someone
new unless you’re introduced by a third party.”
Ms. Hong decided that instead of doing her usual act, she would be that third party at Comix.
Thursday’s event was the fourth night of what she calls K-Date Comix. About 100 young
people, mostly Asian, heavy on chic women, turned up — not that any of them were desperate.
“I’m just here to support Helen,” said Eric Bang, the founder of the Young Asian Society, using a
phrase leaned on several times that night.
Ms. Hong started some mildly ribald stand-up — “Is there a Ho in the house?” — before
breaking into matchmaking mode. The only slightly abbreviated version: “Who here has a
birthday today? Oh, you’re cuuute! You look like a little Asian doll! What do you like? Broad
shoulders?” A scan of the room, a pair of broad shoulders found, a young woman brought to his
table.
“You try to find people who look like they would be together,” Ms. Hong said.
The undertaking has been successful enough — at least one couple says she helped them find
love — that Ms. Hong is planning to expand it to a racially mixed crowd starting Aug. 12, at an
event called Laugh Match, also at Comix (and soon to come, nights for gay audiences, Jewish
audiences and so on). Ms. Hong has had a ball at the matchmaking events, although she
occasionally gets annoyed with how shy the young women are — especially if they’re Asian.
“I won’t stand for that — I hate that geisha hand-covering-mouth thing,” she said. “Why don’t
you do some math and crash your car while you’re at it.”
In glasses and a short, tight dress, Ms. Hong has perfected the sexy librarian look, carrying a
certain authority that makes her a natural for the job. “Austin, this is Lily,” she said, introducing
two young people Thursday night. Lily hovered uncomfortably. “Lily, sit down,” Ms. Hong said
impatiently. Lily sat. Whether she found love was now out of Ms. Hong’s hands; she had made
them laugh, she had made a match, and she considered her job well done. - SUSAN DOMINUS, NEW YORK TIMES


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Helen Hong plays “Janet Fung” in the upcoming Coen Brothers movie Inside Llewyn Davis, and plays “Fong’s Taco Hut Lady” in Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans. Helen’s “cute little Asian girl” demeanor is featured on TV Guide Network’s Standup in Stilettos, and she’s a regular commentator on Fuse Network and The Yo Show on Yahoo.com. Her voice can be heard as "Thistle Lady" in the animated feature Epic and she appears with Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin in the Showtime documentary Why We Laugh: Funny Women. Helen blogs for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the weekly podcast Little Ethnic Girls on www.RadioTitans.com. Look for Helen in two Comedy Central series: Inside Amy Schumer and Adam Devine's House Party. Follow her at www.twitter.com/funnyhelenhong

Comedy Central "Adam Devine's House Party" - 2013

Comedy Central "Inside Amy Schumer" - 2013

"Epic" animated feature film - 2013

"Inside Llewyn Davis" Coen Brothers feature film - 2013

Showtime documentary "Why We Laugh: Funny Women" - 2013

Nickelodeon "The Thundermans" - 2013

TV Guide Channel “Standup in Stilettos” comedy performance – 2012

Fuse Network “Hoppus On Music” roundtable commentator – 2012

Yahoo TV “The Yo Show” commentator – 2012

TLC “Cake Boss” featured wedding MC - 2012

TV Guide Channel “Count it Down” series commentator – 2012

Fuse Network “Video On Trial” series commentator – 2012

Logo Channel “Setup Squad” cast member – 2011

Verizon Fios “Promise” national commercial – 2011

Fedex “Two-Sided Paper” national commercial – 2011

The Huffington Post “Our 53 Favorite Female Comedians” list – 2011

NY’s Funniest Standup Competition Semi-finalist – 2011

PBS “Asian America” series host – 2011, 2010

New York Times profile - 2009

NACA Conferences
2009 South
2009 Mid-America
2009 Mid-Atlantic Alternate