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Chelsea Handler

‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Writer Ali Wong Did Stand Up while Pregnant; Instant Hit!

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Doing a Netflix special while seven months pregnant and building an entire set around the state of being pregnant was a brilliant move by comedienne Ali Wong. Since the release of  her special Baby Cobra (a take on Wong’s favorite yoga pose) last May, the Fresh of the Boat writer has been selling out her stand up shows all across the nation.

It’s raunchy humor and per an Elle magazine feature on her,  the jokes “range from trapping her Harvard Business School husband, to the ingredients for a perfect marriage (e.g., mutual racism), and why housewives are the geniuses of our time.”

 

Wong, who has appeared in Chelsea Handler’s Are You There, Chelsea? and Inside Amy Schumer, is among those ultra hard working celebrities, especially for the way she embraced it at a time when most would probably take a break from the road.

“Pregnancy for a working woman is generally perceived as a weakness. You’re tired at work, and then you have to take time off afterward to recover from the birth, and care for the baby. I’m lucky because my boss, the showrunner at Fresh Off the Boat, was really cool about me taking time off, but I was still nervous about having that “maternity leave” conversation,” she told Elle. “Every woman is. [And] I had so much anxiety about my stand-up career taking a big hit, so I wanted to use my pregnancy as a source of power and turn it into a weapon instead of a weakness. When you’re pregnant, you’re hungry, tired, and fat, so you have this “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that lends itself really well to performance. You let go of all dignity and shame, and it’s beautiful.”

The half Vietnamese/Half Chinese-American credits Alicia Keys for empowering her.

“There’s a BET Awards tribute to Prince, where Alicia Keys sings ‘Adore‘” Wong explains. “She climbs up on the piano, kicks her feet up in the air, and sings with such passion—all pregnant and powerful—and it really inspired me.”

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And since giving birth to daughter, Mari, in November 2015, Wong kept motherhood in her stand up routine.

And it’s working.

 “I’ve been going up on stage in my sweatpants, with no makeup, looking like Vietnamese Nell, talking about my real-ass experience with breastfeeding, the nanny search, and mommy groups,” she humorously shared.

On seeing her billboards all over cities, Wong said they made her miss pregnancy.

“People are so nice to you when the baby is inside your body. They treat you like a reproductive goddess. They open doors for you [and] don’t let you carry heavy stuff,” she explained. “Then when the baby comes, nobody cares about you, and society treats you like garbage. You walk into a restaurant with a stroller and everyone rolls their eyes.”

Aint’ that the truth!?

Trending: Chelsea Handler for Admitting she Had 2 Abortions in One Year at Age 16

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Chelsea Handler, today, is a childless comedian, but she could have been a mother of two if she hadn’t aborted the two babies she carried at age 16 after getting accidentally pregnant.  The brash and outspoken comedian wrote about the admission in an essay published in Playboy‘s upcoming “Freedom Issue.”

In the piece which is dedicated to discussing reproductive rights laws in the United States, she credits the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which upholds a woman’s right to abortion, for helping her  rectify not one, but two “irresponsible” decisions she made as a teen.

Handler called the decisions to get the abortions within the same year as”thoughtful”.

The first pregnancy came after planned unprotected sex, after telling herself she would be able to take care of any baby that could come from it.

 “I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I can have a baby. Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names,” she detailed in the prose. “Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous. My parents recognized that, so they acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood.”

But then later that year, it happened again and then she said she was barely able to afford another $230 fee Planned Parenthood charges for a “safe abortion”.

“Getting unintentionally pregnant more than once is irresponsible, but it’s still necessary to make a thoughtful decision,” writes Handler, 41. “We all make mistakes all the time. I happened to f— up twice at the age of 16. I’m grateful that I came to my senses and was able to get an abortion legally without risking my health or bankrupting myself or my family.”

READ MORE in PEOPLE