Netflix Orders Two New Ali Wong Specials

Published on December 3, 2019

2019 just keeps getting better and better for comedian Ali Wong. She’s still on her terrific “Milk & Honey” tour, co-wrote and acted in Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, starred in the overlooked animated series Tuca & Bertie, and wrote a bestselling book, “Dear Girls.” It’s an all-around great year for Wong. The comedian already has two excellent hour-long specials under her belt, “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife,” which she’ll soon follow up with two other Netflix specials next year. Rejoice.

A Sweet Netflix Deal

Netflix has closed an eight-figure deal for two new specials from the San Francisco native, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The streaming service won the two specials in a bidding war against HBO, who offered the comedian $10 million for one special and wanted to work with her on a scripted series for their upcoming streaming platform, HBO Max. In the end, Wong went with Netflix, where she gained massive popularity from her specials.

To celebrate the deal, the director of original stand-up comedy programming at Netflix, Robbie Praw, released an enthusiastic statement: 

Ali is electric. She offers a completely distinct voice in the culture, and audiences all over the world have responded to her raw, unfiltered humor. We’re so proud to make Netflix the home of her comedy specials for years to come.

One of the Best Comics Around

Wong isn’t only one of the most popular comedians working today but also one of the best. Her blend of honesty and asshole jokes is explosive. Nobody transitions between thoughtful and low-brow comedy as well as she does right now, at least not on her level of success.

The comedian’s “Milk & Honey” tour continues on until next year, and in almost every venue, sells out. Wong even just completed a month-long residency at The Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, where she sold out every show and killed every time. She is a rock star on stage, like the Axl Rose of comedians.

The Year of Ali Wong

If we were to name an entertainer of the year, it’d have to be Ali Wong. She was firing on all cylinders in 2019.

Everything she touched was top-shelf quality. The first movie she wrote and starred in, Always Be My Maybe, warmed hearts like few movies did this year. Without a doubt, it’s the funniest and most romantic romantic-comedy of 2019.

The Netflix animated series she starred in alongside Tiffany Haddish, Tuca & Bertie, wasn’t renewed for a second season, but it wasn’t because of a lack of laughs. The bouncy animation style and honesty of the comedy found fans in critics and viewers. And of course, Wong wrote “Dear Girls,” a very funny book meant for her daughters but the whole world got to enjoy. Her range as a storyteller is remarkable. When it comes to her book, her work on Fresh Off the Boat, and Always Be My Maybe, she knocks it all out of the park in very different mediums. She makes it all look so easy when it’s most certainly not easy. 

What’s Next for the Great Ali Wong?

Wong’s third Netflix special will be released in 2020, and if it’s the material from her “Milk & Honey” tour, it’ll do gangbusters on Netflix, just like her previous specials. It’s her funniest, raunchiest, and most honest material to date. It’s a dynamite hour of material that has it all. As for the second comedy special Netflix bought, its release date is unknown.

Next year, Wong will also appear in the biggest movie of her career, Birds of Prey: And The Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn,” although her role hasn’t been disclosed. She continues to star on the ABC television comedy, American Housewives, and to write on Fresh Off the Boat, which has one season left. While we anxiously wait to see what’s next from the comedian, the year of Ali Wong continues for one more month.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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