Dawn Wong: From Viral Wedding Video to China Comedy Tour

By Ned Kelly, June 11, 2024

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We first came across Dawn Wong when a video of her roasting her in-laws at her wedding went viral back in 2019.

Since then, we've watched on as her comedy career has gone from strength to strength, while her Instagram stories helped keep us sane during the tumultuous last few years.

With her China-wide tour in full swing, we thought it was high time we caught up with one of Shanghai's most amusing people. So we did.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a comedian?
The real answer is probably: When I realized how much damage my parents had done to me.

But if you want to hear a lighter version: I've always wanted to be a comedian since I was a kid – my dad is a naturally funny guy, and I was obsessed with all forms of comedy on TV or in books.

How did you break into the comedy scene in Shanghai?
One of my friends, Storm Xu  who is an OG comedian  encouraged me a few times to do comedy.

Then, when my funny wedding speech video went viral in 2019, he signed me up for an open mic. I had five minutes of stage time, and I did very well. That's when I started comedy.


Yes, the viral wedding video. Did you release that video on purpose, or did it just get out there and run wild? What is the story behind that one?
I did release it, as I thought it was a happy moment I'd like to share on my Weibo, but did not expect it to go viral. 

Basically, I went to a few Irish weddings before and noticed I'd never seen one bride or even bridesmaid giving a speech.

Seems like most stereotypes of a wedding is the bride just sitting there looking beautiful and laughing at men's jokes. So I decided to do a speech at my wedding, and wrote it in bed the night before.

I gotta hand it to my husband's family and the Irish culture  they are such fun people; they actually love it when you "take the piss" out of them. 

You roast the ones you love  that's also the sense of humor I have.

Where do you draw inspiration from as a comic?
The real answer is anger and a hint of self-hatred, haha.

But a less sociopathic version? Mostly from observations in life  like most other observational comedians.

What can people expect from your tour?
A few years of my jokes and sets that I have been polishing: Chinese culture, personal stories, women's struggles, fun observations…


What is the current state of the Shanghai and wider China comedy scene?
There is a Chinese saying, "Na hu bu ti, kai na hu." The literal translation would be: "You are bringing up the kettle that was not boiled," and it's like "Hey… we are having a fun conversation here, why did you have to go there?"

That's how I'd describe the comedy scene here: not so boiled. The English scene is slowly getting recognized again, but it hasn't been the greatest few years, and we also had some top notch comedians leave China.

Shanghai is one of the most international cities in China, and I believe a strong English comedy scene would be a great draw for international tourism, not to mention a bridge to connect the cultures of East and West  to help us understand each other better through laughter.

So, I sincerely hope to see the scene grow larger and healthier.


Aside from your hilarious self, what other comedians in the scene should we be looking out for?
Storm Xu, who I mentioned earlier, is one of the OG comedians who went on Comedy Central. He runs Comedy UN, who I also collaborated with for my tour in Hangzhou and Shanghai.

MSG Comedy is a free open mic run by Lily Ma and Emma Wu. Check it out  you can watch many comedians and newbies practicing and polishing jokes there.

Bilingual comedians such as Norah Yang, who is running a club called SpicyComedy Lounge. They are the only club that runs licensed English language showcases regularly. 

READ MORE: Meet the Trilingual Comedian Spicing Up Shanghai's Comedy Scene

They have a few regulars performing there: Youbaiwan, Ian Badenhorst, Frankie A, and Davy Louis, who is an incredibly talented young comedian.

READ MORE: Ian Badenhorst on Passion, Pain & the Shanghai Comedy Scene

Shanghai comics Viola Zhang, Li Ying, Han Q and Sarah Q, who have done a brilliant job hosting and opening my shows – they are all great comedians.

And beyond China, who are your comedy heroes?
Too many! From the good old days of Joan Rivers, Don Rickles, Richard Pryor, George Carlin… to nowadays Wanda Sykes, Michelle Wolf, Frankie Boyle, Dave Attell, Bill Burr…

Finally – why should people check out your tour?
To laugh, to relax, or – if you like  to join in!

Dawn Wong China Tour

Dawn Wong is on stage in Shanghai at Fancl Arts Center on Saturday, June 29. Tickets go on sale today, and her last Shanghai show sold out in a matter of hours, so scan the QR code on the poster below to get yours now.


And below are the rest of her China tour dates, should you wish to catch her around the country.


Follow Dawn Wong on YouTube and Instagram @dawneythechinese

And on Weibo, Xiaohongshu and Douyin @小天王

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