From Ho to ‘The Hangover:’ Ken Jeong shares real, funny stories in new Netflix special

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Ken Jeong gets silly before getting serious in his Netflix special “You Complete Me, Ho.” The special, which was released on Feb. 14, featured both humorous and heartwarming stories from the life of this unique doctor-turned-actor.

The running schtick throughout the show was that Jeong’s wife’s maiden name is Ho. Jeong joked that he could say anything and it would be ok because that is his wife’s name. He joked that he could tell her “Get in the car, Ho” or even “You complete me, Ho.”

Jeong also told many jokes about being Asian, which might be expected because he is one of few prominent Asians actors/comedians and because he is known for playing specifically Asian characters in his show “Dr. Ken” and in the “Hangover” movies. The comedian had a bit of material about his days as a hardworking doctor and about growing up with the stereotypical “strict Asian parents.” Some of these jokes were funny, but this particular material has been done quite a lot.

In addition to these jokes about being Asian, Jeong also had a lot of anecdotes about his fame, its perks and its lack thereof. Jeong spoke about meeting President Obama with Zach Galifianakis and how Galifianakis upstaged him by being witty and joking with Obama. Meanwhile, Jeong himself tried to be more formal and reserved for the occasion, and Obama jokingly told him to “loosen up.” Another time, Jeong’s fame failed to get him out of jury duty and Jeong had to serve on a jury for a murder trial. The defendant recognized him and repeated Mr. Chow’s line “But did you die?” from “The Hangover.”

Overall, Jeong’s jokes were humorous, but I didn’t feel compelled to laugh out loud at them. Rather than being outrageously funny at certain moments, the special was more so generally amusing.

While Jeong maintained his comedic persona throughout most of the special, during the second half he became a little sincerer and more sentimental. Jeong pointed out his wife, who is a survivor of breast cancer. He also stated that he would be nothing without his wife or family.

Jeong talked about his career coming full circle and how he has had ups and downs in life. One of Jeong’s greatest accomplishments was his short-lived ABC show “Dr. Ken,” but Jeong was devastated when the show was canceled. He had been proud to be the creator, writer and producer of a show that featured an Asian family and was on a major television network. Very shortly after the cancellation, however, Jeong said that he received a call from Jon Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians.” Jeong said that this new project helped to pull him up out of the dumps after the cancellation of his show. Similarly, Jeong said that the ability to let loose and act ridiculous while filming “The Hangover” helped him to cope while his wife was going through treatment for breast cancer.

It was nice to hear the comedian get serious and show another side of himself beyond his stand-up comic side. His personal stories were humanizing and heartwarming. They provided a good balance between his comic material and his real self and allowed the audience to get to know him as a person instead of just as a famous actor/comedian. Because of this mix of humor and personal stories, I found Jeong’s special to be unique and entertaining.

Rating: 4/5


Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.

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