I’ll be honest, Stand-Up Comedy is not really my kind of thing.
I’m not exactly sure what I don’t enjoy about it. Perhaps it’s because there’s someone talking at you for a good while and you’re unable to talk back, or leave? But in truth, I’ve come to learn that even with Stand-Up Comedy, there are various kinds of styles. And so, with my venturing to The Oxford Scholar on a cold Tuesday night in April during the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I found that my time with William Wang in ‘Unrelatable Funny’ was not only a surprisingly fun and entertaining experience, but I also found it quite educational.
Initially hailing from China and only moving to Brisbane, Australia in recent years, William Wang (not to be confused with fellow comedian Phil Wang – I mean, it’s a common last name, guys) decided to pave his own path, which for anyone with Asian parents knows – it is not an easy thing to do. We’re expected to be doctors, dentists, or lawyers, basically anything highly respectable (emphasis on the words ‘highly respectable’) that will take lots of money for service. The arts, however, is not exactly the place where you would expect to get the same amount of coin. And it’s in this very light where William has his heart set on.
Taking the stage in a grey jacket, equipped only with his quick wit, bashful smile and kind eyes, this rising star of stand-up comedy holds nothing back, advising that his rich Asian parents cut him off from his allowance because he is doing comedy now, and he can pay you back later for your ticket after they pass away – because he’s an only child.
William’s show is derived from the experiences of his childhood, his adjustments to Western culture, the ridiculousness of both, his struggles, and it is all executed with the perfected combination of cheeky humour and blunt sincerity. William Wang is fearless with his comedy, expertly knowing how to read his audience and effortlessly shifting the momentum in the room to be under his reign.
During ‘Unrelatable Funny’, I found that the title was in fact quite untrue, as I personally could relate to a lot. And perhaps, this was always his intention – to trick everyone and unexpectedly highlight that despite us all hailing from different cultures, we actually have a damn lot in common.
It wasn’t long before my concerns for seeing a form of comedy that I don’t usually favour disappeared completely. By the end of the show, I was neither nervous nor worried that I wouldn’t be able to genuinely laugh at the poor soul trying to turn tricks in front of me. Instead, I had felt that I had a great time that passed by way too quickly, which was spent listening to silly stories from a friend.
This is only the beginning of William Wang’s journey. He is talented, unafraid, and I am certain that we will be seeing more of him in the not-too-distant future.
William Wang is performing ‘Unrelatable Funny’ at The Oxford Scholar in Melbourne as part of the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until the 11th of April. He will also be co-hosting ‘‘Asian Persuasion’ during the festival at Kicks until the 23rd of March.
For more information and ticketing, visit:
You can also follow William Wang on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/willywangcomedy