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Ali Wong Proves You Don't Have to Disappear When You Have A Baby

Photograph by Netflix

Ali Wong y’all. If you haven’t seen her special “Baby Cobra” now streaming on Netflix, you're missing out on a raunchy, hilarious comedian doing her schtick seven months pregnant. Seriously, it's beyond amazing. Between all the jokes about getting older, trapping your man, being pregnant and some real dirty stuff, she addresses some serious issues from miscarriage to how feminism is the worst thing to happen to women. Her honest, raw and irreverent style made me fall in love with her over the course of an hour.

In between cracking up and stealing guilty glances at my husband as she was detailing how she trapped her husband—Oh no! She done told ALL my man-catching secrets! My husband now realizes the connection to his earning potential and my preoccupation with preparing all of his meals and keeping him healthy and able to work!—I just couldn’t believe I had never before seen this fantastic comedian for whom I feel a true kinship.

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And while she may be a bit disillusioned on what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom, she does have a valid point about the joy that is having the freedom to poop in our own homes instead of the office—even if there's a baby watching you do it. See, I told you, so funny.

Yet despite all the laughs, there was one moment in the special that gave me serious pause: She mentions how weird it is to see a pregnant female comedian because they don’t get pregnant, and if they do, you never hear from them again. Wait, what?

But when I started to think about it, she was right.

But what about when your work doesn’t allow you to keep on shining?

Sure, the dad comedians are all about it, like Jim Gaffigan and Louis C.K.,but where are their female counterparts? I couldn’t think of anyone off the top of my head. I love the current queens of comedy: Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Maria Bamford and Whitney Cummings, but none of them have children. Comedians who are also dads become funny relatable family men, but where are the women? Are they stripped of their stand-up privileges and relegated to the kitchen barefoot with no bon-bons in sight? Are they at home telling their best jokes to tiny people that spit their food at them? Where my mom jokers at?

The connection between feminism and motherhood can be simplistically boiled down to choice: Choosing to stay home or choosing to work. But what about when your work doesn’t allow you to keep on shining? It’s funny when comedian dads tell jokes about their kids but it doesn’t seem to have the same effect with female comedians.

Maybe it's because motherhood is considered sacred. I mean, as soon as I say anything about not enjoying new motherhood, people get their panties in a bunch and tell me how grateful I should be, that it’s all so worth it and yadda yadda yadda. It’s as if women who say anything bad about their children or complain about the drudgery of housework are terrible mothers, and no one thinks that’s funny. But let a dad talk about what a little a-hole his kid is and everyone is cracking up.

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I suppose the lack of pregnant and new mother comedians could also be linked to the grueling schedule that accompanies the life of a stand-up comedian. Being on the road may work for some dads but when a baby is first born, he or she usually needs their mama for the boob juice and Mama is also kind of, um, wrecked after having a baby. Sorry pregnant people to burst your bubble on the beauty of new motherhood, but it can be a bit of a shit show.

Ali Wong looks like she's set to change that double standard and has been out and performing stand-up since having her baby five months ago. In an interview with Elle Magazine when asked how having a baby has affected her stand up she replied, “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.” Wong's material will undoubtedly change and evolve now that she's a mother, but I'm sure she'll keep it down and dirty for her old fans while appealing to down and dirty moms as well.

So don't disappear Ali Wong, we need you.

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