Ali Wong on marriage, divorce, and custody: Hilarious and heartfelt insights

Ali Wong on marriage, divorce, and custody: Hilarious and heartfelt insights

Ali Wong is an actress, standup comic, mother, and soon-to-be divorcee. This comedian extraordinaire is not afraid to tackle the tough issues, and when it comes to relationships, she's got more opinions than a Yelp review. Ms. Wong is not afraid to shake things up and make you laugh at the ups and downs of marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. We grabbed some popcorn and got on a wild ride through Ms. Wong’s mind, one of today’s most insightful comics.

Marriage is prison

In her standup comedy special Don Wong, she likened being married to being in jail and jokingly expressed a desire to cheat on her husband Justin Hakuta. In the special, she also enumerated his many attractive qualities and achievements: he went to Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard Business School, he was a Fulbright scholar, and he resembles Keanu Reeves.

Ms. Wong also said that she wants to become single again because single people, according to her, have an envious life. She told the story of how she wanted to “trap” her then-boyfriend Justin to marry her, back when she didn’t yet have a promising comedy career. In a funny voice, she said that this was a mistake and referred to marriage as “monogamy jail.”

If you’re an aspiring comedian who is thinking of borrowing a page from the Ali Wong book, you have to note a few things. Firstly, Ms. Wong didn’t say that being married to her husband felt like being in prison. Rather, it was marriage itself that felt like a prison and that being married as she was nearing 40 made her miss singlehood. Secondly, when she claimed to want to cheat on her husband, she was mostly trying to make a point: that infidelity is a lot less forgivable for successful women than it is for successful men.

We have to say, however, that her statements may be a bit triggering for people who may feel that their marriage feels like jail. But we also say that she’s hilarious, so she gets a pass for joking about how being married is like being jailed.

Comedy is not a marriage killer

Interestingly, Ms. Wong and her husband announced they are divorcing in April 2022, not long after Don Wong aired in February 2022.

The comedy special was a no-holds-barred, raunchy tell-all, which is what made it so funny and relatable. One might think that it was partly responsible for their split. We’ve been lawyering longer than Ms. Wong has been doing standup, and we don’t think that her jokes are what caused the divorce. We may not be relationship experts, but we know enough about divorces. For instance, we know that couples don’t usually divorce because the wife likes to tell jokes and does it for a living.

It’s worth noting that, according to Ms. Wong, her husband “doesn’t give a s***” about what she said on stage because he was at their home that she bought, using up the high-speed internet she pays for, and living the life she wanted for herself.

That said, the confessional nature of the standup seemed to signal that their marriage may have been on the rocks while Ms. Wong was coming up with material for it. In any case, we’re just going to have to take her word that her husband was totally fine with her spilling the beans.

Related reading: The art of divorce: Split-ups that sparked success

Getting half custody is not ideal

This is according to the funny lady.

In Don Wong, Ms. Wong also talked about women who want to get full custody of their kids in a custody battle. To this, she said, “Why?! Even half custody sounds like American Horror Story!”

As family law attorneys, we know that custody battles can get ugly. It can be like a train wreck in slow motion, except the train is carrying a cargo of screaming toddlers and the wreck is happening in a courtroom (in cases where either party refuses to cooperate and settle). Many parents, however, are willing to put aside their differences and work together for the sake of their children.

Perhaps Ms. Wong was alluding to the fact that if she and Mr. Wong were to divorce, they wouldn’t fight to get full custody of their two kids. And that is what appeared to have happened. Their divorce was reportedly amicable and they plan to co-parent lovingly.

Don Wong was somewhat eerily prescient about the comedian’s marriage. But although she is about to get divorced from her intelligent, sexy, and Keanu Reeves-lookalike husband, we’d like to think that she will get something out of it, like fresh material for a new standup comedy about her divorce.

Neither marriage nor divorce is a laughing matter. Here at Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams, we take divorce and child custody cases seriously. Consult our family law attorneys for your case in Washington State. Call us or leave us a message.