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Jami Gong

This A-Profiler we bring you Jami Gong. Jami has performed all over the USA and has appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien". He was honored by AAFE in the summer of 2004, is the immediate past president of OCA-NY, and carried The Olympic Torch in NYC in June 2004 (he was the only American Torchbearer profiled by The NY Times). He now produces TakeOut Comedy, The Premier Asian American Comedy Showcase in the USA, featuring the best Asian American comics around. TakeOut Comedy is inspiring people along the way and is changing the perception of Asian Americans to the world.

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In eight words please describe the person known as Jami Gong?
Visionary, extrovert, risk-taker, adventurer, doer, leader, role model, inspiring

Comedy isnít a typical profession for Asians and Asian Americans. How did your parents react when you told them you wanted to be a comedian?
They were at first surprised, but as I got more gigs and exposure, and they saw my tapes, they were more receptive.

Take Out ComedyWhat are you currently working on and what future projects do you have lined up?
We are doing The First Asia TakeOut Comedy Tour next week with shows in Singapore and Hong Kong. This will be historic and groundbreaking! Then in May, we are doing The First National TakeOut Comedy Tour with shows in Irvine, LA, SF, Seattle and NYC. In April, we will also hit Atlanta, Tucson, and Boston. We are changing the perception of Asian Americans to the world!

Do you speak any other languages?

Whatís your favorite Asian dish and can you explain what is MSG and why does it make Chinese food taste better?
I like all kinds of Asian cuisine. I love especially chicken dishes. MSG affects the brain cells into thinking what you are eating is the best chicken dish in the world!

In your expert opinion who is the funniest stand up comedian out there right at this moment? Funniest comedian of all time?
Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle is hilarious! All time, that is Johnny Carson and Bob Hope.

Is there a difference between East Coast Asian American comedians versus West Coast Asian American comedians?<>br> There is no difference at all, but the best Asian American comics are in the West.

How do you come up with new stand material? Is your routine pattern after a famous comedian?
I carry a digital recorder with me at all times because the funniest things that I come up with is when I am not thinking about it. Like, when I see something on the streets, when I am talking to someone, or when I am in the public bathroom.

Are there any other ethnicities besides Asian American that perform at Take out Comedy?
Yes, TakeOut Comedy in Chinatown, NYC includes any ethnic comic and we are revitalizing the nightlife here.

Take Out ComedyWhere is the future headed for "Take Out Comedy?"
I am trying to unite the world through humor, and we plan to bring TakeOut Comedy around the world! I would like to open TakeOut Comedy Clubs around the world. We can and we will! Comedy transcends and comedy unites people of all races! Standup comedy is only popular here in the USA and England, but why not popularize it around the world! It would be awesome to open a TakeOut Comedy Club in Baghdad one day!

Has anyone proposed marriage at youíre venue?
No, but close as last year, my friend proposed to his fiance a few hours before and they all came to our show to celebrate.

Do you think Asian American comedians are under represented in the Comedy community?
YES, that is why I created TOC, to open more doors and create more opportunites for AA comics everywhere!

Why is comedy important to you?
Everyone loves to laugh, no matter what race you are. Listen to speeches, if they are 45 minutes and there is no humor, everyone is tuned out. But if that speaker includes some jokes, the audiences listens and he will get a better response. Doing standUp comedy is the hardest job in the world, but it is the GREATEST job! The power to make people laugh is priceless! Doing comedy is my destiny and my calling.

Iím sorry to hear about your grandmothers passing, if you had a chance to see her one last time what would you want to say to her?
I do everything for her and my mother.

Thanks for giving us a little info about yourself; do you have any words you want to be remembered by?
Just that, everyone lives just once, so make the most of it! Encourage, not discourage, impress, not depress, live everyday as if it is your last, die living, not live dying, and live life to the fullest!

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Images courtesy of Jami Gong.
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