May is AAPI Heritage Month. To celebrate, WhoHaha is highlighting some of our incredible creators from the AAPI community. Filmmakers, comedians, podcasters – get to know the Who behind the Haha!
Judy Jean Kwon is a maker. She acts. She writes. She edits. She’s a stand-up. She’s a mom. She raises chickens in Hawaii. Basically, she’s the definition of badass. Get to know her a little better:
Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you get started in comedy?
Technically, I got started in comedy when I first started acting at 17. I studied improv for 5 years then went onto standup comedy. Informally, I got my start in comedy as a kid because my dad was really funny and our life was very difficult so comedy was our way to relieve ourselves.
Tell us about MILFriend! What was the inspiration to get it started? What challenges did you face getting it off the ground and how did you overcome them?
MILFriend was inspired by my observations and experiences living in LA and being a mom. When I started writing this, I wanted to tell a story that was entertaining and not typical at the time. I wanted to tell a story where all cultures intersected and ran into each other uncomfortably and make light of it. Even though LA is a big city with diversity, I noticed a lot of people like to hang out with others that looked and acted just like themselves and did not associate with others unless they were forced into it. I don’t have family or ties to any one group of people so it was really easy to notice this human oddity.
Who’s a mom you’d like to friend?
I like to friend any mom that is genuine, deep and meaningful, that enjoys spending a great time together, who will have my back and be a family.
Who are some of your comedy heroes?
Lucille Ball, Dave Chapelle, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jordan Peele, Ronny Chieng, Joanna Lumley, Madeline Kahn, Mel Brooks, Jack Black.
What has been your biggest professional “win” as a comedian?
Every day I am able to tear myself away from my kid and do standup is a big win for me because, I actually like to stalk my kid, stare at him and froth over him which is getting harder by day because he is getting older and he doesn’t want me around as much. My goal for him is to live with mom all my life.
In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, how do you feel your own AAPI Heritage has been an asset to building your comedy career?
Being a lotus flower, like sweet Buddha, I catch people off guard when I open my mouth, shit flies out and I share my very unique pov.
What’s one thing you want the WhoHaha audience to know about you?
I’m yoMamaRice cuz I’m a mom and I like rice. Rice and my kid are 2 things I can’t live without.
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