Episode #391: Helen Hong

You may have heard Helen Hong as a regular panelist on the hit NPR quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” Hong also has appeared on the big screen in Inside Llewyn Davis, and in recurring roles on TV in sitcoms and comedy shows including HBO’s Silicon Valley, The Unicorn on CBS, and The Netflix Afterparty. And as a stand-up comedian, Hong has grown up from her start as a “Little Ethnic Girl,” releasing her debut comedy special, Helen Hong: Well Hong, via Comedy Dynamics, which she recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Hong sat down with me over Zoom to talk about her early days and nights as a TV producer behind the camera, how she moved to Hollywood without a steady gig and lived to joke about it, filming a nationwide TV commercial with a Muppet, and her life as the daughter of Korean immigrants.

If you like this conversation, please consider subscribing to my Substack called Piffany at Piffany.Substack.com so you can read bonus commentary on this episode as well as more comedy news and insights. Thanks in advance, and now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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