San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Comedian and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Kristina Wong served up laughter while educating on food banks

The comedian stopped by the Student Union Theater to showcase her new show while highlighting Asian-American excellence in the arts
Kristina Wong performed her new show, “Foodbank Influencer,” at SDSU. Photo Courtesy of Kristina Wong

Asian American comedian Kristina Wong performed at San Diego State University  to give a sneak peek of her upcoming show “Kristina Wong #FoodBankInfluencer” on March 5.

“Guys, this is a big deal!” Virginia Loh-Hagan, director of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) center, said to set the stage for the event. “This is one of those things that years from now you’re going to be able to say, ‘When I was in college, Kristina Wong came and I went to go see her.’”

With audience members ranging from members of the APIDA community to SDSU alumni and students, it created a diverse crowd. Some had knowledge of Wong’s previous work, while others had just heard of her for the first time. 

Wong has found more success in her career these past few years, specifically after she became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2022. She was awarded for her work in “Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord,” which was based on her time in the Auntie Sewing Squad during the pandemic. 

As Wong puts it, “It’s pretty much my name, comma Pulitzer Prize finalist at this point.”

SDSU attendees received a special preview of Wong’s new show, “Kristina Wong: #FoodBankInfluencer.” Wong took to the notion that “there is nothing sexy about food banks” and how insane she was for making it the basis for a comedy show. From the opening monologue, she had the crowd cracking up. 

Wong touched on issues that everyone faces regarding food insecurity. She then posed the idea that humans love free food so much, but are embarrassed to actually take any when it is offered. With the crowd nodding along, it was clear this resonated with many. 

One day, she stumbled upon the World Harvest Food Bank in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Wong wondered if she could take away from the stigma others have of food banks. 

She met the founder, Glen Curado, and fell in love with his message and company. This prompted her journey, a “foodbank influencer,” as she likes to say. 

To sell this, Wong broke out into song, performing “Welcome to the Food Bank,” a parody of “Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, which was an absolute hit for the crowd. 

Throughout the show, Wong implemented a variety of song parodies regarding food banks, namely “Food for my Time” a spoof of a Cindi Lauper song  and “Expiration Dates are lies!,” a take on Britney Spears, “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” This was one of the highlights for the show because this was when Wong’s creativity took the main stage. 

Wong was able to jump from being informative, to comedic relief pretty seamlessly. She has been able to supply food to her community during hard times as well as continuing to support others. During the SAG-AFTRA strike, she and Curado tried to direct strikers to go to the food bank.

Wong also has been working to get a full food bank and healthy grocery store for the Native American community, the Navajo Nation, specifically in Rocky Ridge, Arizona. She collaborated with them on the Auntie Sewing Squad and has been working with them to get a full, fresh grocery store for the community. 

Wong has created a career where she can speak about important social issues plaguing society, with a charming sense of humor. Many would not think of stand-up shows revolving around food banks, global pandemics or public office. 

Wong has forged her own path and it has led her to great accomplishments and a tight-knit community. By making jokes out of what many deem as “untouchable” material, Wong proves that with enough care and wit, anything can be a joke. 

She is a woman of many trades and has found a way to combine her passions. 

Wong is an advocate for all underrepresented communities and has found a niche with an audience that has a deep admiration for her. 

She announced that this full performance should be ready in about a year from now. Until then, she is still performing Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord” at different residences, while also visiting more colleges to share these shows.

Wong will also be performing in the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from March 30 to May 5.