When Jenny Yang’s Disoriented Comedy tour came to the Tower District last year, it sold out at 700 people. It was so packed, Yang had to slow the delivery of her jokes to give them time to reach those in the way back.
The show had played to mostly sold-out, standing room-only crowds. This was the biggest yet.
“We thought, did all the Asians in Fresno show up?” says Yang, a Los Angeles comic who started the Dis/Orient/Ed tour in 2012.
The pun in the show’s name reflects the tour’s emphasis on women of color from across cultures – Japanese- and Korean-Americans, Southeast Asians, Indians and, for this year’s shows, Latinos. By its nature, the tour skews toward Asian-American communities, but Yang couldn’t deny the large number of Latinos that showed up at the Fresno show last year.
“We promised that we would bring back some Latino flavor,” Yang says. “And we did.”
She is referring to Liliana Cervantes, who will join Yang for the tour’s return trip to Fresno, along with Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Atsuko Okatsuka, Kat Evasco and D’Lo.
Cervantes and Yang have a history. They competed for the title of California’s Funniest Female back in 2012.
“She won,” Yang Says.
Yang was runner up.
While these comedians have played mainstream comedy stages, they aren’t the types of faces (or voices) normally seen associated with stand-up comedy, says Gena Lew Gong, with Central California Asian Pacific Women, the local nonprofit that is bringing the event back to town. It’s also a fundraiser for the group.
That makes the tour a good fit for CCAPW’s goals.
“We wanted to highlight these women of color as role models,” Lew Gong says.