As countless comic divorcees can attest, it’s not easy being married to a stand-up comedian. The abnormal schedule, constant traveling and frequently fickle temperaments make matrimony a uniquely difficult challenge for comics and their better halves. Getting divorced from one, on the other hand, is much easier — especially if your amicable ex is Ali Wong.
The Beef star’s split from ex-husband Justin Hakuta has been the talk of tabloids since the two announced their cordial separation in April 2022. Nevertheless, the former partners remain committed co-parents, with Hakuta and their daughter set to join Wong on her upcoming “Single Lady” tour, though the situation has been hard to explain to certain parties — when Wong broke the news of the divorce to her 82-year-old mother, her response was, “Can you just wait until I die?”
In a recent interview with The Cut, Wong explained another peculiarity of the non-marital partnership that a great many comics’ exes probably envy — Hakuta has final cut privileges on any joke that involves him or their family. In fact, Wong doesn’t even allow herself to joke about her former in-laws either. If Wong were a Boomer humor cartoonist, this divorce would have put her out of a job.
“Divorce gets such a bad rap,” Wong explained. “And people think it’s so ugly. When we said that we were lovingly co-parenting and focusing on the kids, we really meant it. That wasn’t just a statement.”
As far as Wong’s act goes, her content policy has stayed exactly the same post-split: “The whole time we were married I would try stuff out at open mics, and I would tell him, ‘I like it, I think it has legs, it’s getting laughs, but I won’t do it in front of a club audience if you don’t like it.’” That hasn’t changed since the split. “He still to this day has ultimate veto power, because my relationship with him even post-divorce is more important than a two-minute bit,” Wong confirmed.
Wong ended her thoughts on her husband’s continued presence in her comedy life by saying, “Never for a minute with Justin do I feel like I don’t still need him. He’s the father of my kids. He’s my best friend. I need him desperately, and I need to respect him.”
If she loves him so much, why doesn’t she… Oh, never mind.