Is the Bill Hader/Ali Wong Relationship a Comedy or a Drama?
We can all sleep well tonight knowing that last year’s brief romance between Beef’s Ali Wong and Barry’s Bill Hader is definitively back on. How do we know? Hader recently referenced a “girlfriend” in a Barry promotional interview, so you do the math. Still not convinced? A source confirmed the reunion to People, and if you can’t believe a source, who can you trust? The duo has gossip columns abuzz, but confusion still reigns much in the manner of their respective hit series. Like Barry and Beef, Hollywood is torn in a bitter debate: Is this romance a comedy or a drama?
The Case for Comedy
Hey, it’s superstar stand-up Ali Wong! It’s celebrated sketch comic Bill Hader! How can this fling not be a comedy? In fact, it’s hard to believe Netflix isn’t trying to lock this down right now. A reality series that follows Hader and Wong on a “vacation” to San Francisco to visit Wong’s mother? It practically writes itself!
Wong’s stand-up is stacked with jokes about relationships, most of them disastrous. “I dated a lot of losers. A lot of skaters. You wanna be a grown-ass woman? Stop dating skaters. Stop dating skaters unless you wanna wake up on a mattress in a kitchen. They’re sexy on the outside, malt liquor on the inside.” Now substitute “Haders” for “skaters” and we’re on our way to one of the funniest love affairs of all time.
The Case for Drama
Hader has three kids by ex-wife Maggie Carey. Wong is still intimately involved with co-parent Justin Hakuta after their recent 2022 split, and she claims that they’re “really, really close; we're best friends." Hoo boy. How will Wong’s best friend react when he finds out she’s sleeping with the guy who allegedly gave Rachel Bilson her first orgasm? Sounds like a recipe for drama to us.
Love won’t get any easier from there. What if both are nominated for Emmys this year, only to see one of them lose to some Brit slumming in an Amazon series no one has ever heard of? Can romance survive? Could professional jealousy possibly lead to … murder?
Why It Matters
Just like it’s easier for Barry to score a Best Series win as a comedy than as a drama (let’s just say it’s easier to outclass Wednesday than Succession), Wong/Hader has an easier chance to score as a comedy. The two could easily become an all-time top-five Comedy Power Couple if they choose to go that route. Who are they up against since 2000? Amy Poehler and Will Arnett? Melissa McCarthy and Ben freaking Falcone? This ain’t close, folks — Elon Musk and Amber Heard are funnier than any of those. As a comedy couple, Wong and Hader could go down in history as the funniest real-life pair since Lucy and Desi.
But if they choose to go the drama route? The couple’s star power pales against the likes of Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie, Beyonce/Jay-Z, or even JLo/Ben Affleck. Would a turbulent love affair still have the couple show up occasionally on Page Six? Probably, but if Hader and Wong exchanged gags while cohosting the Golden Globes, for example, they’d shoot off more sparks.
So comedy or drama? It’s too soon to say, but our advice to the couple: Go for the laughs, lovebirds.