Salon Talks: Jimmy O. Yang


Rap music videos taught comedian Jimmy O. Yang how to speak English when he first came to the United States as a teenager. That’s just one of hilarious anecdotes the stand-up comic and HBO star shared on“Salon Talks” about his upbringing in Hong Kong and his move to Los Angeles when he was 13.

Yang is author of a new memoir “How To American: An Immigrant’s Guide To Disappointing Your Parents,” which covers the promising finance career he put on hold, his stint as a strip club DJ and his first late-night stand-up appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Comedy aside, Yang says he wrote the book for everyone who has ever felt like an outsider. “I wanted to take some time off of doing stand-up to write something more relatable and more truthful than just being funny every three seconds,” Yang told Salon’s D. Watkins. “I want people to be able to relate to the story if you are an immigrant or ever tried to assimilate to anything or if you are interested in looking at the lens through a first-generation immigrant.”

Check out the full interview above to hear Yang’s rules for making it in America and how his Chinese parents still want him to quit comedy and consider a more lucrative career, despite his early success. Tune into SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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