When Comix in Manhattan first asked Helen Hong, TV producer and stand-up comedienne, to host a show that would attract an Asian crowd, Hong was pessimistic. “An Asian comedian wouldn’t be a draw, unless they thought they might meet a mate there,” she told The New York Times.
Hong was then hit with the idea to do just that. She was familiar with the South Korean phenomenon known as “booking,” where men at a nightclub will tip a waiter to physically drag a young woman they’ve spotted over to their table. Despite acknowledging the practice is “barbaric,” Hong understands that “In most East Asian cultures, you can’t meet someone new unless you’re introduced by a third party.”
So instead of doing her usual stand-up set at Comix, Hong played the role of entertainer/matchmaker, successfully pairing up some of the singles in the crowd. The night was a success: at least one couple has told Hong that they have since fallen in love. Hong plans to expand this theme to a racially mixed crowd at Comix on Aug. 12, at a show called “Laugh Match.” There are also plans for rapid matchmaking nights for gay audiences and Jewish crowds.