Comedian and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Kristina Wong

No, You're Not Going to Cut up Your Kid’s Underpants!

Kristina Wong is a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Drama. She’s a performance artist, comedian, writer, and elected representative who has been presented internationally across North America, the U.K., Hong Kong, and Africa. Before taking part in “What Can We Laugh About?,” she chatted in our green room about Koreatown’s permanent yard sales, why she uses Shark Tank in theater workshops, and the joys of being a food bank influencer.

Political Satirist Bassem Youssef | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Political Satirist Bassem Youssef

I’d Like to Tickle Shaquille O’Neal

Bassem Youssef is a political satirist who was the host of Al-Bernameg, an Egyptian satire TV show that aired in the wake up the Arab Spring. Included on TIME magazine’s …

‘Humor Is What Makes Us Human’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

‘Humor Is What Makes Us Human’

In an Age of Political Tyranny and Deep Division, Comedy Can Help Us Understand Our Leaders, Ourselves, and Each Other

Fittingly, the Zócalo/ASU Gammage event “What Can We Laugh About?” last night opened with a joke from Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano, who was moderating: “Knock knock.”

The prompt audience …

Are Comedians America’s Great Public Intellectuals? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Are Comedians America’s Great Public Intellectuals?

Clowns Have Always Served as the Conscience of the Nation—At Their Peril and Maybe Ours, Too

One of Shakespeare’s conceits is the wisdom of clowns. From Feste in Twelfth Night to the Fool in King Lear, they speak truth to power, but tell it slant and …

American Comedians Are Finally Getting Afghanistan Right | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

American Comedians Are Finally Getting Afghanistan Right

After Two Decades of Anti-Muslim Jokes and a Disastrous War, Humor Is Succeeding Where Politics Has Failed

A joke can be the best way to present real-life issues. Comedians can poke fun at the absurdity of the human condition, even take on topics that feel taboo—like America’s …

Should All World Leaders Be Comedians First?

Finding Authenticity, Inspiration, and Moral Authority in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Unusual Path to Government

Should all world leaders be former comedians? If Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is any indication, it’s an option worth considering.

The New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post have all …