Some comedians have moments throughout their career that make them sizzle, while a small few create a buzz that is so hot, that the world would consider them their own version of summer.
A comedy career spanning less than three years, Jiaoying Summers has not only been the busiest comedian of the pandemic era but she’s also been one of the most successful businesswomen in comedy entertainment. One of the hottest up-and-coming Asian American females on the comedy scene, Jiaoying is one of the most popular comedians on TikTok with more than 1 million followers, 21.6 million likes and over 300 million views.
She is the owner of The Hollywood Comedy and The Pasadena Comedy club in Los Angeles, California. Jiaoying is considered the trailblazer in building up the Hollywood underground comedy scene. She performs 10+ shows a week headlining regularly at The Hollywood Improv and The Laugh Factory and produces 8 shows weekly across her clubs in LA and Pasadena. She is the founder of THC Tour, which brings in the best comics touring nationally. In 2022, it was announced that Summers is set to release her 30-min comedy special as part of Peacock TV’s first stand-up comedy series entitled Comedy InvAsian 2.0.
Summers is an award-winning SAG-AFTRA actress with extraordinary training.
Jiaoying recently sat down with We Own The Laughs.com Tyson Paul to talk about her comedic beginnings, her unique position as a performer and entrepreneur in the comedy business, her social media fame, and much more.
She’s already the viral superstar that keeps you glued to your electronic devices on a daily basis, but in the next few months, Jiaoying Summers will become the next hilarious supernova in the world of comedy the likes of Ali Wong, Tiffany Haddish, and Jo Koy.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen lately?
The Oscar Slap! It’s funny that there is a Team Will.
What are some of your first memories of comedy as a genre?
Watching Chinese “Xiao Ping,” A two-person stage comedy duo.
When did you begin writing any forms of comedy?
I started writing funny fiction stories in Chinese when I was 12 years old.
For many decades, Los Angeles has been a legendary landmark for comedy. How aware are you of the comedy scene history in your area and give us some of the comedic differences that you will find in different areas of Los Angeles?
In my open mic days, I didn’t know much about it at all. Then I discovered the history of The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, and Hollywood Improv.
You went from being a fashion model to becoming a stand-up comedian/social media star. How close or how far apart is your model personality from the personality you have on stage?
Very far apart! I was very insecure as a model, but I’m hella confident as a comedian.
You perform comedy in several different forms. When you sit down to write, are you doing it with a certain form in mind? Or do you sit down with an idea and then see how you can play with it?
I write about anything that comes to mind, then I just run them at shows, and try to improve as much as I can.
Your comedy is one of the biggest features on TikTok. You’ve had some unforgettable moments on the social media app. How would you describe your entire experience on TikTok?
TikTok is very hard, you have to be consistent with good content or you’re falling out of favor.
What is your favorite or most memorable set that you’ve ever done?
My audition set at The Laugh Factory was a game-changer for my career. I got the pass at The Laugh Factory and one of the jokes from that set got over 10 million views on Instagram.
Who has been your favorite comedian to share the stage or sketches with throughout your career?
Don Barris has been super supportive of me. Aidan Park has helped me tremendously since my 1st open mic.
One thing that sets you apart from most comedians is your unique sense of fashion. How did you become so fashionable?
I feel like looking good makes me feel more alive and more unapologetic.
Do you have any pre-show routines?
I just write all the time and try out things that I know will work and something new. Even on the big stage.
What are your thoughts on the state of comedy right now? Do you think that comedy has changed for women since you got into the business?
Comedy is still very hard for women. I fight many battles on a daily basis. I do the best I can to promote women and minorities in comedy through my 2 comedy clubs.
You’re a female Asian comedy club owner in a position in this industry that hasn’t seen many of you in this position before. Do you ever struggle with any aspect of comedy ownership because you’re trying to be too great to help others in the future to get the same opportunity you received?
I always wanted to help others, most of the time people are very grateful and it makes me very happy to see them thrive. Sometimes, because I’m too generous, some people think I’m stupid and they try to undermine my kindness to take advantage of me. They think I’m a pushover, they’re wrong, I’m the toughest woman I know.
A comedy club is only as successful as the young talent that emerges among the big-name comedians who visit the club. Who are some comedians that may not be well-known to the masses right now, but their comedic talents will help turn your comedy clubs into some of the best comedy clubs in the state of California?
We have been blessed to have many talented young comedians become main attractions at both the Hollywood and Pasadena comedy club, but if I had to name a few, it would have to be Isaiah Castillo, Ksenia, Tyson Paul, Danny Plom, Sierra Katow, Reem Edan, Jay B. Brown, Erikson Dockery, Willie Mac, Susie Sitcom, and Bileko Wissa.
Your stand-up comedy can get pretty offensive at times. Being a comedian in this time period, you have to be a bit controversial if you want to earn praise and recognition. Meanwhile, in stand-up comedy in this time period, if you don’t watch what you say whether it be past or present, you could end up losing your entire career. What are your thoughts on this crazy time period and is there a line in comedy that you wouldn’t cross?
I believe that I am a good person. I say things that are considered to be controversial, but that is why I do comedy. I want to protect my 1st amendment rights.
Verification is so important in today’s world of entertainment. People strive every day just to see a “Blue Check” next to their name. What did it feel like when you received the “Blue Check” next to your name and do you still feel the same way about it?
I wanted that blue check next to my name very much, but once I had it, it did not change my life. (Laughs)
Does your family consider you to be famous?
I don’t think so…well, at least not yet.
Popularity never comes without doubters and naysayers. You have built an impressive following on social media, but some comedy enthusiasts and trollers would consider you a passing gimmick or not an authentic comedic personality. Has the negativity ever affected you and how have you managed to find positivity to rise above it all?
I just laugh at them, my mom is meaner than all of the haters combined, she gave me thick skin and CONFIDENCE BEYOND MEASURES.
You’ve spoken your mind a lot on social media in regards to social injustice and sexual harassment. You’ve been through so much in your life that would make most women in your shoes very timid. Where are you finding the courage to just not care what anyone says about your remarks and speak your mind?
I have survived so much, that I want to be the vessel of truth and inspiration to people who struggle.
What are your thoughts on the future of social media comedy moving forward?
Its players and the content will become bigger and bigger day by day.
Where can new comedy fans find you on social media?
@JiaoyingSummers (TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram)
What are some of the goals that you would like to see yourself achieve in the next five years?
To become one of the most important names in comedy for my generation.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and choose 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, where would it be and who would it be with?
Ali Wong, Bill Burr, and Max Amini @ The Laugh Factory
Why should people always find a reason to laugh at life?
We only live once.