Describing himself on his website as a ‘funny Asian dude’, Jimmy O. Yang is not only a superb stand-up comedian for hire but also the kind of actor that you’ve probably seen a thousand times yet is so talented that you don’t recognise him from one role to the other. He also once got work checking scripts for The Harlem Globetrotters.
When he was starting off his career as a comedian, Jimmy – who is one of the very few Chinese-American comedians in existence – used to pay $5 to get up on stage in front of an open microphone at the Ha Ha Café Comedy Club in North Hollywood, California. He still performs there sometimes, only these days they pay him!
On the small screen, this comedian for hire is best known for his part in the award-winning American TV series Silicon Valley, created by Mike Judge who also created Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill. Jimmy has also played the part of Tang-See in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, based around an Irish bar in the city – he says the episode he appeared in was “written by the Game of Thrones dudes”. Finally, Jimmy once appeared as a psychotic college student in the popular FBI-based series Criminal Minds.
Jimmy is enjoying his fame. He said recently online that that he is “starting to get recognised at a local bowling alley, so that feels nice” and he “visited the Facebook campus last year and saw Mark Zuckerberg through a window; so I guess you can say we are buddies now”.
When asked once if anyone had ever mistaken him for being Irish, he replied: “They could, until they see me. My real last name is Ou Yang, a rare two-character name in Chinese, the Ou is pronounce ‘Oh’. I went with Jimmy O. Yang to pay homage to Homer J. Simpson.”