Stream “Blasian” for FREE on Amazon

Blasian, Michael Yo, presents his uniquely personal comedy on his debut stand up special, “Blasian.” In this special, he discusses growing up half Black and Asian in Houston, TX. Check it out for free on Amazon Prime!


Michael Yo on “Blasian” Tour

Michael Yo is the first and only blasian comic, and he’s currently on tour!

Michael was raised in Texas, where he got started on radio.  He then got recruited by Miami’s #1 station, Y100.  He did that for years before getting an offer from E!. He moved to Los Angeles and was a correspondent on Extra and E! News. He has appeared on The Insider and The Talk on CBS, as well as The Wendy Williams Show. Then Chelsea Handler (of Chelsea Lately) dared him to do stand-up. Fellow half Asian, Jo Koy (Filipino/European American), has been his comic mentor. The even did a podcast (The Michael Yo and Jo Koy Show) together for a few years.

“Jo told me that I had great stories about my parents and that is where comedy comes from, real life. Not about people writing jokes but what really happened in your life. Growing up in the situation I am from, that is automatic comedy. Having a mom, we all know Asian moms and how they say the craziest things no matter who is around and it can sound racist at times. But they don’t think it is racist and they are just honest people, you know what I mean? So, I talk about the the crazy things my mom says about other people. “

Michael doesn’t like kimchi (김치) and doesn’t speak Korean, and he didn’t really connect with his Asian side until he started doing stand-up. 

“I can honestly say that stand-up has really made me connect more than I ever have because telling the stories about my mom. My stand-up is all about my dad, my mom, how I grew up, dealing with racism and finding my identity. So, the whole show is about that. Me and my mom have always been super close and I feel that telling these stories, Asian people are starting to come out and relate to it. I find it weird because I didn’t connect to it while I was going through it but it is more that I’m connecting to it now.”

Blasian“, his new comedy tour about growing up biracial, started in San Francisco on December 31, 2018. It was released on digital and on-demand platforms on November 27th and is 
available on iTunes and GooglePlay. His tour continues in Sacramento on January 11, 2019. 

Michael is an actor, stand-up comedian, and television host. Currently, he is a co-host on the Bravo series, Play by Play, and hosts The Michael Yo Show on Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly. The Michael Yo Show premiered on September 4th via satellite on channel 105 through the SiriusXM app. 

Selected Sources:
* Houston Chronicle, “Houston-born comic Michael Yo releases special about growing up biracial“, November 1, 2018.
* An online community for mixed-race Koreans, Interview with Michael Yo“, August 16, 2013.

Photos courtesy of Michael Yo/Metro Public Relations.

Blasian Comedian to Star in Autobiographical Sitcom

A TV show, inspired by Michael Yo’s life, co-written by and starring comedian Michael Yo, is being developed. The self-proclaimed “Half-Black Brother with a Korean Mother”, Michael Yo, was born “Michael Yo Simmons” to a Korean mom and an African American dad with a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

The untitled comedy centers on a young couple’s life that is made more complicated when the guy’s over-achieving African American, PhD scientist/ex-Military father and scheming Asian mother show up to help them take care of their newborn baby and adjust to their new surroundings. Yo married Claire Elise Schreiner on February 14, 2016 and recently became a father to Oliver Yo Simmons. He came up with the idea for the family comedy when his parents visited to help with their new grandchild. Yo will also be an executive producer for the show.

Selected Sources:
* Deadline, “Michael Yo To Star In Autobiographical Family Comedy In Works At Fox“, November 5, 2018.
* Coming Soon, “Michael Yo Developing Autobiographical Sitcom for FOX“, November 6, 2018.

Blasian Featured in Netflix Show

The first ten episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was released on October 26th. The series is centered on Sabrina Spellman, a half-witch half-mortal. I’m a huge Netflix fan and was super intrigued by the trailer for this new show. In the trailer, I spotted a diverse group of witches in black dresses with lace collars. A brunette and redhead led by a brown-skinned beauty, they are the Weird Sisters, a trio of witches who have developed a sisterhood forged in their bond as orphans. In the trailer, the leader of the Weird Sisters, Prudence Night tells Sabrina, “You’re gonna die, half-breed.” This seems ironic when you realize that two of the actresses portraying the Weird Sisters are actually half-Korean. Adeline Rudolph (the brunette) is German-Korean, and Tati Gabrielle (the leader) is Korean-African American.

Tati Gabrielle (birth name: Tatiana Gabrielle Hobson) was raised by her Korean American mother. Her father, a former basketball player from Ohio, is involved in the entertainment industry as a director and producer. She modelled as a child and graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA. She majored in Drama and French at Spelman College. She moved to Los Angeles and earned roles in the CW’s The 100, Hulu’s Freakish, and TBS’s Tarantula. She was cast as Prudence in March 2018.

Tati’s mom was adopted from Korea and raised in Virginia by an African American family. She raised Tati to stay connected to her Asian roots, and the diverse Bay Area of California was a great environment for a mixed kid. Now Tati’s starring in a show that is being lauded for its ethnic, racial, and sexual diversity. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is arguably one of the most strongly feminist television shows today, with women fighting against dominating patriarchal leaders in both the mortal and witch worlds.

A Christmas special episode, A Midwinter’s Tale, will be released on December 14th, and the second part of the first season is scheduled for release on April 5, 2019. Experience Tati Gabrielle’s fierceness in this spellbinding  show!

Selected Sources:
* Mochi Magazine, Actress Tati Gabrielle on Girl Power and Finding Identity“, October 12, 2018.
* Status Magazine, “Tati Gabrielle Unveils the Magic of her Artistic Journey“, October 1, 2018.

Two Blasian “Asias” Strive for Fame

A new show about a Blasian in search of fame aired on Lifetime in the summer of 2014. Raising Asia is a docuseries that debuted on July 29. Season 1 included 13 episodes that aired through September 9. The show follows the daily life of Asia Monet Ray, a nine year old dancer, and her family. Asia’s father, Shawn Ray (African American) is a former professional bodybuilder who was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame of professional bodybuilding in January 2007. Her mother, Kristie (Alvarado) Ray, is of Filipino and Mexican descent and was a fitness model and bodybuilder. Raising Asia is a spin-off of Dance Moms. Dance Moms, currently in its 5th season, follows the Abby Lee Dance Company’s Junior Elite Competition Team of 9-13 year old girls. Asia was discovered via YouTube and was selected to appear on the reality show, Abby Lee’s Ultimate Dance Competition, and placed 3rd in the competition. She went on to appear in season 3 of Dance Moms, which led to her getting her own show.

Asia Monet Ray is not the 1st blasian Asia on reality TV.  Back in 2007, Asia Nitollano appeared on The CW’s The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll. The 9 episode series followed 9 finalists auditioning to join The Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls were an American pop girl group and dance ensemble founded as a burlesque troupe. The contestants lived together during the series and were groomed by the group’s founder, Robin Antin. The girls were judged on their vocal and dancing ability. During the season finale of the show, Asia Nitollano was chosen to become the newest member of the group and performed with The Pussycat Dolls. Here’s a clip from Asia’s performance with The Pussycat Dolls. Asia is the daughter of Joe Bataan (born Bataan Nitollano), a Latin soul musician born to a Filipino father and an African American mother. “My father was Filipino, my mother was African American, and my culture was Puerto Rican,” Joe has said. Asia’s mother is Puerto Rican. Asia only performed live with The Pussycat Dolls only twice. Soon after her selection as the 7th Pussycat Doll, Asia decided to pursue a solo career and is working on her solo album, although she is unsigned. She is also a professional dancer, formerly of the New York Knicks City Dancers. Since the airing of the show, The Pussycat Dolls have disbanded.

First Blasian Contestant on AsNTM2

Marie Nakagawa with the flags of Senegal & Japan

Season 2 of Asia’s Next Top Model featured blasian contestant, Marie Nakagawa, of Japan.  Born to a Senegalese father and a Japanese mother, Marie has often been mistaken for a non-Japanese due to her mixed heritage.  Marie was often bullied by her peers during her childhood in Tokyo.  In her Intro video for AsNTM, Marie discusses the difficulties she experienced as a blasian child in Japan.

Filmed in Malaysia, Asia’s Next Top Model (cycle 2) premiered on January 8, 2014 on STAR World Asia and Fox Asia.  Sixteen women from across the Asia-Pacific region participated in the televised contest.  prior to her elimination.  She was in the bottom 3 in Episode 2 and was the first to be given a second chance.  She was the first call out, selected for best photo in Episode 4, Episode 7, and Episode 8.

Episode 4: The Girl That Embraces Change
Episode 7: The Girl Who is in the Spotlight
Episode 8: The Girl Who Makes a Splash

Marie posted the following on her Facebook page on January 22, 2014, discussing her desire to help Japan recognize the diversity of beauty.

“Japan really needs to realize that FASHION should be equal to any races and I’m hoping that Japanese fashion industry will be more open mind to those colored race as well. Trust me, I am giving my all to change Japan for all those young girls looking up to Japanese Fashion Industry Which They only Have Either white or light Skin tone Damn too skinny and cute Eyes Big Girls That says and Represent and Being told as the definition of World’s Standard BEAUTY” Which IS Totally not. Their only to BE Admire.
We Live in Japan, but we ALSO Live in the World.
non of US in the World IS Same. We all Have Different skin color, we all have different eye color hair colors and everything and WE ALL DIFFERENT that’s exactly why we should accept the beauty each other and we NEVER EVER have to set the definition of beauty by skin color or the size of the eyes or big teeth Small teeth skinny or Chubby or whatever the reason Stupid Which we should Never Compared to and by Judges.

Blasian to Star in Nick At Nite Pilot

Nick At Nite has announced a new show called Instant Mom.  The show will star Tia Mowry and is about a 25-year-old party girl who marries an older man with kids and becomes an “instant mom”.  Sydney Park has been cast as the eldest child and only daughter, Gabrielle (Gabby).
Syd & mom, Kelly

Sydney was born in Philadelphia, PA on October 31, 1997 to a Korean American father and African American mother.  At the age of 6, using the moniker “Syd the Kid”, she became the youngest person ever to perform stand up comedy at the world famous Hollywood Improv.  She has also displayed her comedic talents on “America’s Got Talent” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.  As an actress, she has appeared in “That’s So Raven” and “CSI: NY”.  In 2011, she starred in her one-girl show “Young, Gifted, Half Black” at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade at the age of 13.

Instant Mom will premiere on Sunday, September 29, 2013.  Check it out at Nick Mom TV.  

Monday, September 2, 2013