Diana Chan (@hidianachan) is a comedian and writer originally from Los Angeles and now based in Brooklyn. She’s an editor at Flexx, a satire website for people of color, and was previously a sketch-comedy writer for BoogieManja. Her work has been featured at the PIT, Upright Citizens Brigade, Diverse as Fuck Festival, Quickie Fest, and WhoHaHa.
This week, Diana and I chatted about perpetual BV, funny teens, and explaining online dating to immigrant moms.
What motivated you to pursue comedy?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, and during college I was watching a ton of TV shows and just floored by how good and funny the writing was. Every time I’d look up where a TV writer or actor got their start, it would always be at UCB. So after I graduated I started taking some classes at UCB in L.A., then I moved to New York shortly after and continued classes here. Comedy writing to me has always felt like the perfect intersection of popular culture and social commentary.
Shoutout to my bacterial vaginosis sufferers out there. BV is the bane of my existence. I’ve had it for almost a year now and I’ve tried everything to get rid of it. At this point I’ll probably die with it. It is a part of me now. I am BV. The latest thing my urologist prescribed me for it was a probiotic suppository pill, which I promptly Googled only to discover it also doubles as roach poison. You have to laugh! I was thinking about all the things I’ve put up there for treatment (and for fun!) but this one tops them all.
Has social media been beneficial to your comedy career at all? Has it changed your sense of humor in any way?
I’ve gotten a couple fun opportunities from social media! I think the best thing about it is being able to read and follow other really funny people. Why is everyone on Twitter so funny?? I’m not quite sure in what way it’s changed my sense of humor, but it definitely helps to see what goes viral on Twitter and what other people are finding funny.
I love this because it sounds like something a stoned teenage boy would tweet, and no one is funnier than teens. That’s why they’re all owning us on TikTok right now. Unfortunately, I also legitimately did not know why it was called a space heater until about five years ago. Do you know that Roman Roy from Succession quote, “I’m dumb but I’m smart”? I’ve never related to a quote more, except maybe I’m just dumb?
As someone who hosts shows, writes satire and sketches, and performs comedy, what would you consider your favorite? Do you ever find it difficult to balance it all?
Writing is where I feel most comfortable. I didn’t know how much I would enjoy satire writing in particular, but I’ve had a lot of fun skewing a topical subject or stereotype into satire. I especially love reading and editing submissions for Flexx — because we’re specifically for people of color, we get a lot of unique and hilarious submissions from a point of view you really aren’t seeing anywhere else.
How did Flexx come to be?
Flexx is the brainchild of my very good friend Milly Tamarez, who then pulled together a small group of comedians to be editors, myself included. We’ve been operating for about two years now, writing, editing, reading submissions, and working on our live show. I really love being a space for people of color who don’t get to see their work published elsewhere.
Every 25th or so of the month, I’m like, Wow, am I … rich? Then the 1st hits and I remember, Oh that’s right, I’m not. I tweeted this during one month where I was like, Actually I’m not mad about paying rent this month. I’m not a thousandaire and I don’t deserve to be tricked into thinking I am! So THANK YOU NYC landlords for giving it to me straight.
Any other tips on how to stay humble?
Cold showers. Walking in pouring rain without an umbrella. Having a baby throw up on you. Explaining online dating to your immigrant mom. Anything that is humiliating. I don’t do any of these things though, I just continue to live in my delusions.
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