HomeAAPI ActorsJimmy O'Yang's Journey From Comedian to Cook

Jimmy O’Yang’s Journey From Comedian to Cook

by Erin Chew, AsAmNews Contributor

Jimmy O’Yang is the modern leading man who can do it all. Not only is he a comedian, actor, writer, creator and YouTuber, but he is also now a novice home cook. Yes, you have heard that right – Jimmy O’Yang now has his own cooking YouTube channel called “Jimmy’s Kitchen”, where he learns how to make different cuisines from various Chefs.

O’Yang started sharing his love for cooking during the pandemic by making videos. It was a fun way to connect with others and have people over at his house to hang out. He felt it was important to keep his creative juices flowing.

In a recent episode, O’Yang partnered with Panda Express where he learned how to make their newest American Chinese dish – ‘Wok Fried Shrimp’.

“Panda’s Executive Director of Culinary Innovation Jimmy Wang taught me the intricacies of wok cooking and how to achieve “Wok Hei,” or breath of the wok, which describes the sear and smokiness in the dish from traditional wok cooking that Panda is known for,” said O’Yang.

“Till now, I am still excited about cooking and learning with Jimmy [Wang], and these are tips I will take away as I continue my cooking journey.”

Watching the episodes of “Jimmy’s Kitchen”, there is a lot to feel hungry for. More importantly, it retains the traits O’Yang is known for – and that is being funny. In actual fact, comedy was his starting point in a journey to understand who he is/was and creating his own community.

“I was bored, and I tried different things to find a community for life after college, because I couldn’t imagine just sitting behind a desk working a 9-5 my whole life,” Jimmy said.

“And one of the things I tried was standup, the most exciting thing wasn’t going on stage but it was the comradery after the shows – comedians hanging out, talking about jokes, talking about how they bombed – I loved that, I felt like I found a community. So I started going to open mics every night.”

O’Yang mentions that for him acting was a natural progression from comedy and that the two help him hone his skills.

“The transition to acting just kind of naturally happened. I started auditioning but I wasn’t very good, auditioning is a weird sport in itself. So I worked really hard at that and really dove into the craft of acting.”

He scored his first acting gig in 2012 on “2 Broke Girls” and played Tang-See in season 9 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He also appeared in an episode of Criminal Minds, and New Girl.

But, his real big acting break came with the comedy series “Silicon Valley” in 2014, where he was promoted to a series regular by season 2. From here, his career has flourished with acting roles in Crazy Rich Asians (2018), Netflix comedy series Space Force (2019), and playing in his first romantic film Netflix’s Love Hard.

“I love it, it’s quite different than standup but they do help one another. It’s like being a good basketball player doesn’t necessarily make you a good football player, but it helps to be athletic,” he said.

Episodes of “Jimmy’s Kitchen” can be found on his YouTube channel “Jimmy O’Yang”, including the episode where he partners with Panda Express.

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