Before 3 Body Problem and the MCU Benedict Wong Was in British Comedies



  • Benedict Wong’s iconic performance as Wong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made him a major star globally.
  • Wong delighted fans by using his natural Mancunian accent in FX’s
    What We Do In the Shadows
  • Before his Marvel fame, Wong had notable roles in quirky British comedies like
    The IT Crowd
    The Wrong Mans

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has propelled Benedict Wong into the Hollywood spotlight. Wong’s iconic performance as… well, Wong has become so beloved that many fans don’t actually know the actor is British. Having appeared in both Doctor Strange and its sequel, as well as Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, Wong has become synonymous with the character. Wong has also had notable roles in Ridley Scott’s The Martian and Netflix’s Marco Polo.

Fans were delighted and surprised to hear Wong acting in his natural Mancunian (Manchester, England) accent when he cameoed in FX’s What We Do In the Shadows. Wong appeared in one episode as an English necromancer hired by the vampiric group to reanimate their favorite familiar. Benedict Wong now stars in Netflix’s newest sci-fi series, 3 Body Problem, and can again bring his natural accent to the screen. But before Wong became a major star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Netflix’s new sci-fi hit, he was famous for appearing in quirky British comedies.

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When Benedict Wong first appeared in Doctor Strange in 2016, the most prominent question asked across British cinemas was, “Is that the guy from The IT Crowd?” Despite only having a small role in the series, Wong stole the show in his Countdown-themed episode.

The IT Crowd in question is undoubtedly the far superior British version. The show aired on Channel 4 in 2006 and ran for four seasons. The series starred a who’s who of British comedians, including Katherine Parkinson (Humans), Richard Ayoade (Submarine), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Noel Fielding (The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin), and Matt Berry (What We Do In the Shadows). Nestled among that cast for a single episode was Wong.


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In the Season 4 episode, titled ‘The Final Countdown,’ Moss (Richard Ayoade) applies to be on the popular British quiz show Countdown. Moss finds immense success, winning eight games and being invited to the prestigious ‘8+ club.’ There, he meets a mysterious, Morpheus-inspired character called Prime, played by none other than Benedict Wong. Prime is one of the leaders of the club and welcomes Moss, who becomes his friend and helps him when he is challenged to a game of Street Countdown by Negative One (David Crow). For those who don’t know what Street Countdown is, Prime explains, “It’s more or less the same as normal countdown, except we play it on the street.”

“The first rule of Street Countdown is… that you really must try and tell as many people as possible about it. It’s a rather fun game!”

The episode is a fan favorite, with many proclaiming it to be the best in the entire show. Wong’s equally silly and ominous performance as Prime elevates the dry humor the series is known for. In an interview with The Hook to promote 3 Body Problem, Wong said he still gets recognized for the brief role. While on his way to meet Laurence Fishburne, Wong said, “A car drove past and went ‘Street Countdown!'”

Benedict Wong’s Has Appeared in Major British Comedies

While his career wasn’t exclusively defined by comedic performances, Benedict Wong has appeared in a surprising number of iconic British comedies. Before his role in The IT Crowd, Wong appeared in The Peter Serafinowicz Show. In this classic British sketch show, Wong played various roles, including the Dalai Lama in the first episode. The show was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Comedy Series in 2007. Sadly, the series only ran for one season.

Wong followed The IT Crowd with two minor roles in major blockbuster comedies. He briefly appeared in Kick-Ass 2, the follow-up to Matthew Vaughn’s genre-redefining Kick-Ass. Wong then returned to his British roots, appearing in Johnny English Reborn. Wong changed from his typical supporting role to portray the film’s overarching villain, Chi Han Ly.


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One of Wong’s best comedic roles is The Wrong Mans, an extremely underrated BBC comedy. The show stars James Cordon (The Late Late Show) and Mathew Baynton (Ghosts) as two dead-end council workers who become involved in a crime after a case of mistaken identity. Wong is featured as a fellow council worker who is forced to make awkward small talk with the pair as they try to escape the false accusations.

Wong’s role in 3 Body Problem has provided the British star with some opportunities to flex his comedic skills. Despite the world’s fate being on the line, Da Shi (Wong) still delivers stereotypically British dry jokes while investigating the mysterious deaths of scientists. 3 Body Problem also finally provides Wong to pay homage to his Morpheus-inspired character in The IT Crowd, with 3 Body Problem being a hard science-fiction series. Stream 3 Body Problem on Netflix now.



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