Nguyen Nguyen Situasian: Asian American Comedians

Kristina Wong is a Chinese-American writer, performer, comedian, actor and activist born and raised in San Francisco, California. Wong has been a keynote speaker at the APA High School Conference at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, APA Women’s Conference at Michigan State University and at University of California, Los Angeles’ Department of English commencement ceremony. (At the UCLA Department of English commencement ceremony, James Franco bashed Wong’s Commencement Speech…ouch.) Wong has also performed at countless theaters and college campus across the nation. 

Wong’s solo performances include Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Free?, Whoring for Hollywood! Kristina Wong’s Big Hollywood Showcase!, Cat Lady, and Going Green the Wong Way. 

Wong does not only perform on stage, but she takes performance acting to a whole other level by performing guerilla theatre. One of Wong’s characters is named Fannie Wong. Fannie Wong is the self-proclaimed former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up. Fannie is the opposite of what ethnic beauty pageants look for. Fannie talks with a rough New York accent and carries around a fake cigar. The former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up makes “celebrity appearances” AKA crashes Miss Chinatown events. Unknown to many, the character Fannie Wong stirred up some controversy by crashing the Chinatown New Year Parade. The committee behind the Chinatown Parade demanded that Wong take off her fake Ms. Chinatown slash, claiming that Fannie Wong misrepresented Ms. Chinatown. Wong was forcibly removed from the parade due to her guerilla theatre performance of Fannie Wong. The first clip shows Wong performing as Fannie Wong. 



In addition to performing, Wong holds workshops and lectures. The content of Wong’s workshops ranges from performance to DIY crafting. Through attendance of Wong’s workshops, attendees can learn about Kristina’s art, improv, performance, ethnic studies and women’s studies.
For a college project at UCLA, Wong created the site entitled Big Bad Chinese Mama. Big Bad Chinese Mama is what Wong calls a “mock mail order bride website.” Through the utilization of satire, Wong criticizes the racialized and erotized stereotypes of Asian women. Through Big Bad Chinese Mama, Wong asserts that Asian women are not the subservient and meek lotus flowers that mainstream society has portrayed as them to be. In addition, she also slams white men who desire to order mail order brides. The website features pictures of Wong’s Asian female friends and fans pretending to beat up their white husbands-to-be. Also Wong has created fake profiles of mail order brides. The pictures of the mail order brides portray Asian women  with purposely unattractive facial expressions. The biographies of the mail order brides are written in broken English and mockingly reaffirm or contrast white males’ sexualized and racialized expectations of Asian women. 

In this clip, Kristina spoofs the Debbie Spenditnow Superbowl commercial. Originally, the commercial showed an Asian woman (with a fake Asian accent) in an Asian country talking about Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, otherwise known in the commercial as “Debbie Spenditnow.” In the spoof, the director is frustrated that Wong is not using the right accent for the commercial. The director wants to channel what he considers to be an East Asian accent, but whenever he inquires Wong to change her accent, she changes it to something that the director does not expect.

Kristina Wong is a Chinese-American writer, performer, comedian, actor and activist born and raised in San Francisco, California. Wong has been a keynote speaker at the APA High School Conference at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, APA Women’s Conference at Michigan State University and at University of California, Los Angeles’ Department of English commencement ceremony. (At the UCLA Department of English commencement ceremony, James Franco bashed Wong’s Commencement Speech…ouch.) Wong has also performed at countless theaters and college campus across the nation.

Wong’s solo performances include Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Free?, Whoring for Hollywood! Kristina Wong’s Big Hollywood Showcase!, Cat Lady, and Going Green the Wong Way.

Wong does not only perform on stage, but she takes performance acting to a whole other level by performing guerilla theatre. One of Wong’s characters is named Fannie Wong. Fannie Wong is the self-proclaimed former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up. Fannie is the opposite of what ethnic beauty pageants look for. Fannie talks with a rough New York accent and carries around a fake cigar. The former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up makes “celebrity appearances” AKA crashes Miss Chinatown events. Unknown to many, the character Fannie Wong stirred up some controversy by crashing the Chinatown New Year Parade. The committee behind the Chinatown Parade demanded that Wong take off her fake Ms. Chinatown slash, claiming that Fannie Wong misrepresented Ms. Chinatown. Wong was forcibly removed from the parade due to her guerilla theatre performance of Fannie Wong. The first clip shows Wong performing as Fannie Wong.

In addition to performing, Wong holds workshops and lectures. The content of Wong’s workshops ranges from performance to DIY crafting. Through attendance of Wong’s workshops, attendees can learn about Kristina’s art, improv, performance, ethnic studies and women’s studies.
For a college project at UCLA, Wong created the site entitled Big Bad Chinese Mama. Big Bad Chinese Mama is what Wong calls a “mock mail order bride website.” Through the utilization of satire, Wong criticizes the racialized and erotized stereotypes of Asian women. Through Big Bad Chinese Mama, Wong asserts that Asian women are not the subservient and meek lotus flowers that mainstream society has portrayed as them to be. In addition, she also slams white men who desire to order mail order brides. The website features pictures of Wong’s Asian female friends and fans pretending to beat up their white husbands-to-be. Also Wong has created fake profiles of mail order brides. The pictures of the mail order brides portray Asian women with purposely unattractive facial expressions. The biographies of the mail order brides are written in broken English and mockingly reaffirm or contrast white males’ sexualized and racialized expectations of Asian women.

In this clip, Kristina spoofs the Debbie Spenditnow Superbowl commercial. Originally, the commercial showed an Asian woman (with a fake Asian accent) in an Asian country talking about Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, otherwise known in the commercial as “Debbie Spenditnow.” In the spoof, the director is frustrated that Wong is not using the right accent for the commercial. The director wants to channel what he considers to be an East Asian accent, but whenever he inquires Wong to change her accent, she changes it to something that the director does not expect.


David So

Essentially that’s what comedy does - it helps you laugh at things that you wouldn’t normally laugh about." ~ David So


At age 23, Korean American comedian David So has been a standup comedian since 2008 in the city of Sacramento. So originally started of as a musician which eventually led to his transition from a musician to a comedian. Before performing on shows where he would strictly perform music So would talk to the audience and make jokes in order to overcome his nerves and warm himself up to the crowds. Gradually, as time passed by, comedy and music both became a part of his performance. During one particular performance where he had to go back to strictly performing music So decided to do standup comedy instead after just 10 minutes of singing on the stage, and thus officially began his career as a comedian.

So began focusing solely on a career in standup comedy at age 20 basing his comedy off of his life - things he thought about, hypothetical situations, and his experiences. Unfortunately pursuing this profession proved to be quite difficult for him as he was a full-time student, working at his parents’ beauty supply store, and two other part time jobs at the time. As a dedicated full time student at Sacramento State So was limited by his work and school schedule when performing in bigger cities outside Sacramento. To So “it was essentially a test to see if (his) material worked in his small niche and in a larger audience" (So).

After a viral video happened to So he began uploading and publishing videos on a regular basis, taking advantage of the opportunity that was presented towards him. So understood the value of social media and social networking way before uploading his videos onto YouTube. In So’s words

social media is very powerful, especially nowadays - it’s a beast. If you’re not on social media, then what are you doing? Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr - all this stuff is connected. When I was going to write my piece on the sociology of pop culture, I looked into all the social media facets [and] I found out the power of YouTube. You have to really take [these tools] into your hands and push it; if you let it go away, and the spark dies, then you’ll find yourself back at square one.

As a standup comedian So doesn’t like to plan too many of his acts before his performances so about 50% of his act is improv while the other 50% is planned - but this mostly depends on how long his performances are. For longer sets a good majority of it must be planned out to make sure he doesn’t run out of material. For shorter sets, about 8 minutes or so, So just performs through improv by feeling the demographics and age of the crowd. As So states, “ethnicity and age are two big things in comedy, depending on how your jokes are going to be received. You really have to feel your crowd and demographic and work off that.


The following video is David So’s most popular video on his YouTube channel where he responds to a situation from last year where a former UCLA student, Alexandra Wallace, rants about Asians in the library.


This is So’s second most popular video where he addresses Asian stereotypes:


By: Stephanie


Kal Penn (April 23, 1977)

Kalpen Suresh Modi, best known by his stage name Kal Penn, is an American film and television actor, producer, and civil servant. He was born to a Hindu family in Montclair, New Jersey. During his high school years, he attended a specialized program called The Fine and Performing Arts Academy at Howell High School. Penn then went on to attend UCLA to double major in film and sociology. His debut film appearance came in 1998 in Express: Aisle to Glory, followed by several notable film appearances such as National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Superman Returns, Epic Movie, and the Harold and Kumar series. He has also been on the shows House, How I Met Your Mother, and 24, including accepting the role of a teenage terrorist in the first four episodes of the sixth season of 24. When asked about his terrorist role in 2007, Penn says he nearly turned it down due to personal ethics and political reasons, viewing it as accepting racial profiling. However he also viewed it as an opportunity to blow things up and take a family hostage, and therefore accepted the role. He somewhat had a sarcastic tone, saying “As an actor, why shouldn’t I have that opportunity? Because I’m brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and people’s thought processes?” This demonstrates a unique approach of accepting a role most would see as racial profiling, and putting a positive spin to it by talking about what he gets to do in that role. It is also an example of Asian Americans facing stereotypes in mainstream entertainment, leading to limited roles based on those stereotypes. 
Penn is also very involved in the political community and has had several stints working under President Obama. He has bounced around from working on shows and movies to working in office campaigning for Obama. This is an example of breaking the Bamboo Ceiling in a way because Asian Americans have not held many positions in political office.
Another interesting fact is that Kalpen Suresh Modi derived his acting name, Kal Penn, because he was told that an anglicized name would appeal more to a white-dominated industry. Consequently, his audition callbacks increased by 50 percent. This can relate to the idea of white privilege, which is the idea that whites have a greater advantage and status in society. While he uses “Kal Penn” for professional purposes, he generally prefers his birth name. Outside of politics and entertainment, Penn was a visiting lecturer in 2008 for an Asian American Studies course at the University of Pennsylvania titled “Images of Asian Americans in the Media.”

This clip I posted below is a collection of several scenes from the  “Harold & Kumar” series, which display stereotypes directed at Indian-Americans. Examples of stereotypes shown include an Indian working at a convenience store and the assumption of Indian parents being strict when it comes to the topic of sex

-Sadegh

Kal Penn (April 23, 1977)

Kalpen Suresh Modi, best known by his stage name Kal Penn, is an American film and television actor, producer, and civil servant. He was born to a Hindu family in Montclair, New Jersey. During his high school years, he attended a specialized program called The Fine and Performing Arts Academy at Howell High School. Penn then went on to attend UCLA to double major in film and sociology. His debut film appearance came in 1998 in Express: Aisle to Glory, followed by several notable film appearances such as National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Superman Returns, Epic Movie, and the Harold and Kumar series. He has also been on the shows House, How I Met Your Mother, and 24, including accepting the role of a teenage terrorist in the first four episodes of the sixth season of 24. When asked about his terrorist role in 2007, Penn says he nearly turned it down due to personal ethics and political reasons, viewing it as accepting racial profiling. However he also viewed it as an opportunity to blow things up and take a family hostage, and therefore accepted the role. He somewhat had a sarcastic tone, saying “As an actor, why shouldn’t I have that opportunity? Because I’m brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and people’s thought processes?” This demonstrates a unique approach of accepting a role most would see as racial profiling, and putting a positive spin to it by talking about what he gets to do in that role. It is also an example of Asian Americans facing stereotypes in mainstream entertainment, leading to limited roles based on those stereotypes.
Penn is also very involved in the political community and has had several stints working under President Obama. He has bounced around from working on shows and movies to working in office campaigning for Obama. This is an example of breaking the Bamboo Ceiling in a way because Asian Americans have not held many positions in political office.
Another interesting fact is that Kalpen Suresh Modi derived his acting name, Kal Penn, because he was told that an anglicized name would appeal more to a white-dominated industry. Consequently, his audition callbacks increased by 50 percent. This can relate to the idea of white privilege, which is the idea that whites have a greater advantage and status in society. While he uses “Kal Penn” for professional purposes, he generally prefers his birth name. Outside of politics and entertainment, Penn was a visiting lecturer in 2008 for an Asian American Studies course at the University of Pennsylvania titled “Images of Asian Americans in the Media.”

This clip I posted below is a collection of several scenes from the “Harold & Kumar” series, which display stereotypes directed at Indian-Americans. Examples of stereotypes shown include an Indian working at a convenience store and the assumption of Indian parents being strict when it comes to the topic of sex

-Sadegh


Hey everyone! 
We have a big announcement. We hope that you guys are just as excited as we are about this announcement!

NGUYEN NGUYEN SITUASIAN’S FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!

That is correct, ladies and gentlemen, we are holding a giveaway!
Here are the rules:

Start Day: Tuesday, June 6, 2012End Day: Friday, June 15, 2012 ( 11:59 PM PST )Who is eligible? Anyone who follows us on tumblr, twitter or FacebookWhat is the prize? A brand new 8gb silver APPLE iPod Nano 6th Generation! What do I have to do to enter the giveaway? Answer two of the questions up above on the graphic! Post your answers either as a comment on our Facebook page [ facebook.com/nguyenguyensituasian ] or reblog this post and post your comment when you reblog! Why are you holding this giveaway? We think that it is important to have the followers involved. We may be the ones posting the content, but you guys are the ones reading it. We want to know how you are reacting to the comedians we are posting about. Also it is a fun way to interact with our followers!How will the winner be chosen? While this whole giveaway is going on, we will be keeping track of who entered the giveaway. On Saturday, June 16, 2012, we will use a random number generator to choose the winner! The winner will be contacted promptly on Saturday for mailing information and such! Other details: Unfortunately, this giveaway is not international. Sorry guys! But I figure the majority of our followers are in California, so that shouldn’t matter! And you can only enter ONE TIME. Please do not try entering on both tumblr and Facebook. 

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to post them via tumblr, twitter or Facebook! Spread the word and let your friends know about Nguyen Nguyen Situasian's giveaway! MUCH LOVE. 
And to all the UC students out there, good luck on finals! View Larger

Hey everyone!
We have a big announcement. We hope that you guys are just as excited as we are about this announcement!

NGUYEN NGUYEN SITUASIAN’S FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!

That is correct, ladies and gentlemen, we are holding a giveaway!
Here are the rules:

Start Day: Tuesday, June 6, 2012
End Day: Friday, June 15, 2012 ( 11:59 PM PST )
Who is eligible? Anyone who follows us on tumblr, twitter or Facebook
What is the prize? A brand new 8gb silver APPLE iPod Nano 6th Generation!
What do I have to do to enter the giveaway? Answer two of the questions up above on the graphic! Post your answers either as a comment on our Facebook page [ facebook.com/nguyenguyensituasian ] or reblog this post and post your comment when you reblog!
Why are you holding this giveaway? We think that it is important to have the followers involved. We may be the ones posting the content, but you guys are the ones reading it. We want to know how you are reacting to the comedians we are posting about. Also it is a fun way to interact with our followers!
How will the winner be chosen? While this whole giveaway is going on, we will be keeping track of who entered the giveaway. On Saturday, June 16, 2012, we will use a random number generator to choose the winner! The winner will be contacted promptly on Saturday for mailing information and such!
Other details: Unfortunately, this giveaway is not international. Sorry guys! But I figure the majority of our followers are in California, so that shouldn’t matter! And you can only enter ONE TIME. Please do not try entering on both tumblr and Facebook.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to post them via tumblr, twitter or Facebook! Spread the word and let your friends know about Nguyen Nguyen Situasian's giveaway! MUCH LOVE.
And to all the UC students out there, good luck on finals!


Steve Byrne was born on July 21, 1974 

Steve Byrne was born in Freehold, NJ. His mother is Korean and his father is Irish. Steve went to Hampton High School and has family relations with the US Army. In addition to comedy, he enjoys hockey on his off-time. Steve has made a name for himself through his high-energy and physical style of comedy. His father is known by many to consistently provide Steve a wealth of comedic material for his standup. Steve studied theater at Kent State University and was introduced to standup by working at a Caroline’s in New York City. He did his first performance was at Stand Up New York evening of September 1997 and was addicted to getting up on stage as much as he could. Comedy Critics say “he spent the first seven years working seven days a week, working every single evening he could” regardless of observed holidays. In 2003, Steve decided on an offshoot by filming the documentary, 13 or Bust. This film is available free on iTunes’ podcast. This is his successful attempt to do 13 shows in one night at every comedy club in Manhattan. In 2006 he was awarded an opportunity to do a half hour special on Comedy Central which led to a full hour special in 2008.

Comedy Central Stand-Up
Get More: Jokes,Joke of the Day,Funny Jokes

Steve Byrne’s lack of ego and work ethic has is well known within the industry and has helped him become one of today’s most respected comedians. He was recently award the opportunity to diversify on the big screen. Steve appeared in the recent hit comedy blockbuster Couple’s Retreat, Four Christmas’ and The Goods… To his fans Steve comes across as a genuinely nice guy and his WTF Podcast interview alone is fuel for rooting success. His show, The Byrne Identity jokes about racial stereotypes seemed to have subtle inferences of how Steve wanting to pull away from the comedy and do more spoken material. Much of Steve’s material is safe and comes across as pandering - as if the comedian was thinking, “this sounds like something they’ll laugh at,” rather than material that gives the viewer an idea of what the Byrne Identity actually is. In the end, Steve has great tags, is visually entertaining to watch, and knows when to escalate a punch line. -Sherman

JUSTKIDDINGFILMS

According to the founders Bart Kwan and Joe Jo, JustKiddingFilms was founded on “the principle of promoting cultural unity using comedy as the vessel”. Due to their similar experiences while growing up in the streets, both Bart and Joe share a chemistry that allows them to approach comedy in a funny and new way. Also excelling in higher education, the duo’s videos captured and played to universal sentiments while also boldly addressing contemporary, social, and cultural issues. Their concept helped them gain an international fan base with over 440,000 subscribers on YouTube. Due to popular demand, JustKiddingFilms have also received numerous invitations to headline events on university campuses, perform internationally, participate on panels at annual film festivals, and to collaborate with award-winning directors, producers, comedians, and musicians.

The following videos are two of the most popular videos on JustKiddingFilm’s YouTube page.

The first video is “Shit Asian Dads Say” which was inspired by another YouTube video “Shit Girls Say”. The video has gained over 5.5 million views so far.

The second video is a sequel to the video above as it is the female version. The video has gained over 4.6 million views so far.

Both videos addresses cultural issues and exaggerates Asian stereotypes about Asian parents and also their relationships with their children.

-Stephanie


Born on July 13, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan. Ken Jeong is a Korean American comedian and actor. Through his numerous accomplishments as a teenager, Jeong could be viewed as an exemplary Asian American. He was a member of the High IQ team, violin player in the orchestra, student council member and winner of Greensboro’s Youth of the Year award. To add on to all of that, Jeong also graduated high school at the mere age of 16. 

Jeong may be well known for his roles as Leslie Chang in The Hangover and Ben Chang (Señor Chang) in Community, but Jeong was well known in the comedy community prior to the release of both The Hangover and Community. 

Jeong was known in the comedy community as Dr. Ken. You might wonder, why Dr. Ken? Well, that’s because Jeong is a licensed internal medicine doctor.  Jeong attended Duke University for undergraduate and then received his medical degree at University of North Carolina. As an undergraduate, Jeong became avidly involved in theatre, but due to the intensity of his studies as a medical student, Jeong was unable to pursue theatre during med school. Although he could no longer pursue theatre, Jeong started doing stand-up comedy. Jeong completed his internal medicine residency Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans. 

Although he was a licensed internal medicine doctor, Jeong had a dream to become an actor and a comedian. After winning the Big Easy Laff-Off, his dream was set into motion. Jeong has made various cameos on popular TV shows, such as MADtv, Two and a Half Men, The Office and Entourage.  Jeong’s appearance in the film Knocked Up was his first breakthrough into Hollywood. Yet his role as Leslie Chow in The Hangover is what made Jeong into a household name across America. 

Ever since the release of The Hangover, Jeong has been faced with much scrutiny over the portrayal of Leslie Chow. Jeong has been criticized for playing the emasculated, Asian-accented gangster known as Leslie Chow. angry asian man expressed his disappointment that Jeong is most known for his stereotype perpetuating and Asian male emasculating role as Chow. In addition to Leslie Chow, there has been controversy over the character Ben Chang in Community. I do not find it necessary to go into detail as to why his character can be seen as a “racist” and “bad” portrayal of Asians. In an interview, Jeong describes the complexities of his character Señor Chang. Although he may not be a very good teacher, Señor Chang has been faced by the racial expectations. As an Asian American, Chang is expected to pursue an occupation that involves science, math or computers, and as a Spanish professor, Señor Chang tries to overcome racial limitations.

Dr. Ken’s stand-up comedy can most accurately be described as loud, tongue in cheek and 17+. From the moment, Jeong steps foot on stage, you know what you’re in for. For his performance on 1st Amendment Stand Up, Jeong side steps on stage, pounds his fist against his chest, chants his normal “HURH HURH HURH HURH,” while throwing up the West side gang sign. Upon grabbing the mic, Jeong continues to yell “HURH HURH HURH,” throws up the West side gang sign, shouts “Motherfuckin’ ruf ruf!,” and finally, smiles and bows as he thanks the audience. Dr. Ken may be criticized for being too “try hard,” but I think Dr. Ken’s pre-act antics are what characterize his comedy persona. Jeong’s comedy  centers around his profession as a doctor and being Asian American. 

In this video, Jeong discusses his recent marriage and Koreans and Vietnamese on the Kims of Comedy. The Kims of Comedy features Ken Jeong, Bobby Lee, Kevin Shea and Steve Byrne. 



- Sami Takahashi View Larger

Born on July 13, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan. Ken Jeong is a Korean American comedian and actor. Through his numerous accomplishments as a teenager, Jeong could be viewed as an exemplary Asian American. He was a member of the High IQ team, violin player in the orchestra, student council member and winner of Greensboro’s Youth of the Year award. To add on to all of that, Jeong also graduated high school at the mere age of 16.

Jeong may be well known for his roles as Leslie Chang in The Hangover and Ben Chang (Señor Chang) in Community, but Jeong was well known in the comedy community prior to the release of both The Hangover and Community.

Jeong was known in the comedy community as Dr. Ken. You might wonder, why Dr. Ken? Well, that’s because Jeong is a licensed internal medicine doctor. Jeong attended Duke University for undergraduate and then received his medical degree at University of North Carolina. As an undergraduate, Jeong became avidly involved in theatre, but due to the intensity of his studies as a medical student, Jeong was unable to pursue theatre during med school. Although he could no longer pursue theatre, Jeong started doing stand-up comedy. Jeong completed his internal medicine residency Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans.

Although he was a licensed internal medicine doctor, Jeong had a dream to become an actor and a comedian. After winning the Big Easy Laff-Off, his dream was set into motion. Jeong has made various cameos on popular TV shows, such as MADtv, Two and a Half Men, The Office and Entourage. Jeong’s appearance in the film Knocked Up was his first breakthrough into Hollywood. Yet his role as Leslie Chow in The Hangover is what made Jeong into a household name across America.

Ever since the release of The Hangover, Jeong has been faced with much scrutiny over the portrayal of Leslie Chow. Jeong has been criticized for playing the emasculated, Asian-accented gangster known as Leslie Chow. angry asian man expressed his disappointment that Jeong is most known for his stereotype perpetuating and Asian male emasculating role as Chow. In addition to Leslie Chow, there has been controversy over the character Ben Chang in Community. I do not find it necessary to go into detail as to why his character can be seen as a “racist” and “bad” portrayal of Asians. In an interview, Jeong describes the complexities of his character Señor Chang. Although he may not be a very good teacher, Señor Chang has been faced by the racial expectations. As an Asian American, Chang is expected to pursue an occupation that involves science, math or computers, and as a Spanish professor, Señor Chang tries to overcome racial limitations.

Dr. Ken’s stand-up comedy can most accurately be described as loud, tongue in cheek and 17+. From the moment, Jeong steps foot on stage, you know what you’re in for. For his performance on 1st Amendment Stand Up, Jeong side steps on stage, pounds his fist against his chest, chants his normal “HURH HURH HURH HURH,” while throwing up the West side gang sign. Upon grabbing the mic, Jeong continues to yell “HURH HURH HURH,” throws up the West side gang sign, shouts “Motherfuckin’ ruf ruf!,” and finally, smiles and bows as he thanks the audience. Dr. Ken may be criticized for being too “try hard,” but I think Dr. Ken’s pre-act antics are what characterize his comedy persona. Jeong’s comedy centers around his profession as a doctor and being Asian American.

In this video, Jeong discusses his recent marriage and Koreans and Vietnamese on the Kims of Comedy. The Kims of Comedy features Ken Jeong, Bobby Lee, Kevin Shea and Steve Byrne.

- Sami Takahashi


Dat Phan is a Vietnamese American stand-up comedian born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1975. He and his large family of his mother and nine siblings emigrated from South Vietnam to America when he was a child. Throughout his childhood, his family went through financial struggles. Dat grew up in City Heights, a part of San Diego known for its ethnic diversity and low income lifestyle. He then lived in Santee, a suburb city of San Diego, where he attended high school and was voted most successful of his class. He was also voted into the Walk of Fame of Grossmont College, where he attended community college. 

He began his career in 2003 when he participated and won the first season of NBC’s stand-up comedy competition reality show Last Comic Standing, despite being picked on by other contestants due to his comedy inexperience. This led him to make cameo appearances in a few Hollywood films such as Cellular(2004) and Love is the Drug(2005). Dat also has released his own DVD “Dat Phan: Live” and CD “You Touch, You Buy in January 2010. Furthermore, he is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition of The Top 10 Most Influential Vietnamese-American Individuals. Dat’s mission is to bring a more positive portrayal of Asian-Americans to mainstream entertainment and Hollywood. “We want to be seen as more than just martial artists, or bad stereotype token roles in American TV and Movies.” Outside of comedy, he has endorsed the Jade Ribbon Campaign to fight against hepatitis B and liver cancer. 

Dat Phan’s comedic style is observational comedy, using his cultural insight to inspect stereotypes from the perspective of a regular American guy with a Vietnamese heritage. This clip I present is an example of him acknowledging his own ethnicity’s stereotype while presenting his American side as well. 



-Sadegh

Dat Phan is a Vietnamese American stand-up comedian born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1975. He and his large family of his mother and nine siblings emigrated from South Vietnam to America when he was a child. Throughout his childhood, his family went through financial struggles. Dat grew up in City Heights, a part of San Diego known for its ethnic diversity and low income lifestyle. He then lived in Santee, a suburb city of San Diego, where he attended high school and was voted most successful of his class. He was also voted into the Walk of Fame of Grossmont College, where he attended community college.

He began his career in 2003 when he participated and won the first season of NBC’s stand-up comedy competition reality show Last Comic Standing, despite being picked on by other contestants due to his comedy inexperience. This led him to make cameo appearances in a few Hollywood films such as Cellular(2004) and Love is the Drug(2005). Dat also has released his own DVD “Dat Phan: Live” and CD “You Touch, You Buy in January 2010. Furthermore, he is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibition of The Top 10 Most Influential Vietnamese-American Individuals. Dat’s mission is to bring a more positive portrayal of Asian-Americans to mainstream entertainment and Hollywood. “We want to be seen as more than just martial artists, or bad stereotype token roles in American TV and Movies.” Outside of comedy, he has endorsed the Jade Ribbon Campaign to fight against hepatitis B and liver cancer.

Dat Phan’s comedic style is observational comedy, using his cultural insight to inspect stereotypes from the perspective of a regular American guy with a Vietnamese heritage. This clip I present is an example of him acknowledging his own ethnicity’s stereotype while presenting his American side as well.


-Sadegh


Aziz Ansari born February 23, 1983

Aziz Ansari was born in South Carolina. He attended Marlboro Academy in Bennettsville and eventually graduated with a business degree at New York University. His comedic identity is geared towards: pop culture in general, current social-media, and other celebs like R Kelly. He is known to mention his ethnicity on occasion, but he rarely makes jokes about growing up Indian. Comedy Central comments Aziz is part of a new breed of comedians leading the trend in stand-up where focus is placed on “satirical personal observation” as opposed to having traditional punch lines. Ansari began his career in the summer of 2001 performing standup comedy in New York. In 2007, he created and starred in MTV’s sketch comedy show Human Giant. He then released his debut CD/DVD, entitled Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening in January 2010 on Comedy Central Records. During 2010 and 2011, he performed his Dangerously Delicious tour. This tour was self-released for download on his website in March of 2012 and debuted on Comedy Central in May of 2012. Aziz is currently performing his third major tour of new material titled, Buried Alive.

Critics say his stand-up content is smart, fresh, and delivered in a high-energy nasal tone. By far the youngest comedian on the list at 26, the multi-talented Aziz has long career ahead of him and seems destined for the top. Unlike most Asian American comedians Aziz doesn’t do accents mainly he feels it’s too easy to get a laugh that way. With a strong appeal to the Daily Show/Colbert crowd, Aziz is at the forefront of a movement where laughs comes first and everything else second. Aziz may become the first successful Asian comedian where being Asian hardly even matters. -Sherman

Bobby Lee

Born in San Diego, California, Bobby Lee is an an Korean American actor and comedian who is best known as a cast member on MADtv. The oldest of two sons, Bobby attended Poway High School and moved out of his parents’ home after his graduation. While attending Palomar College he worked in restaurants and coffee shops around the San Diego area. Bobby began his career in standup comedy while working at The Comedy Store in San Diego also known as the La Jolla Comedy Store when he decided to try performing on one of their amateur nights. He began receiving offers to open for other standup comedians within a year of performing regular comedy sets. Bobby’s first offers were from Pauly Shore and Carlos Mencia.

Bobby became the first Asian American on the show when he joined the cast of MADtv in 2001. Some of his most notable roles on the show were Kim Jong-il, Connie Chung, Bae Sung, and John McCain. Bobby worked with the cast of MADtv until it’s cancellation in 2009. Bobby also took part of a standup comedy tour, Kims of Comedy, in 2005 along with Korean American comedians Steve Byrne, Ken Jeong, and Kevin Shea. As an actor, Bobby has appeared in the films Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, The Dictator, and Pineapple Express. Bobby has also appeared on television shows such as Mind of Mencia , Chelsea Lately, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Bobby’s parents, Jeanie and Robert Lee were clothing store owners who had stores in both Escondido and Encinitas, California. Bobby has revealed, in several interviews, that his parents weren’t supportive of his pursuit of a career in comedy. His parents had wished for him to continue with the family business. During his first few years of doing standup comedy performances his parents barely spoke to him. It wasn’t until after his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that his parents apologized for not supporting him and began speaking to him again.

Bobby has been known to include his family in some of his work. His family has appeared on MADtv in a skit on the show. His younger brother had also appeared in several skits on MADtv as an extra. His family also starred in a sitcom that he helped launch in 2007 on Comedy Central about a Korean family.

The following video is one of the skits from MADtv where Bobby plays the role of a translator at an airport.

-Stephanie


D’Lo is a transgender/queer Tamil Sri Lankan American.  Born and raised in Lancaster, California, known to D’Lo as “Sri Lancaster.” He has received a BA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and also graduated from SAE Institute’s New York’s School of Audio Engineering. As seen through D’Lo’s pursuit of higher education, his love for creating music is apparent.  As a master of all trades, D’Lo is a comedian, performer, writer, music producer, spoken word artist, and political activist. 

Aside from being a comedian, D’Lo is also a “political theatre artist/writer” and has created and facilitated various writing and public speaking workshops. His workshops are intended to spark inspiration and creativity, encourage acceptance of one’s self and create a sense of belonging and understanding.  

D’Lo is involved within the queer and South Asian communities.  He has collaborated with various community organizations, such as: Arpana Dance Company based in Southern California, SAART (South Asian Artist Collective),  SATAM, Satrang, and TeAda Productions. D’Lo is a former board member and a current advisory committee member for Satrang, a South Asian LGBTQIA organization located in Southern California. 

D’Lo has had various shows, such as: Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show, D’FaQTo Life, D’FunQT, and Minor D’Tales.  D’Lo has performed across the nation, from California to Minnesota to Louisiana to Massachusetts. 

Of the comedians chosen for this blog, D’Lo proves to be the underground unknown underdog of Asian American comedians. Searching D’Lo on YouTube and Google yields a significantly less amount of videos, images and websites. D’Lo may not have been featured on famous mainstream talk shows or have his material screened on Comedy Central. His material varies significantly from typical mainstream Asian American comedians. D’Lo discusses in depth his struggle with his religion, his family and his transgendered identity. 

In the first clip, D’Lo discusses growing up in America with his two strict Sri Lankan parents. During the clip, when impersonating his father and mother, he may use a Sri Lankan accent, but he does not do it to be racist and does not present his material in a manner that perpetuates Asian stereotypes; D’Lo utilizes the Sri Lankan accent in order to properly represent his first generation parents. 



In the second clip, D’Lo performs as his mother donning a black braided wig and a traditional Sri Lankan dress. D’Lo, as Amma, portrays Amma’s struggle with acceptance with D’Lo as a transgender queer. By the end of the clip, Amma realizes it is not about whether she should accept that D’Lo is queer, but she should accept D’Lo’s transgender identity because she loves him and he is her son. 



- Sami Takahashi

D’Lo is a transgender/queer Tamil Sri Lankan American. Born and raised in Lancaster, California, known to D’Lo as “Sri Lancaster.” He has received a BA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and also graduated from SAE Institute’s New York’s School of Audio Engineering. As seen through D’Lo’s pursuit of higher education, his love for creating music is apparent. As a master of all trades, D’Lo is a comedian, performer, writer, music producer, spoken word artist, and political activist.

Aside from being a comedian, D’Lo is also a “political theatre artist/writer” and has created and facilitated various writing and public speaking workshops. His workshops are intended to spark inspiration and creativity, encourage acceptance of one’s self and create a sense of belonging and understanding.

D’Lo is involved within the queer and South Asian communities. He has collaborated with various community organizations, such as: Arpana Dance Company based in Southern California, SAART (South Asian Artist Collective), SATAM, Satrang, and TeAda Productions. D’Lo is a former board member and a current advisory committee member for Satrang, a South Asian LGBTQIA organization located in Southern California.

D’Lo has had various shows, such as: Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show, D’FaQTo Life, D’FunQT, and Minor D’Tales. D’Lo has performed across the nation, from California to Minnesota to Louisiana to Massachusetts.

Of the comedians chosen for this blog, D’Lo proves to be the underground unknown underdog of Asian American comedians. Searching D’Lo on YouTube and Google yields a significantly less amount of videos, images and websites. D’Lo may not have been featured on famous mainstream talk shows or have his material screened on Comedy Central. His material varies significantly from typical mainstream Asian American comedians. D’Lo discusses in depth his struggle with his religion, his family and his transgendered identity.

In the first clip, D’Lo discusses growing up in America with his two strict Sri Lankan parents. During the clip, when impersonating his father and mother, he may use a Sri Lankan accent, but he does not do it to be racist and does not present his material in a manner that perpetuates Asian stereotypes; D’Lo utilizes the Sri Lankan accent in order to properly represent his first generation parents.

In the second clip, D’Lo performs as his mother donning a black braided wig and a traditional Sri Lankan dress. D’Lo, as Amma, portrays Amma’s struggle with acceptance with D’Lo as a transgender queer. By the end of the clip, Amma realizes it is not about whether she should accept that D’Lo is queer, but she should accept D’Lo’s transgender identity because she loves him and he is her son.

- Sami Takahashi


Russell Peters is a Canadian comedian with Anglo-Indian ancestry who began performing in Toronto in 1989. Since then, he has performed all over the world, with record sellouts for a comedian. Part of his rise to fame came from his 1997 performance, on the Canadian comedy TV series “Comedy Now!,” being uploaded to YouTube and becoming viral. Several YouTube users cut his 45 minute segment into snippets of specified cultural groups Peters would joke about, which would receive acclaim. 

Peters’ comedic style is mostly from observations where he uses humor to highlight racial, ethnic, class and cultural stereotypes. He also refers to experiences growing up in an Indian family to imitate his own upbringing, and likes to impersonate various English accents of different ethnic groups. Peters says his intention is to raise the ethnicity’s spirit through humor rather than trying to offend them. One notable quote of Peters is “I don’t make the stereotypes, I just see them.” This sums up his comedic style of observational comedy.

Russell Peters has hosted the 2006 Canada Day Comedy Festival and has gone on a 2007 USO tour to perform for the military. He also has performed in a radio comedy series, and has his own DVD and autobiography. 

The following YouTube video is from his comedy special “Russell Peters: Outsourced” in which Peters imitates accents of different Asian ethnicities while acknowledging the perceived stereotypes for each one. It relates to the Asian American Pop Culture class because we have discussed Asian Americans being judged on perceived stereotypes such as their accent and occupations.



-Sadegh

Russell Peters is a Canadian comedian with Anglo-Indian ancestry who began performing in Toronto in 1989. Since then, he has performed all over the world, with record sellouts for a comedian. Part of his rise to fame came from his 1997 performance, on the Canadian comedy TV series “Comedy Now!,” being uploaded to YouTube and becoming viral. Several YouTube users cut his 45 minute segment into snippets of specified cultural groups Peters would joke about, which would receive acclaim.

Peters’ comedic style is mostly from observations where he uses humor to highlight racial, ethnic, class and cultural stereotypes. He also refers to experiences growing up in an Indian family to imitate his own upbringing, and likes to impersonate various English accents of different ethnic groups. Peters says his intention is to raise the ethnicity’s spirit through humor rather than trying to offend them. One notable quote of Peters is “I don’t make the stereotypes, I just see them.” This sums up his comedic style of observational comedy.

Russell Peters has hosted the 2006 Canada Day Comedy Festival and has gone on a 2007 USO tour to perform for the military. He also has performed in a radio comedy series, and has his own DVD and autobiography.

The following YouTube video is from his comedy special “Russell Peters: Outsourced” in which Peters imitates accents of different Asian ethnicities while acknowledging the perceived stereotypes for each one. It relates to the Asian American Pop Culture class because we have discussed Asian Americans being judged on perceived stereotypes such as their accent and occupations.

-Sadegh