For a segment that thrives on being offensive and pushing the boundaries of whats socially acceptable, I guess you can say Anthony Jeselnik definitely does his job. On his recent skit “Which Kind of Asian is This”, Jeselnik literally shows pictures of Asians and asks contestants to guess their ethnicity. Now if it was just that, we may have been able to say he’s simply shedding light on the fact that not all Asians are the same and people should recognize that. That’s what he was trying to do, right? Nope- of course not. He included dog references, chinky eyes references, and bad driving references (because that’s original and we’ve never heard of those!)
As expected, there was quite the debate on the comments section. There was an uncomfortable number of people who thought it was just a joke and everyone should lighten up about it. “Offensive is in the title.. what did you all expect?” Yet again, we’re told to be okay about our culture being made fun of.
Are we simply not getting the joke? Are we taking things too personal? Are we the only ones to think that even if you ignore the offensiveness, the skit just isn’t funny? Watch the clip and tell us what you think.
Getting Byrned: Comedian Steve Byrne brings down the house with his new Comedy Central special, The Byrne Identity.
ISSUE: Summer 2010
STORY: Naomi Fujimoto
“We are known for cool things,” quipped Steve Byrne, referring to Asians, in his 2008 Comedy Central special Steve Byrne’s Happy Hour. “Technology. Martial arts. Eating hot dogs.”
But this 35-year-old Korean-Irish American comedian is moving beyond his ethnic background and The Kims of Comedy. His new special, The Byrne Identity, airs on Comedy Central at the end of July. And it covers his take on, well, everyone.
“The basis of it is, who are you? And then, who am I?” he says. “It’s about how I view race. It’s how I view people through music, because you can stereotype people through music. How I view the sexes.”
Byrne doesn’t want to pigeonhole himself by gearing his act toward Asians. “I’d rather be inclusive instead of exclusive,” he says. African Americans, Mexicans, cougars, boy bands, fans of emo — everyone is fair game. In The Byrne Identity, the comedian covers what your favorite music says about you, why women aren’t hunters, and what “I love you” means.
These are broader topics than in his earlier act, which featured plenty of jokes about his Korean mother. “I’ve thrown my mom under the bus so many times that she deserves a break,” he laughs.
Audiences have seen Byrne graduate from five-minute sets to hour-long specials. He has performed on USO tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and recently traveled to Japan and China. His take? “People are just people.” They want to laugh.
If Byrne tends to see the commonalities between people, it’s because he thinks we’re all immigrants to some degree. That means no one is safe from his observations. But that’s all right — because in any culture, he’s funny. — Naomi Fujimoto
Remember a month ago when we told you to vote for Eliot Chang for the Comedy Central’s Stand Up Showdown? Thanks to all your votes, along with those of his other fans, he placed second! He is in shock, since he was only hoping to get into the top 10, but just as we said, he’s the real deal. Anyways, he is grateful for everyone who voted for him, so he made a video for all of you! He’s planning an one-hour special but nothing’s set in stone yet, so let’s hope that it’ll happen! Don’t forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel, eliotchangthecomic!
If you want to see Eliot live, be sure to tell him the name of your local comedy club. It’ll be full of fresh comedic materials to keep you laughing till you cry because he never, and he does mean never, repeats his jokes!
Asian Americans in comedy is a rare thing, but Eliot Chang is the real deal. I mean, the guy is hilarious.
So now’s your chance to support a really talented Asian American comedian — vote for him during the month of January in Comedy Central’s Stand Up Showdown where people vote for their favorite half hour special. People can vote once a day every day from now through Thursday, January 27, using this link http://bit.ly/gBVILr, or just text “CHANG” to 44686.
Let Eliot explain it himself:
Don’t know Eliot Chang yet? Check him out at EliotChang.com, or watch this clip:
Olivia Munn does it again, except this time with a new book. Her autobiographical book of rants and love, Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek, was released on July 6.
Named to Maxim magazine’s “Hot 100″ list for the past three years, Munn is of Chinese descent on her mother’s side and of German-Irish descent on her father’s. Although born in Oklahoma, she was predominately raised in Tokyo and later settled in Los Angeles. Known for hosting G4’s cult hit Attack of the Show, the actress is the newest regular correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and is starring in the new NBC sitcom, Perfect Couples, which is premiering this fall.
Her wonder woman tales comprise of a hilarious collection of essays like “Thought’s About My First Agent’s Girlfriend’s Vagina,” or “Sex: What You Can Do To Help Yourself Have More of It.” There is even a chapter entitled “What to Do When the Robots Invade (Yes, When!),” wherein Munn literally gives advice on what to do when the robots invade. Wow.
In a recent interview with Vulture, the entertainment section of New York Magazine, she said, “I want young girls who read [Suck It, Wonder Woman!] to feel empowered that there’s somebody who went through all of this and made it out on the other end.” Her charming wit and love of hover-boards are what earned this down-to-earth goddess of the geeks major points with guys and gals alike. Munn’s new cheeky story of being a fearless, at times dorky, female in Hollywood is sure to be a hit.
Oh, she even made sure to include a timeline of great moments in Geek History.
Check out Audrey‘s interview with Olivia Munn in our Feb/Mar 2007 issue here.