During my bart ride today, the two black dudes ‘complemented’ me for my look like an asian comedian star, who, in their opinion is quite a character. It turned out it is Joe Wong, who looks a lot more matured than I am. (I guess I am overdue for a real vacation.) Though an lady sitting next to them disagreed. ( Of course it is lady’ opinion that matters!)
I watched Joe Wong’s video before and was quite impressed by his jokes and humors, which mainly plays with the nuance of the American culture and history.
The following excerpt from Wall Street Journal about Joe Wong describes his performance pretty well: ”
Joe Wong, the 40-year-old played the “Late Show With David Letterman” last year, people cracked up when he walked out and said, “Hi, everybody….So, I’m Irish.” That appearance launched him on a tour of clubs around the U.S. Yet in China, where Mr. Wong grew up, people were puzzled from the start. “How come the first sentence, ‘I’m Irish,’ can make Americans laugh?” one viewer asked in the comments on a subtitled video circulating in China. Because everybody in America is from Ireland, someone theorized. “It has nothing to do with that,” said a third. It’s because being “Irish itself is hilarious.”
Comparing Russell Peters with Joe Wong, Joe’s approach is quite academic, in a very chinese way. His humor usually plays with the American culture and the words deeply, which requires a good understanding of the American History (Like Roe vs Wade) and cultures, but this is double side sword, and this kind of materials caused his performance to bomb in front of Chinese, especially those in China.
On the other hand, Russell Peters, a Canadian-born Indian, is quite famous among Indians, mainly plays by mimicking the facial expressions and vocal characters, but his material lacks the depth and accuracy of Joe Wong’s. For example, when Russels was mocking the Chinese accent about his shopping experience in Toronto Pacific Mall, it sounds a vietnamese accent, a cantonese accent to be the best. However, I have to admit that I improved my indian accent quite a lot after watching his performance on indians.
A photo is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand photos. You can see for yourself the following videos:
Joe Wong’s debut in David Letterman’s late night show:
Russell Peters on Chinese, Indians, Jamaicans, Italians: