Jordan Peele is set to make his directorial debut with his horror film “Get Out” starring Daniel Kaluuya. In this film, which he also wrote and produced, Jordan Peele takes a bold move to address race with a horror twist. In his fearless manner, Peele sets up a story with an African-American man who’s meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time, but she has not told them he’s black. The film proceeds to take a horror twist, as the main character encounters other African-American people who work at his girlfriend’s parents estate and seem a little off.
Leave it to Saturday Night Live to put a spin on racial diversity with a skit called “Whites.” Click here to view skit.
We’ve been big fans of the Fung Bros. for a while. Comedy duo and real-life brothers David and Andrew Fung talk and rap about some very important subjects about a variety of subjects, with some of their favorites being Asian food, Asian stereotypes, and their majority-Asian adopted hometown, the Los Angeles-area San Gabriel. We could extol the virtues of the Fung Bros. and their clever, insightful humor all day, but since the vast majority of their content is available on YouTube we thought we’d do one better and bring you the best of the Fung Bros.!
Last night we headed down to the Laugh Factory in Hollywood to catch their “Comedy Bazaar” a show the Laugh Factory website bills as “an eclectic assortment of the best and brightest up and comers as well as legendary comedians with a splash of Middle Eastern flavor.” As you might guess, given our focus on diversity, we were there as much for the splash of Middle Eastern flavor as we were for the comedy. We’ve always been interested in how comedians use humor to talk about issues of race and diversity (see our recent interviews with comedian/rapper/YouTube star Timothy DeLaGhetto) and so we were excited to see how that Middle Eastern flavor played out in the jokes.
What may have been most striking was not how race was discussed, but how often it wasn’t. The show is hosted by comedian Tehran SoParvaz, who every week brings a collections of “rockstars and superstars” to the stage. As promised by that online description, there’s a clear theme in the selection of the performers. Tehran himself is of Persian and African American descent, and the comedians he brought to last night’s performance included several fellow Persians and an Afghan American.
Yet, as promised, the Middle Eastern flavor really does feel like “just a splash.” Many of the comics touched on their heritage in their material, but not all of them, and none of them relied on it exclusively. It was a pleasing sign of the times. In the mid-00s, “The Axis of Evil,” got laughs and made headlines as a comedy group made up of Arab Americans, addressing stereotypes about Arab Americans. Their politically referential name suggests the bent of much of their comedy – they started a Comedy Central Special by walking through a metal detector, and much of their material played off of post-9/11 stereotypes. We’re big fans of the Axis (the comedy group, not the totalitarian governments condemned by President Bush) and we love their brand of humor. It is, however, nice to see that in 2013 a comedian of color can connect with audiences without having to play to the limiting type of the ethnic comedian.
Beyond lofty proclamations about what it all means for the state of race relations in America, we would also describe the even as very, very funny. Taste in comedy is a fickle thing, so we won’t make promises, but if you’re in Los Angeles on a Monday night looking for something to do, know that the Comedy Bazaar comes with MMXLII’s recommendation. The show is every Monday night at ten, at the Hollywood Laugh Factory.
Photo from the Laugh Factory Facebook.
This video by Ken Tanaka has been making rounds. It adresses a stereotypical question that most ethnicities get: “what type of____ are you?” The whole point of this video is that if you are of Caucasian, you are less likely to get that question (What type of Caucasian are you anyone?). It’s what’s called the white privilege where being “white” makes your ethnicity a non-relevant question that doesn’t require any explanation or justification. It’s the norm and all the other ethnicities are judged in relation to that norm. This is changing though as MMXLII is here to report, in a near future the norm might be something completely different (in Dave Chappelle’s words, we will all be grey). Video after the break.
We’ve been keeping you up to date with Eddie Huang’s “Fresh of the Boat” exploits as he takes us out around the world exploring different places and cultures, now we get some out takes from his successful first season of the show with VICE. Read More
Sometimes comedy is one of the best ways to laugh at stereotypes, race, ethnicity, cultures and differences overall, if it’s done in a clever way. We’ve highlighted various comedians such as Baratunde Thurston and Hari Kondabolu that poke some fun at race, cultures, etc to help understanding. BUT then there are times where some people seem to cross the line. Our friends at Angry Asian Man took exception to this one. Comedian Anthony Jeselnik is known for dark comedy and looking to push the envelope and in this section of his Comedy Central show The Jeselnik Offensive he looks to educate the audience on the differences of cultures and how to best offend them? Hit the jump and let us know what you all think? Read More
We posted a clip some months ago of the comedian’s doing stand up on FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. If you remember he had somethings to say about Columbus Day and the rise in Indian-Americans. But we haven’t really highlighted anything about the comedian himself. Recently he sat down for an interview with the blog for South Asian American Digital Archive to discuss growing up South Asian, white privilege and next steps in his professional career. Hit the jump for more. Read More
We don’t follow either of these women so we definitely missed the incident, but Clutch Magazine is right on top of it. Looks like Lampanelli tweeted out the ‘N-word’ in reference to her friend Lena Dunham. This always becomes a debate after such incidents. Some feel it shouldn’t be a debate and that it’s just offensive and racist, others feel they can use it because of the commercialization of the word. Hit the jump, read the article and leave your opinion in the comments. Read More