By Deems Tsutakawa For The North American Post
I was recently watching a rerun of “Martin Yan Can Cook” on PBS when right in the middle of his demonstration, he tells the audience that there was a holdup at a Japanese Restaurant in Honolulu. He then says that there wasn’t any problem identifying the robber as the Japanese in the eatery took over five thousand photographs of the guy before he left. This, of course, was a reference to the fact that the Japanese have always loved their cameras and have a reputation for taking too many photos.
Then there is the Asian American comedian Phil Nee who dryly states that his last name is an old Chinese word for elbow, bada bing.
My nephew Kenzan told me a story of an alien spaceship landing in the forests outside of Beijing. The first creature the alien saw was a small bird. He told the feathered creature that he needed a hotel room.
The bird replied, “cheep cheap,” bada boom.
One of my favorite scenes from the movie “Star Trek Generations” is where the bad guy Soran, played by English actor Malcom McDowell, and British actor Patrick Stewart have a run-in on a desolate planet where Soran is about to launch a missile and kill millions of people.
As Captain Pickard is telling the villain to stop what he is about to do, Soran calmly says to him in a full British accent, “Why don’t we dispense with the jocularity? I have work to do.”
This was not actually meant to be funny but the delivery was excellent and it was well-written.
Humor and stand-up have changed a lot over the years but the one constant that people worldwide cherish is the storytelling. We, like many animals, are social creatures and the need for tales to be told, whether funny or not, will help carry us now and into the future, my friends.