Most Viewed Asian American Comic Of The Year Who Everyone Seemed To Hate But I Still Didn't Mind

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Esther Ku

For me Esther Ku was a mixed bag in '08. I loved the fact that at times she really did push some of the boundaries in some of her standup, and I thought she had a lot of smart comedy, but at the same time I couldn't help but cringe when she simply told some of the jokes that you get tired of hearing rather than actually using them to flip the stereotype in ways that she could have and that she did at other times.

But I still thought there was more of an upshot to her routines then there was that actually pulled her down, and I also can't help but wonder how different we might react to someone like Sarah Silverman versus an Esther Ku (see Ku at the Friars Roast Of Omarosa).

While Silverman can get away with using racial language what happens when it's an Asian American?

Sure, while you can say the above has more to do with delivery, or that there wasn't even a joke there at all (and if you watch the clip you'll know what I'm talking about) we really don't expect anything else from a white comic like Silverman because in a way there's just an assumption that there's something more behind it (that there has to be something more behind it regardless of whether or not there actually is) - but for an Asian American comic?

I'm not actually defending or debating the merits of the routine or the joke itself, but simply asking the question of how far we let comics of all other races go and if that same standard applies to Asian American comics?

I don't really know myself, or even if it's that easy, but I do hope that I'll see Ku and other Asian American comics at least trying to find that answer.