June 27, 2011

"Jokes" without punchlines are racist

The Racialicious blog reports on a joke a female doctor told on a new FX comedy:

Heard on FX’s Wilfred:  “Not Asian-American…Real Asian!”

By Latoya PetersonYou had a rough morning? Try prying twin boys out of a tight little Asian gal. She wasn’t Asian American, Ryan, she was REAL ASIAN!

Whenever I get around to writing about Archer, I’ll talk about the difference between writing a joke that involves race and writing a racist joke. But, in essence, this is the Kate Rigg rule:When someone tells a joke about Asian people and there’s no actual joke--the joke is the Asian people. The joke is [racist-comic voice] the funny way they talkie-talkie! “They don’t use proper diction! Only verb and noun! Verb and noun!” I just heard a comic that I respect doing that fucking joke the other night. An Asian comic. And I was like, “Dude! Write a punch line or you’re just being racist!”I apply this rule all over the place, as did Carmen back when she wrote about how to respond to a racist joke. The joke only works with the implicit acceptance of a certain stereotype. If the stereotype isn’t there to play on, the joke falls apart. (Hence Carmen’s advice to play dumb, and try to get the joke teller to explain exactly why that joke is funny.)
Comment:  Naturally, this applies to Native-oriented humor too. Indeed, you can apply the rule to any joke that claims to be satirical.

For instance, the Dudesons episode on MTV. Without the stereotypes, there was no humor. No reason for the bits to exist. Without the stereotypes, the show would've been about 10 minutes of setups and transitions, not 30 minutes.

For more on the subject, see Okay to Stereotype in "Satires"? and Racist "Jokes" Are No Jokes.

Below:  It's "funny"...because that's how Natives supposedly used to dress. As half-naked savages in feathers. Look at the comical white man pretending to be a comical Indian...ha ha!


Anonymous said...

That was particularly bad with the idea of Asian women being "tight". Am I the only one who imagines pedophilia whenever I hear about how "tight" Asian women supposedly are?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - or when described as "small, hairless and slim", which also describes prepubescent children.