Laughing at Asian parents — of course, this isn’t me!

betty ming liu Inspiration, Relationships 11 Comments

We have to watch this together,” my daughter commanded. Her laptop was open to a YouTube video, “Shit Asian Dads Say.” For the next 2.54 minutes, we laughed like maniacs. This precious bit of parody revealed so much about…me. Ooops, I was busted!

When this searing spoof was first posted on Jan. 15, the Asian American blogosphere went berserk. To date, the video has already been viewed more than 3 million times. But I ignored it. The last thing I wanted to explore was Asian-style parenting.

Then the other day, my daughter brought me the video. We sat there giggling, mesmerized by familiar scenes that reminded us of my mom, our extended family and people that we know. The sketches also nailed the exchanges that pass between us nearly every day:

Next? We clicked onto “Shit Asian Moms Say,” the latest YouTube offering by Bart Kwan and Joe Jo of Just Kidding Films. Since its Jan. 22 debut five days ago, more than a million people have seen it.

Play it here and you’ll understand why. Once again, these guys were dead-on in their ability to nail relationships and double standards that have universal appeal. Honestly, I don’t think you have to be Asian to relate:

Hopefully, you won’t be offended by the s-word in the titles. They’re part of a “meme” (pronounced MEEM, rhymes with “green”), which refers to catchy concepts that take off on the Internet. This meme originated with “Shit My Dad Says,” which began as tweets from a brow-beaten (white) son that turned into a book and then, a short-lived TV show starring William Shatner.

Can’t wait to see what these Just Kidding Film boys come up with next. They promise a new video every Sunday. To make sure I catch it, I subscribed to their YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, my daughter and I have been perusing their archives.  Since her daddy is African American (he and I were married for nearly 18 years), we especially appreciate the sketches about Asian racism against black folks. They do a good on other topics too. If you have time, check out “Crazy Asian Parent” and “Accidentally G@y.”

Oh, it feels good to laugh with my daughter. These videos are family therapy for us. They’re also proof that making changes can be funny and fun.   ^_^


Comments 11

  1. Post

    today, my daughter and i got into a huge fight about cleaning the house. “you’re so selfish!” i screamed. this is a familiar line from the youtube gems that we had watched together. “you’re just like the asian mom in the video!” my daughter screamed back. with that, we both eventually calmed down and sorted things out.

    i would say that i am guilty of about 50-60% of the behavior depicted in the videos. but i assure you, i am an EXCELLENT driver. and i do NOT spit or hock phlegm. ever.

  2. Funny. And loud! “Sh*t my WASP Parents Did” would have been a silent movie, consisting of withheld affection, withering looks, disapproving glances, pursed mouths, tightened jaws and long periods of The Silent Treatment

  3. This was hysterical. SOooo not me nor my parents…too proud to lose dignity, even in front of our children. There’s one for you – PRIDE; and saving face – they come in all forms of behavior. Repression is almost as detrimental as all the screaming and shouting. Also, non-confrontation at all cost.

  4. Post

    mj, you all are SO CREATIVE. someone should do a silent version for the wasps.

    diana — i always thought your parents were more cool than most of the moms and dads in chinatown. but don’t these videos remind you of all the folks we grew up with???!

    yvonne, there might be a latina version out there. this meme is going strong! mashable, the social media news website, has an interesting piece about the entire trend. it’s entitled “15 killer quotes from the sh*t people say videos”:

  5. I loved the bit with the Asian mom and the jacket! My wife is Filipina and I am a white dude from the frozen tundra of New Jersey; needless to say we have wildly different definitions of “cold outside.”

    1. Post

      amantha, we’re all a little bit greek. :)

      james, when my daughter and i saw that scene, we both cracked up. i’m always running after her with a sweater or jacket. yeah, that was a very cute moment — among many. and thank you for dropping by!

  6. Pingback: Who am I? Humor for self-awareness & identity issues | betty ming liu

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