I was fairly surprised when I saw that Suzanne Whang, the inoffensively pleasant host of HGTV's inoffensively pleasant “House Hunters,” was performing tonight at the Irvine Improv. After all, she's most famous for uttering lines like “Jim and Mandy are looking for a home with plenty of space to raise a family;” not exactly knee slapping material.
I was even more surprised when I saw on her site that it was not only her “headlining debut,” but that she'd be doing “a 1 hour show, both as Sung Hee Park and also as herself!” Who could Sung Hee Park be, I innocently pondered? Turns out that it's her Tony Clifton-esque, “hilariously” “subversive” F.O.B. Korean character, in which Whang speaks in pidgin English and generally reinforces every possible negative Asian stereotype. Oh, and she uses the n-word.
One would hope this is somehow Whang's attempt at challenging people's perceptions of Asians in this country, or something like that. But based on that video, replete with bowing and cutting-edge “Koreans eat dogs!” jokes, it seems like she's just saying “Hey, Asians think Asian stereotypes are funny, too! Bad drivers? You betcha! Own dry cleaners? Keep 'em coming!” Her site says she's won the “First Annual Andy Kaufman Award” at the New York Comedy Festival, but she's also in contention for the First Annual Carlos Mencia Award For Most Damage Done To Own Race.