Mighty funny myths

By Victoria Finlay

Learn to stir fry with fluidity and grace, live your life as a guru, a money-maker or a wimp, let martial arts solve all your problems...in this comedy show from California, the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors confront the stereotypes of Asians in America head on. Then they go for the jugular.

So we meet Mrs. Chan, who wants to return her 10-year-old son to the hospital where he was born because he is interested in baseball, can only play one musical instrument, and, worst of all, he always loses at video games. Clearly not a good Asian son.

"Billy, you just sit there and calculate some derivatives," she orders.

Or the Japanese family who overwhelm the Japanese-American girlfriend of the eldest son. "Sit on the cushion: cold floor is not good for making babies," she is told firmly.

The performance was maked 18 or above, whis is shame, because its surreal, Simpsons-esque humor appealed to the 12-year-old in all of us. Bruce Can Cook, a fight between Mr. Diarrhea and Mr. Death for the soul of their lactose-intolerant victim, a TV interview with (cellist) Yo Yo Ma's long-lost brother, now a rap artist paying society back for having made him suffer for the name Yo Mama.

There was a strong college-comedy feel to the show, which meant it was heartily funny, energetic and fully in touch with the crazy side of 1990's culture.

It also meant it was quite unpolished. Skits were allowed to go on for a little too long, the beginnings of sketches were often better than the endings.

I hope they come back to Hong Kong next year: by then they should be a little slicker, but will not have lost the comic exuberance that made this such an enjoyable 90 minutes.

[ From the Wednesday, January 24, 1996 issue of South China Morning Post ]