“Colbert Report” Covers Porkchop Lizard Clip

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

After my previously stated ambivalence on the matter, I’m now very glad that the Morning Musume porkchop lizard clip has exploded in the blogosphere and even made its way to cable networks. The reason: I just saw a segment from last night’s The Colbert Report where Stephen Colbert uses the clip to excellent effect.

Colbert begins by reading an e-mail from a disgruntled Asian American viewer, Lee X (great name), who felt Colbert insulted all Asian Americans last week and should apologize. Colbert shows the clip in question, a supposed satellite feed that leaked on the internet where he asks for tea to clear his throat and ends up doing some horrible (and hilarious) racist remarks in a faux-Asian accent starting with "Me rove tea!" and including "come on my rickshaw I give you a ride to Bangkok".

Then, by way of apology to Lee X, Colbert has the cameras cut to the "sister network in Osaka, Japan" to air whatever is playing at the moment… and of course, it turns out to be the porkchop lizard clip. Colbert closes with, "Again, I apologize. Like all of us, I’m still trying to appreciate other cultures."

For those not familiar with The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, this is all manufactured: these shows parody cable news shows of the kind found on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC (all of which I like to watch, actually). I’m willing to bet (quite safely) that there is no Lee X nor is the "satellite feed" real and, of course, there’s no sister network in Osaka.

For me, at least, the Colbert segment illustrates the difference between pointing-and-laughing – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not very imaginative or empathic – and creating satire, which can be smart, insightful, and truly funny. It’s a question between repeating a tired old joke and making that joke several times better. All the bloggers and media who just say, "Here’s that wacky clip," are lazy motherfuckers compared to Colbert and his team – but then, Colbert and the rest of The Daily Show’s cast have always been good at elevating the game.

I think this hit a particular nerve for me because I was involved with uniting the on-campus Asian American community back in graduate school and ran into the kind of hypersensitive, humorless Asian Americans being parodied by Lee X. I actually knew one person who once wished aloud for an act of racial violence against Asian Americans on-campus, to better unite all AsiAms and make our "cause" more visible. I countered with an offer to go and beat up some white children – he didn’t get the joke. And for the record, such over-sensitive Asian Americans will take issue about showing footage from an Asian country, since Asian American culture is distinct from Asia. The great part is that this segment not only pokes fun at politically correct identity politics, but also the strident ignorance of Colbert’s character – there’s plenty of laughs to go around.

That said, I wonder if all this attention will pique the interest of anyone back at UFA or Hello! Project. After all, we’re talking of whole new markets presenting themselves – and large ones, at that. Considerably more people will have seen that clip on the Colbert Report than bought Morning Musume’s most recent singles. Will this prompt a new round of porkchop-hat lizard-baiting on episodes of Hello! Morning in the hopes of getting more American media attention? Okay, not likely… but sumo fights among the girls isn’t all that different, and they’ve been doing that in recent episodes. Porkchop-hatted lizard baiting is also more interesting than the magic segments that’ve been plaguing the show for months now…

If they did this, they’d have to up the ante, of course. I’m thinking strapping live rats to the heads of the current Morning Musume and placing them in a cage with hungry boa constrictors.

We can start with Koharu and see how it goes. 


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9 Responses to ““Colbert Report” Covers Porkchop Lizard Clip”
  1. niji says:

    Start with Makoto instead. Koharu’s growing on me.

  2. Sabaku Ika says:

    Or strap Koharu to the head of a very large rat… What is a natural predator of Koharus?

  3. niji says:

    To be fair, Koharu was nice to cheer for before Tsunku Musumefied her.

  4. What is a natural predator of Koharus?

    Lonely, middle-aged salarymen.

  5. Sabaku Ika says:

    ^ Potential for great TV, there..

  6. dcpoor says:

    wtf is going on?!? the lizard clip was on cable tv and is on blogs now?

    /me goes to upload more stuff.

  7. Saaya for Morning Musume! says:

    They should have an action series where Koharu and Irie Saaya fight off nasty middle-aged geeks.

  8. Include Momoko and I’ll gladly be a contestant.

  9. niji says:

    Include Momoko and I’ll gladly be a contestant.

    Still with the Momoko? I thought that was just a passing fancy.