DUK DUK GOOSE
NPR's All Things Considered picked Long Duk Dong to be part of their "Character Studies" series. (Listen here).
For those of you unaware (read: those of you not born in the 1980s), LDD is pretty much the gold standard in modern f---ed up portrayals of Asian men in Hollywood (Mickey Rooney in yellowface being the older gen's favorite). Everything from the gong that announces his presence, to his accent, to that hair, to, well, everything has traditionally offended Asian Americans to no small degree.
I was just a tad too young to really get into the John Hughes films of the '80s (or maybe I just held little interest in the school/love lives of suburban teens when I was already living it) so I never saw 16 Candles until much later and I have to say...even though I "got" why LDD puts such a black eye on the game, I couldn't help but think he gets a little overvillified.
Don't get me wrong - John Hughes should be thoroughly embarrassed at himself and god knows Gedde Watanabe hasn't had an easy time living down the role but all said, I guess part of me - the Asian geek with insecurity issues - kind of liked how at ease LDD was with himself, how unabashed (read: oblivious) he was in his sense of self. He was a hedonist who didn't really care about what people around him - let alone older White folks - thought of him. He was just trying to do him.
And lest we forget, for all the bemoaning about Asian male asexuality and what not...the Donger got the girl (a white girl at that).
Just putting it out there.
Ok, let's hear it now.