Friday, May 6, 2011

Buddy Hackett is My Favorite Chinese Waiter

There is nothing on this planet that i love more that an old timey racist LP.  Accept maybe old movies where white people play Asians like Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Mille played by Beatrice Lillie.                     
or Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's
These films happened before the civil rights movement so we forgive their ignorance and revel in the sheer amazingness of these performances and kind of wish we could get away with this now.  So the creators of Miss Saigon have no excuse for casting Jonathan Pryce as an Asian brothel owner in the 1990's.
Do I think it's offensive to cast a white man as an Asian, no I don't.  Do I think they could have just as easily found an Asian (notice how I haven't said Oriental once) actor, obviously.  But back to Buddy Hackett as an Oriental Waiter, I couldn't resist.
Notice the restraint the artist had.  He easily could have gone for a more Asian slant to the eye, but the bun and the paisley print Miss Meers coat are perfect.  As is the dainty way he wields that cleaver.  I put the whole album as one track, kudos if you can sit through the whole thing.  I could not.
Buddy Hackett is probably best known for 2 roles.  First as the Shipoopi guy in The Music Man.

And as Scuttle the seagull in The Little Mermaid.

Buddy Hackett is a lot of things, but to me he is just another Chinese waiter.

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