Today, as part of their series on fictional characters, All Things Considered explores the critical period in pop culture that began with this innocuous line: “What’s happenin’, hot stuff?” In her piece “Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes?” Alison McAdam talks to actor Gedde Watanabe (who is now 52!) about playing up the Asian stereotype for laughs in the 1984 film Sixteen Candles. Watanabe had no idea the role created by teen flick auteur John Hughes would be so controversial. But the Donger still haunts high schools everywhere: Giant Robot founders Martin Wong and Eric Nakamura say they got called the much cooler nickname ‘Bruce Lee’ until Dong came around. Nakamura seems to be the official go-to guy for issues concerning Japanese stereotypes; remember the Ray Fong/Barry McGee conspiracy?
*A very smart person who asked not to be named (perhaps because you’d all go straight to him asking for good advice on your nascent blogs) suggested that I spread the items in my Flavor of the Week posts into separate posts, as they happen, throughout the week. Although it terrifies me a little, it’s sound advice. A few more changes are on the way as soon as I can figure out how to make them.