Are Asians offended by John Pinette's Chinese Buffet bit?

I have heard comedian John Pinette’s Chinese Buffet routine for years.

Here it is.

I have always wondered if Asians might find it offensive, since so much of the routine relies on the stereotypical Chinese accent. But I just don’t know.

Asian Dopers, do you find it offensive?

The first time I heard it, it was hilarious (and all things my mother would say if she owned a Chinese buffet). But the fact that he’s using the same act fifteen years later is pretty unbelievable.

I can guarantee you two things.

  1. Some indeed find it offensive

  2. Some do not find it offensive
    Now the exact ratio, that’s more complicated but bottom line, you can offend some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time.

I they are offended by that, they would really hate the Free Willy bit.

Pretty tame compared to the stuff that Margaret Cho does when she’s imitating her parents.

There’s a big difference between a Korean-American doing Korean-American impressions, and what John does!

Is there a difference when YOU laugh at it?

I’m not the biggest Pinette fan in the world, but I haven’t heard him do that bit in a while.

Minorities don’t have to bother about taking offense anymore–they have thousands of dithery white liberals to do it for them…

I’m not sure why Asians as a group would be offended by a Chinese Buffet joke.

East Asians are pretty much lumped in with Chinese in most of these kinds of jokes. It doesn’t really matter much if you’re Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, you get the same kinds of jokes tossed your way.

Just one data point, but I don’t find it offensive. It’s not funny, either, but that’s just me (and probably a few other people). If anything, it’s kind of pathetic.


Russell Peters has a bit as well, funny as hell.

People would likely be less offended by Russell of course, um because you know…

Dey took ur jerbs!

Since when are accents offensive in comedy? Seems like a comedy staple, what would Mel Brooks have done without the German accent… the Simpsons without Apu? Man, quit trying to PC us out of the funny.

Where am I doing that? My OP is pretty neutral. I expected the answer might be “no”, but was not sure.

For the record, I find Pinette to be really funny.

It seems pretty benign to me. Asians from lots of different countries own and run ‘Chinese Buffets’. It isn’t just the Chinese. They really do fan out all over the country in search of good places to set them up and then often get the whole family to work there. They usually sound like the characters in that bit to me at least. I don’t make any judgments but what people are like in China based on it but the people that own the buffets seem to have the business recipe down and are remarkably consistent across the U.S., even places where this isn’t any other Asian population to speak of. Everyone is familiar with it and that is why it makes a cute joke.

I hope that Asians that are sensitive to Chinese Buffet jokes choose to stay away from that line of work or, oh man, that is going to be rough.

No, there isn’t.