nail salons, beware

I recently heard that stand-up comedian Anjelah Johnson would be joining the cast of MadTV in the fall: 'Mad' world: Pair join Fox sketch show. YouTube fans might know her from a popular bit she does about going to the Vietnamese-owned nail salon. If you watch the clip, people go NUTS for her imitation of the Vietnamese manicurist, accent and everything. When I first heard about this clip earlier this year, it was one of the most divisive bits of comedy I'd seen in a while... I had readers telling me, "I'm Vietnamese, my mom works in a nail salon, and I think this is so racist!" but also an equal number of people telling me, "I'm Vietnamese, my mom/aunt/sister/cousin works in a nail salon, and I think this is dead-on hilarious!" So I really didn't know what to think.

Here's an article from the Orange County Register from a few months back on reactions from the Vietnamese community to the clip: In the nail salon. One thing's for sure; Anjelah has definitely done her research—she could've gone for one of those awful generic Asian accents. But like I've said before, I'm not a big a fan of non-Asian comics doing Asian accents, in most contexts, because it usually just means a predominantly non-Asian audience laughing their asses off at Asians. Anyway, now you'll probably see Anjelah doing her schtick on national television...

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