Esther Ku on Last Comic Standing

Even comedy bloggers need a few hours away from the computer now and then…right? Right. OK. Watch this clip from NBC’s upcoming season of Last Comic Standing, which debuts May 22. It’s my friend, comedian Esther Ku! I won’t tell you how she does…yet. Enjoy.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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13 thoughts on “Esther Ku on Last Comic Standing

  1. I know Esther is only joking about the immigration thing – “i’m already here” is a good line. Michelle Malkin needs to add some of this humor in her anti-immigration shtick.
    I’m guessing she will do well… I’m glad she didn’t go the whole Dat Phan route with the “exaggerated asian parent accent” gag. Its a tired gag that should only be brought out to be made fun of

  2. re: the dat phan thing…i agree. doing an exaggerated accent is a very tired gag, unlike talking about koreans eating dog or white people’s inability to tell asian people apart.
    while not really a fan of dat phan, not sure what makes what he does different (or more tired) than what this comic is doing. isn’t this just trading in on very obvious and well-worn racial stereotypes?

  3. She’s cute n’ all, I found her to be quite adorable, but in this video I didn’t find her as funny as the premier of Last Comic Standing. I can’t see her winning the show like that, though. Something was missing.. I did like where she talked about the food, how we can’t tell asians apart, and such things like that.
    Hope Esther does well.

  4. I like esther and all but I don’t think the immigration part was that well received at least I didn’t think it was funny. I hope she goes far though she is cute as a button. She could be the next margaret cho only cute and straight.

  5. interesting take on old stereotypes. If she keeps it up, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I smiled, and chuckled a couple times, but didn’t really laugh… and I’m asian.

  6. Her delivery is pretty bad & she says the same jokes about asians. We need an asian chris rock, someone that’s smart and FUNNY.

  7. No pun intended, but Esther Ku is a joke. Her material is old as the hills (um, she does do an exaggerated Asian accent in her set), and racist/self-hating besides that. I think she was only kept on the show to serve as a “villain” (all reality shows need one), rather than because she is talented.

  8. Esther, Esther, Esther…She’s as cute as a button, and some of her jokes are pretty funny, but for the most part, it’s still a rehashing of other old Asian jokes.
    I can’t say that I would be happy to see her go, but she really does need to step it up a bit.

  9. Now, I ask this question to all those who are apologizing for Esther: Would she have gotten that far if she isn’t cute? Would she have been as well received if she wasn’t playin’ the cute lil’ Asian girl in pigtails role?
    Let’s face it…she’s a hack who just rode the White man’s Asian-Fetish wave for her own benefit and to our detriment.
    Booooo! Hissss!

  10. So, um. I guess 9/11 really did kill irony. Funny how only asians aren’t allowed to make jokes.
    There are a number of problems with the tired old “tired old stereotypes” criticisms that everyone keeps repeating about Ku.
    First, it’s an utterly hypocritically and transparently false as _comedy_ criticism. Comics do it all the time–loved comics, critically acclaimed and less loved comics, hated and washed up comics. It’s bread and butter in the business. Self-hating schtick? Equally par for the course. Ever hear of Woody Allen? Or Jon Stewart?
    More importantly. The real problem with the criticisms is that these are not “tired old” stereotypes. They are ALIVE AND WELL. As an Asian American, I have no qualms affirming 1) they reflect the way the majority of Americans do, at present, see Asians and 2), they reflect, in a distorted fashion, real characteristics of Asian identity and experience.
    In effect, Ku’s act acknowledges that her audience shares these racist views and implicitly admits that she, like many Asian-Americans, has internalized them. That’s why it’s painful–that’s what people are finding “unfunny”–the exposure of their own racism. She should NOT move beyond jokes about these stereotypes, it’s what’s unique and powerful about her work. She should continue forcing us, against our will, to recognize that racism against Asians is not only alive and well, but that it has become insidiously disguised, that the rejection of stereotypes has become an excuse to, without penalty, hate real aspects of Asian identity and culture.
    My god, when she asks the crowd “who doesn’t have an Asian fetish?” it’s astonishing how much depth that tiny little joke has. First, she’s TELLING her audience they ARE racist, that’s nerve. Second, by claiming she has one too, she’s pointing out that our supposedly post-racial american culture has fetishized her culture to such a degree that an asian can’t be attracted to another asian without it also being a form of pathology. This shit is serious, and I’m deeply disappointed that no one’s seeing it.
    She’s ahead of her time. Too early, perhaps–so probably doomed. I really believe that with time people will catch on, maybe other asian comics we catch it and stick for her.
    We like to pretend we’re (especially “we” the knowing, included audience) post racial, and her approach requires recognizing we’re not.

  11. happened to adding a reply after 10 yrs…
    As an asian, i enjoy immigrant jokes, and most asian immigrants do, too – and that is because those jokes are reflecting the facts and real culture of those races.
    for ex, if she made jokes on how korean people care about outside beauty, being car-poorers, crazy about luxury brands, girls are so bad at driving, living with parents when they are 30s, how koreans treat different races etc, that would make any people lol including asians because those are true stereotypes.
    None of, seriously none of, her jokes reflect facts and are not even stereotype. when she says about asian girls are not dating asian guys.. since she started the whole jokes stating “she’s a korean”, that is very far from the truth in case of Korean girls. Koreans are super conservative, well they got a lot better these days but still, most are afraid of meeting people who are not korean, unless they are at least 3rd generation Korean-american who grew up with more non-koreans than koreans. to only talk about Northeast asia, chinese and japanes are way more open to date other races but Koreans…no…more numbers are starting to be open minded but still, minority of korean girls are willing to date other races.
    And also the stereotype of “eating dog”, this becomes stereotypes only for haters. Consuming dog meat is only a small part of northeast asian culture. Just becase there’s a culture of witchcraft in louisiana, where is a big city in USA, people can not make “witchcraft” as a stereotype of “American”, because it is not a culture that majority of American shared. Consuming dog is just like this, it is a tiny part of culture only minority shared because dog meat does not taste as good as other meats.
    Every jokes she made in this videos are “stereotype only asian haters” who want to believe that are not even true and not accepted as stereotype for majority of people.
    I feel so bad for her because the best thing she could come up with as a comedian was self hating..

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