I still don’t know anyone outside of Rob Schneider’s immediate family who was asking for a Rob Schneider stand-up special on Netflix in 2020, and yet, here we are.
The ending, which finds Schneider crooning a Roy Orbison duet with his oldest daughter, singer/songwriter Elle King, is worth watching.
Perhaps Schneider, who has received criticism for his movie roles, wanted or needed to set the record straight. His mother’s side of the family is Filipino, and having an Asian mother meant growing up with big expectations. “So I’m Asian, but I’m not Asian enough where it can help me these days,” he jokes about diversity in Hollywood, but also in reflexive defensiveness toward those who’d tar him for his various Asian portrayals on film. Schneider’s not about to back down, though, employing a strong accent in describing his first job at a 76 station in San Francisco, and encounters in Chinese and Korean restaurants. At one point, he stops to note: “That’s not racist. That’s accurate.” The audience cheers him on. “You know how hard it is for you to speak Chinese? That’s how hard it is for Chinese people to speak English.”
Schneider also is quick to adapt a Mexican accent when describing his wife’s side of their domestic squabbles. After one such conversation, he demurs: “I can make you happier. I can’t make you happy.”
He might as well be speaking to all of us in that moment.