The model minority myth often portrays Asian Americans as experts in the science and math fields who lack a sense of humor. No MSG Added is an all Asian American comedy team determined to disprove this stereotype once and for all.
No MSG Added is a new Asian American comedy sketch group comprised of 10 men and women with backgrounds in improv. According to OC Weekly, the group debuted back in May in Fullerton.
The members’ ethnic heritages range from all different Asian nations including Vietnam, China and the Philippines. Though being Asian American is part of their identity, their sketches are not limited to just Asian American content.
“I mean, we are Asian American, but that’s just part of who we are,” Eric Vue, a lead writer for the comedy group, told OC Weekly. “Being funny is the ultimate goal, and what that most comes down is making your premises as clear as possible right from the beginning and then subverting them and getting to the joke.”
According to Orange Coast Magazine, UC Irvine alumni Shinshin Yuder Tsai directs the ensemble. Tsai told the magazine that cultural diversity in comedy is on the rise.
“I take actors’ choices and tweak them so the jokes land a little harder,” Tsai said. “I think people are starting to understand that there’s an untapped source of stories from other cultures that have been ignored. At the same time, people of color are starting to understand their worth and refuse to stay silent.”
The group is expected to perform at Fullerton’s STAGEStheatre on September 27th.
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