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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stereotypes in Mike Tyson's Punch Out

I love how as time marches on, when you look into pop culture's past, certain comments wouldn't really work today. Sure, it's not like Mr. Drummond ever drops an "N" bomb on Gary Coleman in "Different Strokes", but all the gay jokes made towards Jack Tripper in an episode of "Three's Company" probably would ignite a Gay Pride Parade culminating in the lynching of Mr. Furley, if that show was on TV today.

One of my favorite 80's relics is Mike Tyson's Punch Out, from all the boxer's special punches, to knowing certain cheats to knock them down easy, I've always loved it. This morning, while running smack at one of my friend's in a fantasy football league, I decided to quote Piston Honda. Naturally, I went to wikipedia and found the quote, just so I wouldn't mess it up. What I found when I got there, was fantastic, in terms of perpetuating stereotypes in an uptight society that needs more of a sense of humor.

All Japanese People Eat Sushi and Fly Planes into their Enemy Combatants, the Story of a Japanese Boxer.

Let's start with the aforementioned Piston Honda, who is of Japanese descent. First off, his special punch is known as the "Banzai Rush Attack." Nice. What's even more hilarious, is the good people at Nintendo have him saying, "Sushi, Kamikaze, Fujiyama, Nipponichi..." which is pretty much every Japanese stereotype stuffed into one rambling sentence. Of course, I pretty much pronounce all my "Ls" as "Rs" now, so who am I to talk.

All Russians Are Always Drunk off Vodka, the Tale of Soda Popinski

First of all, in the older version of Punch Out, he was known as "Vodka Drunkenski", which would be a great nickname for my next friend who is of eastern European descent. That's classic. When Mike Tyson's Punch Out came along, they changed his name to avoid the stereotype, but yet, in between rounds, here are some classic Popinski lines:

"I can't drive, so I'm gonna walk all over you!"

"I'm going to make you feel punch drunk!"

"I drink to prepare for a fight. Tonight I am very prepared!"

"After you lose, we'll drink to your health! Ha, ha, ha!"

"Would you like some punch to drink? Ha, ha, ha!"

Nice one. The fact that Ivan Drago isn't the ultimate Russian Boxing stereotype is remarkable.

For my last example ...

Out of the Closet: The Story of Don Flamenco

Okay, I may be stretching it here, but Don is pretty gay. Maybe he's not out of the closet, maybe he is. Maybe I'm the one perpetuating the stereotype, but what the hell. First of all, he has a rose in his mouth, secondly, just look at him. Some quotes:

"People like my hair. Don't mess my hair!"

"Hey! Mr. Referee Mario. I like your hair!"

"I'm a beautiful fighter. I have such a style!"

"Carmen my love... I dance so sweet for you!"

If Don Flamenco isn't gay, well, then he's a metrosexual before his time. Or maybe all Italians act like this, thus making all Italians gay. I would've preferred Nintendo going with the "pizza" and "greaseball" jokes, to the gay bashing, but oh well. At least they don't have Mr. Sandman talking jive, or having him designed with tremendous bling as if he were from a L'il Jon video or something.

1 comment:

  1. Bisexual or secretly Gay. Definitely.