Colbert: Limbaugh ripped off my offensive Chinese impersonation

By David Edwards
Friday, January 21, 2011 14:48 EDT
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Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert Thursday joined Asian Americans who were infuriated at conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for mocking the way Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks.

The conservative commentator had lampooned Hu — who he called the “ChiCom dictator” — over his joint news conference Wednesday with US President Barack Obama that was marred by a delay in translation.

“He was speaking and they weren’t translating. They normally translate every couple of words, but Hu Jintao was just going, ‘ching chong, ching chong, chong,’” Limbaugh said, continuing his imitation at length.

“When I hear Chinese or Japanese, it sounds like all the same word,” he added. “And I can’t comprehend of anybody understanding it.”

“Exactly,” Colbert exclaimed. “Who on Earth could understand that Kung Pao jibber jabber? Off the top of my head, I can only thing of 1.5 billion people.”

The Comedy Central host then employed a translator to decipher exactly what Limbaugh had said in Chinese.

“My favorite doughnut is every doughnut,” a narrator said. “When I stand up, my chair smells like a cat shelter.”

“I don’t know about you, folks, but I’m deeply offended by Rush’s cheap, insensitive, ripoff of my character: Ching Chong Ding Dong,” Colbert complained, referring to a 2005 show where he attempted his own Chinese accent.

“So Rush, please, just leave some hilarious characters for the rest of us. Don’t be an impression hog. Not that you don’t do a great impression of a hog,” he concluded.

Following Limbaugh’s broadcast, the arch-conservative entertainer came under intense criticism by Asian Americans in Congress over his “childish” mimicry of the Chinese language.

“If we are to outpace each other on anything, let it be statesman-like diplomacy, not grade-school incivility,” Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) said.

This video if from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, broadcast Jan. 20, 2010.

– With AFP

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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