Episode 112: Sylvester Stallone’s Improv Comedy Night

The Overthinkers tackle The Expendables. And kick their asses.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee and John Perich to overthink The Expendables. The Overthinkers kick the Expendables’ asses.

→ Download Episode 112 (MP3)

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10 Comments on “Episode 112: Sylvester Stallone’s Improv Comedy Night”

  1. ping #

    Am I the only one who thinks that Lee makes up new stereotypes of Asian people to be offended by every episode? I have never heard of any of the stereotypes that he has complained about for the past two episodes (in Scott Pilgrim or the expendibles ). It may be surprising for him to hear that white people don’t just sit around and attribute negative stereotypes to Asian peoples before every movie/tv show . And no, I didn’t just unfairly characterize all Asian peoples as over sensitive or racially narcissistic. Just Lee. Now please don’t kung-fu me.


    • lee OTI Staff #

      I’ll write a more thorough response when I’m not a work, but just a few points for now:

      1) I admit that some (but not all) of my complaining about Asian stereotypes in media is exaggerated for preformative reasons.

      2) I am definitely aware of the dangers of being hyper-sensitive to racial issues and casting oneself or one’s ethnic group as a bunch of victims of relentless persecution, and I would hate to be seen as someone who falls into that camp.

      3) That being said, I bring up these issues not because I think the whitey bogey man is around every corner, but because I think there are real issues about ethnic other-ification that are worth discussing on this site, which is a safe space for intense scrutiny of pop culture

      4) I will try to cite specific examples of the crafty/greedy Asian stereotype that feed into Jet Li’s money-grubbing routine in “The Expendables,” not now but later

      5) Talking abour ethnicity and ethnic stereotypes is hard to do because it’s inherently reductive; few conversations have the freedom from time and patience restraints that would allow for a full accounting of the diversity of experiences of any ethnic issue.


      • EZ #

        The whole money grubbing routine is one of the oldest Asian stereotypes, no? Miserly Chinese men at the turn of the 20th century being cheap and hoarding money? Isn’t that the genesis of the “hilarious” stereotypical Asian inflection when saying “two dolla”? It made a return in the supposedly post-racial Crash that ended up going out of its way to reinforce pretty much every Asian stereotype there is.


        • fenzel #

          Yeah, it’s like the scene in _Falling Down_ where DFENS goes to the Korean grocer, because he needs a quarter to use the pay phone to call his daughter on her birthday. The Korean grocer won’t give him change for a dollar unless he buys something, so he buys a can of Coke, thinking it will cost 75 cents. But then the coke costs 85 cents, and he doesn’t get enough change back for the pay phone. The Korean grocery gives him crap for it and doesn’t help him — I think this is about the time when he loses his shit and starts trashing the grocery store.

          So, yeah, the stereotype is out there.

          But it’s also important to remember that just talking about a stereotype doesn’t necessarily oblige you to do anything about it. Everybody has prejudices, and if someone requires you to have none, they are trying to manipulate you politically and you should resist politically by being smart in the way you handle your discourse.

          People who get really angry about being accused of being prejudiced are handing political power to others on a silver platter. Better to learn how to talk about it rather than face it with resentment — all that leads to is other people co-opting your rage for their own purposes.


          • inmate #

            I’ve just gotten used to a rant on every podcast about Asian stereotypes. Whenever something new is discussed, I expect hegemonic discourse followed by a discussion of ‘otherness’ (generally Asian otherness).

            I also just want to see how far over the reply column will go.

          • John Perich OTI Staff #

            Inmate: we have it set to go OVER 9,000!

          • lee OTI Staff #

            This is the fourth reply level. This deep, time passes at a much slower rate. It took me…50 years…to write this comment.



      • EZ #

        Well my theater didn’t laugh when Shyamalan’s name came on. It was kind of interesting, the entire sold-out theater (in Brookyln, NY if that matters) seemed on the edge of its seat until his name popped up, at which everyone collectively, audibly groaned. Like, it wasn’t so much funny as it was incredibly disappointing. Three minutes of trailer convinced them to see the movie and that one line of text erased the desire immediately.

        Re: Other action stars I read somewhere that Seagal was approached for the movie but previously had a falling out with one of the producers and didn’t want to work with him anymore. Apparently (according to Wikipedia) Lundgren’s role was originally offered to Van Damme who turned it down because… wait for it… the character had no substance.


        • Gab #

          I think those two and Chuck Norris all *really* declined because they plan on taking over the White House in 2012 as President, VP, and Secretary of State. I don’t think even they know who will do what yet, but I imagine it will be determined in a quite decisive matter.

          Norris-Segal-Van Damme, 2012. Yes.


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