'It's hard not to poke fun': Improv team takes on DNA tests and Asian stereotypes
The short sketch DNAblers is lighthearted but brings up bigger questions
A new comedy sketch about DNA tests is debunking Asian stereotypes.
The Vancouver-based, all-Asian improvisation group pokes fun at ancestor tests with a sketch called DNAblers where two characters get their results.
One character, played by Aidan Parker, is told he's 31 per cent Irish, 12 per cent French, four per cent Scottish and three per cent English.
The other character, played by Carla Mah, gets back test results that simply say: "you are very Asian."
"It's almost become kind of colloquial shorthand to just say Asian," said Parker.
"I don't understand it but if I were to try to articulate what it feels like when that happens, it's kind of like laziness or like an otherness."
Parker, who is half Chinese and half Irish, said that feeling of otherness is something he grew up with.
"I get [people guess I'm] whatever the other person is not," he said.
"When I'm with primarily Caucasian circles, I always get: 'you look so Asian' … When I'm with Asian family or friends, they're like, 'dude, you're like so white right now.'"
Part of what the comedians were trying to tease out with the sketch is that generalization, Parker said, while also touching on the fear some people have about guessing someone's ethnicity wrongly.
"Stereotypes, they've been around for a long time," said Mah.
"It's hard not to poke fun at them."
Watch the sketch DNAblers