Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Funny Foreign Name Pranks: Oh, Just Chill ...

All this pious media handwringing over the "racist" nature of pranking some dumb TV station into reading phony names of the Asiana crash pilots aside ("Wi Tu Lo" and "Ho Lee Fuk" among them), there is an solid body of precedent for this silliness, beyond the aforementioned Bart Simpson calling Moe's Tavern and the Pakistani pranksters who tricked airport information announcers at Heathrow into reading hilariously silly-sounding names.

Like this hysterically funny Saturday Night Live skit with Robert DeNiro as a White House spokesman announcing a litany of names of Middle Eastern terrorists being sought, among them the notorious i-Bin Pharteen and M'Balz es-Hari.

And of course it's not just foreign names lend themselves to this silliness, as was pointed out by readers Ophelia Bush, Seymour Butz and Mike Rotch.

Asiana Airlines, which one would think might have other legal matters to worry about, ridiculously threatens to "sue" the Bay Area TV station that fell for the prank. The airline's legal counsel Wi Soo Yu was not available for comment.

Nor was the always quotable Heywood Jablome, who has been featured at least three times in recent years in the always susceptible New York Post.


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