Frank De Lima steps into haole eruption
Hey, Haole! (Part 2,423): Comedian Frank De Lima has weighed in, so to speak (because, you know, he's kind of a big guy), on the continuing controversy over whether the term "haole" is a derogatory racist term or simply the Hawaii word for Caucasian. (This controversy is something like volcanic activity on the Big Island, erupting from time to time with a lot of media coverage. "The haole controversy again began flowing down the flanks of the islands' psyche, threatening, curiously, the Royal Gardens Subdivision. Man, can't that place get a break?")
The latest haole flow began recently in this very column, but I won't go into the details because the more easily agitated sorts are finally starting to settle down. But when I pointed out to one guy that ethnic humor is a part of Hawaii culture and has been practiced forever by comics like Andy Bumatai and Frank De Lima, he responded (mistakenly) that Andy doesn't do ethnic humor anymore and (equally mistakenly) that "Frank is just a hack who couldn't cut it in Vegas."
Frank told me, "If I sent out a questionnaire to every person in this state and asked what kind of jokes they feel should not be told, I'm sure that there would be no joke acceptable. That's why we comics will always be criticized."
Like many comics and humor writers, Frank has noticed that, sadly, today there are "a lot of people just waiting to get p----d off."
He added, "If you talk to this guy again, tell him I appear in Vegas once a year and have been for 20 years."
And if you are worried that ethnic humor in Hawaii is dead, go to Frank's Web site (frankdelima.com) where the first thing you see is a set of pictures of him dressed in character as everything from a haole to a moke to a Chinese priest to something that looks like a Russian peasant woman. (I'm not sure about the Russian peasant woman. That might just be Frank in his street clothes.)
Frank's latest target for humor is decamped University of Hawaii football coach June Jones. He's got a really hilarious new parody song, "What, June Jones, You Going Leave Us Now?" to the tune of "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille" with lines like: "We went buy trillion tickets, and gazillion T-shirts, and went paint our face white and green, and for one whole year, we went scream and cheer and spent thousands to go New Orleans ..."
It's part of what he calls the UH Warrior Trilogy of, surprisingly, three songs that include "Hawaii, We Did It" and "Hawaii Marches On." Being the gentleman that Frank is, none of the songs are mean-spirited, and he actually thanks June Jones for his dedication to the school, football team and state.
You can hear all the songs for FREE on the Web site because, well, while Frank's a great comic, but he's not much of a businessman. He does ask that you donate to his Student Enrichment Program and provides little credit card icon thingies to help you do it.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org