Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids review — a 2000 special stuck in 2020

August 15, 2020
Michael Frank 0
Comedy, Netflix
1.5

Summary

Though it features a moment of family joy in the last five minutes, Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids falls and sounds flat, likely due to its host’s affinity for stereotypical accents.

1.5

Summary

Though it features a moment of family joy in the last five minutes, Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids falls and sounds flat, likely due to its host’s affinity for stereotypical accents.

Only one moment of clarity exists in Rob Schneider’s new Netflix special Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen until after the credits begin to roll. This moment, which features Schneider’s family coming on stage and posing for the audience, becomes a stark contrast to the rest of the nearly 45-minute comedy special, one permeated with accents, imitations, and stereotypes. 

Schneider is growing older. He’s 56 now. It’s been 30 years since he first appeared on SNL. Currently on his third marriage with three kids, his comedy should be changing, both with the current sociopolitical climate and with his own maturity. He continues to play the same, old characters, though. The audience keeps laughing, but it’s doubtful if Schnieder can have any ongoing appeal. 

In the first 10 minutes of Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids, he imitates his wife, Patricia Azarcoya Arce, a couple decades his junior, with a Mexican accent. It only goes downhill from there, as he then imitates his Filipino mother, and goes on to do several racist Asian accents, impersonating Chinese waiters and Korean restaurant owners. He knows he’s crossing the line, even saying, “It’s not racist. It’s accurate.” After a successful career spanning several decades, Schneider has a level of assurance, especially with his friendships with other major stars like Adam Sandler and David Spade. His comedy, though, is unimpressive, unimaginative, and leaning into racial stereotypes that would have played better 25 years ago to a crowd with more ignorance and less awareness.

He calls Koreans lazy in a bit about Korean BBQ. He talks about how Chinese people can’t speak English. He doesn’t seem to be making many jokes, though. He’s combining observational humor with overused ideas about race and culture. About halfway through the special, Schneider pivots, and you hope he’ll make a sweeter turn. Instead, he opts to dive into the idea that “All men have pig potential.” He brings out a pianist to play background music, as he chats about his family, his male tendencies, and how everything is driven by sex, and sometimes, food. After a few minutes, it becomes monotonous and nearly unwatchable. There doesn’t seem to be a point to this humor. He’s not making any new points, and his time to change comedy feels like it’s in the past. 

The final few minutes of Rob Schneider: Asian Momma, Mexican Kids offer a little respite, as Schneider’s daughter, musician Elle King, comes on stage to sing a song with the comedian. It represents the sweetness and familial joy that the special could have included. But it also shows that his daughter has become a bigger star than him, with rising fame, stock, and success. Netflix paid for a Rob Schneider special, a piece of comedy from an anti-vaxxer who thinks imitations equal laughs. What a mistake. 


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