It Doesn't Happen Often, And When It Does I Don't Usually Understand It

Last night, My Lovely Wife and I watched the near hit movie "The Five-Year Engagement".  I say near hit because it didn't exactly make blockbuster status, but it did make its money back plus some, so it won't garner a sequel (excluding a direct to video knock off starring one of the C-list supporting actors, reprising their role for an unknown reason) but it won't exactly be forgotten.


There is an Asian character in the movie.  His name is Ming.  You may have an idea of where this is going, but stay with me.

Ming is kind of a useless character.  I'm not entirely sure why he's in the movie as everything that he says and/or does could have been done by someone else.  I'm not sure why it was necessary to add a character for comedy relief into a comedy, but I don't make movies I just watch them all the time.  As near as I can figure, he's only in it for the one meta-joke that is never mentioned but is pretty funny when you think about it.  If you haven't seen the movie, I spoil nothing by telling you that the entirety of the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan is so multicultural, there is nobody from Michigan in it.

Oh, and he also doesn't know Kung Fu, which isn't relevant, but I feel the need to point out any time anybody vaguely Asian shows up that doesn't know martial arts.

Mindy Kaling (of The Office fame) is also in this group.  So why do we need Ming the Asian when we already have Mindy?  Mindy and Ming have a sort of semi-rivalry going, which is good for two jokes, but also isn't important.  What is important is what happens during one interaction between the two of them, about 20 minutes before the end.

He says something that I don't remember and couldn't be bothered to rewind to rewatch.

She says "No way, Ming."

That got the biggest laugh out of me of the entire movie, but full disclosure - if it had been said in Schindler's List I would have laughed then too.

It's not like I'm a Doug, or a Bob, or a Jack, or an Ethan, or a Spike, or a Sebastian, or one of hundreds of other names that have been used in a show before.  The closest I've gotten yet was "Cho" on The Mentalist, but I have to share that with all the other Chos.  And yes, I know she only accidentally said it.  But it counts.

While I was still enthusiastic about it this morning, My Lovely Wife had lost a bit of the glow of the event.

"You know," she said, "your name probably gets said a lot in movies in Asia."

"Well, yeah," I replied, "But I don't understand what they're saying so it doesn't count."


  1. According to IMDb there was a character named Ming in the TV show "Rules of Engagement" and a character named "Wei Wei" in a movie called "The Wedding Banquet." Is it possible that in Hollywood your name means "wedding guest"?

  2. That's...See...Actually, that might explain a few things.

  3. Like many, I found this blog because of your snowblower ad. I was reading through your latest posts and didn't get the joke on this one. Until I started reading comments on other posts. Now I can't stop laughing. Thanks for that! and keep writing!


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