A Scholar, a Footballer, and a Tourist Walk into a Foreign Country . . .

April 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

Did you hear the one about the Fulbright Scholar in China studying stand-up comedy? The student, Jesse Appell, put together a spoof of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” called “Laowai Style.” Lao wai is a Mandarin term for foreigner—literally meaning “old” and “outside.” Here’s the video, with subtitles:

And then there’s the former amateur soccer player from Norway, Havard Rugland, who watched the Super Bowl in 2011 and started working on his American-football-kicking skills. The result was a video of amazing trick kicks, called “Kickalicious.” It went viral and caught the attention of some NFL franchises, with a couple giving him tryouts. Last week, the Detroit Lions announced that they had signed him to their team. No joke.

I heard about the two stories above on “PRI’s The World” while I was listening to NPR in my car last Friday afternoon. This last video isn’t related, but it shows some cross-cultural miscommunication, between an English-speaking tourist and a couple French locals—and I think it’s pretty funny. It’s “Do You Speak English?” by BBC’s Big Train comedy team:

(Nina Porzucki, “Humoring the Chinese: An American Comedian Has a Run-in with Chinese Censorship,” PRI’s The World, April 12, 2013; Steven Davy, “Norwegian Kicker Havard Rugland Signs Detroit Lions NFL Deal after YouTube Video Goes Viral,” PRI’s The World, April 12, 2013)

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