@DirecTV: Your Dat Phan “Whale” Ad Blows

July 25th, 2011 | 14 comments | Posted by Jen

Dear Cable Overlord,

I’ll be honest, I’m still kinda pissed at you for making me break up all those years ago with my Mac-like TiVo and forcing me into a marriage with your PC-like fake-TiVo-that-doesn’t-have-a-catchy-name. I miss those cute noises my TiVo used to make, even that weird bonk it issued when I pushed the wrong button or what have you. But you’ve given me the MLB, NFL, and NBA packages, and Friday Night Lights six months ahead of everyone else and now Damages, so, really, I’ve had little cause to complain since.

But this, DirecTV’s “The Whale” ad starring Dat Phan, winner of the first Last Comic Standing? This blows.

Here’s why:

  1. You’re clearly ripping off Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow from The Hangover movies.
  2. While I love me some Ken Jeong almost any day of the week, Mr. Chow is basically awful and your rip-off is worse.
  3. An Asian accent isn’t a stand-in for funny.
  4. Wait, was this ad supposed to be funny? I’m assuming because you hired a comedian, the answer is yes. But I can’t tell. Seriously, I can’t tell.
  5. Let’s assume this ad was supposed to be funny. Jokes about an Asian person being small are played and unfunny. So I guess you weren’t trying to be funny? See that? Now I’m confused, which is never a good thing in advertising.

But, hey, listen. If you finally get that new and improved DirecTV TiVo DVR out this year that you’ve been teasing me with for the last three, I may find it in my heart to forgive.

Your begrudging cable serf,


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14 Responses to “@DirecTV: Your Dat Phan “Whale” Ad Blows”

  1. Zinna says:

    I totally agree. Did you see the other one with the freaking giant panda?? Seriously. Can they throw in any other stereo-type?

  2. FeO says:

    shitty and unfunny, yes. however, i did enjoy this similarly themed spot: http://youtu.be/AkMsSIjQXxo

    which leads me to surmise that i’m totally cool with accents and stereotypes as long as they make me laugh.

  3. Jen says:

    It’s like that saying: If it’s funny, it’s not racist.

  4. vielisa medrano says:

    I completely agree with you. This commercial was in very poor taste. And not to mention completely stupid. I’m very disappointed in dat Phan. I’ve been disappointed with direct tv for years

  5. noneinaye says:

    I’m not sure if I’m just being crazy but there seems to be some discrepancy in judgement of public figure Asians as of late.

    Everyone was giving Wendi Deng praises for trying to protect her husband, the perfect example of a human being that would deter peaceful technologically advanced aliens from initiating first contact. Fox news, remember?

    But when a C-list out of work comic takes a shit job to pay bills much more of the hate is put on him instead of Direct TV themselves.

    Now, I hate the commercial as well but something doesn’t seem right.

  6. Jen says:

    Are people hating on Dat Phan for this? I blame DirecTV myself.

  7. Jen says:

    Also, not sure if you can compare the two things–Wendi Deng’s bitch-slap versus this DirecTV commercial–and extrapolate much meaning since the two things are kinda apples and oranges. But side-by-side? Wendi Deng’s bitch-slap was way funnier than this commercial!

  8. FeO says:

    true dat, jen. true dat.

  9. Jen says:

    HA! See what you did there, FeO.

  10. hahahachu thefluisonyou says:

    shortdorkyasianguy+tallerbuxomywomen=funny (revenge of the nerds, ‘member?)

    Anyways, speaking of ads, let’s direct our energy into convincing summer’s eve that asian women need their own talking vagina ad… someone start a facebook campaign!!!

  11. Jen says:

    Oh yeah. Revenge of the Nerds was hilarious. Just hilarious.

    re: The Summer’s Eve ads…That’s one time I’m delighted to be excluded.

  12. [...] spot isn't getting much love at all from the Asian community—“An Asian accent isn't a stand-in for funny,” writes one blogger—but this time the forums for complaint aren't as obvious. Perhaps [...]

  13. taygalchi says:

    “The spot isn’t getting much love at all from the Asian community…” (from the link above @PRBuilder)

    Actually, the ad isn’t getting much love from ANYONE I know (I’m Black, btw.)

    As soon as I saw the ad, I just knew there was one person of color everyone turned to and asked “You think Asians will be cool with this?”

    Token person of color (who may not even know any Asians) thinks: Ish, it’s a recession! I need my job…AND everyone is staring at me. She then smiles and says “Yeah, I think it’s funny!”

    Been there (haven’t) done that. I’m a jerk. I tell them I’ll ask all the Asians at our next Pan-Global meeting of brown people. Maybe that’s why I am unemployed.

  14. [...] spot isn't getting much love at all from the Asian community—"An Asian accent isn't a stand-in for funny," writes one blogger—but this time the forums for complaint aren't as obvious. Perhaps [...]

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