In 1994, exactly 20 years ago, ABC decided to pick up the pilot for comedian Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl, making it the first sitcom to put an Asian American family on network prime-time TV. The show was slammed by the press and rapidly faded in the ratings; after airing just 19 episodes, the decision was made to cancel it. In her book, Cho cited bad reviews from Asian American cultural critics as being a key reason for ABC’s lack of faith in the show, calling out one in particular — me.
Two decades have gone by, and no network has aired another Asian American family sitcom since. But this weekend, ironically, ABC officially picked up Fresh Off the Boat — a sitcom based on celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s New York Times bestselling memoir of growing up with his two brothers and immigrant parents as a hip-hop-loving outsider in suburban Orlando, Florida. Playing little Eddie: My son, Hudson Yang.
The irony — or is it karma? — in the situation led me and my friend, illustrator Louie Chin, to collaborate on this comic.
Go to EW.com and vote for FOB as your favorite one.
Jeff Yang is a Brooklyn-based writer and journalist. He is the author of several books and co-editor of the Asian American Superhero Anthologies Secret Identities and Shattered. His Tao Jones column appears at the Wall Street Journal Online.