“All you can do is be aware that what a zombie sees isn’t real.”
So observes Sirius Lee, the narrator of No Good Very Bad Asian, a full-throttle, hilarious, bittersweet, and often poignant romp through the world of stand-up comedy and Asian American family dysfunction. With this particular chunk of wisdom, author Leland Cheuk’s protagonist takes aim at “the mindless way we look upon each other,” observing that “some call it racism. Or sexism. Or classism. I call it zombie-ism.”
Calling it like it is—no matter how taboo—and getting a laugh in the process becomes Sirius Lee’s craft, profession, and passion. Named Hor Luk Lee (yes, he says: “My Chinese name is pronounced ‘whore’”) by his argumentative parents, owners of a round-the-clock liquor store, he fully embraces his stage name, Sirius Lee, dreamed up by Johnny Razzmatazz, a reality TV celebrity and flawed father figure. Written in the form of a book-length letter to his daughter, No Good Very Bad Asian recounts Sirius Lee’s rollercoaster life as a comedian and actor.