Joe Wong’s speech transcript at RTCA 2010, copyright Joe Wong.
Good evening, everyone. My name is Joe Wong, but to most people, I’m known as “who?!” (laughter) which is actually my mother’s maiden name, (laughter) and the answer to my credit card security question. (laughter)
But joking aside, I just want to reassure everybody that I am invited here tonight. (laughter)
I grew up in China, who didn’t? (laughter) And my childhood memories are totally ruined by my childhood. (laughter) When I was in elementary school, as part of the curriculum, I had to work at a rice paddy right next to a quarry where they use explosives to break rocks, and that is where I learned that light travels faster than sound. (laughter) which is almost as slow as a flying rock. (laughter)
My dad was a grumpy guy, but occasionally he would try to cheer me up with jokes, but he doesn’t do it right. When I was seven, one day he said to me, “hey son, why is tofu better than centralized socialist economy?” (laughter) so five minutes later I said “why?” (laughter) He said “because I said so!” (laughter)
I came to the United States when I was 24, to study at Rice University in Texas. (some applaud cheers and some laughter) that wasn’t a joke (laughter) until now. (laughter) And I was driving this used car with a lot of bumper stickers that’s impossible to peel off. And one of them said “If you don’t speak English, go home”. And I didn’t notice it for two years. (laughter)
Like many other immigrants, we want our son to become the president of this country and we try to make him bilingual, you know, Chinese at home and English in public, which is really tough to do, because many times I have to say to him in public “Hey listen, if you don’t speak English, go home” (laughter) And he would say to me, “Hey dad, why do I have to learn two languages?” I said “son, once you become the president of the United States, you are going to have sign legislative bills in English, and talk to debt collectors in Chinese” (laughter)
When I graduated from Rice, I decided to stay in the United States, because in China, I can’t do the thing I do best here, being ethnic. (laughter) And in order for me to become a U.S. citizen, I have to take this American history lessons, where they ask us questions like “Who is Benjamin Franklin?”, where I was like “ah, the reason our convenience store gets robbed?” (laughter) “What’s the Second Amendament?”, where I was like “ah, the reason our convenience store gets robbed?” (laughter) “What is roe vs. wade?”, where I was like “ah, two ways of coming to the United States?” (laughter)
Later on I read so much about the American history that I started to harbor white guilt. (laughter) In the America they say that all men are created equal, but after birth, it kind of depends on the parents’ income, or early education and health care. (laughter) I read in the Max House Men’s Health Magazine that President Obama every week has two cardio days and four weight lifting days. You see, I don’t have to exercise, because I have health insurance. (laughter) I live in Massachusetts now, where we have universal health care; then we elected Scott Brown (laughter) – talk about mixed messages. (laughter) I think there was a movie about him – it’s called “Kill Bill” (laughter)
I’m honored to meet vice president Joe Biden here tonight, (Joe turned to face Biden) I actually read your autobiography, and today I see you. (Joe turned back to face audience) I think the book is much better. (laughter) They should’ve get guest cast Brad Pitt, or even Angelina Jolie. (laughter)
So to be honest, I was really honored to be here tonight, and I prepared for months for tonight’s show, and I showed the white house my jokes about President Obama, and that is when he decided not to come. (laughter) And he started to talk about immigration reforms, (laughter) Take that, Stephen Colbert (laughter) And president Obama has always been accused of being too soft, but he was conducting two wars. and they still gave him the Nobel Peace Prize, and he accepted it. (laughter) You can’t be more bad ass than that. (laughter) where actually, I’m thinking the only way you can be more bad ass than that is if you take the Nobel Prize money and give it to the military. (laughter)
We have many distinguished journalists here tonight, whom I consider as my peers. (laughter) because I used to write for campus newspaper. (laughter) I think journalism is the last refugee for puns. Only on the newspaper can you say things like “I was born in the year of horse and that is why I’m a naysayer” (laughter) my point exactly.
And tonight is my first time on C-SPAN, which is a channel I obviously always watch, when I couldn’t stand the sensationalism and demagoguery of PBS and QVC. (laughter) If I still couldn’t fall asleep after watching C-SPAN, there’s C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3. (laughter) Thank you very much. (laughter)
So I became a U.S. citizen in 2008, which I’m really happy about. (applause) thank you very much. American is number one, (laughter) that’s true, ’cause we won the world series every year. (laughter)
After becoming the U.S. citizen, I immediately registered to vote for Obama and Biden. (Joe turned to face Biden) you’re welcome. (laughter) You handed me a had me at “Yes We Can” (laughter) (Joe turned back to audience) that was the their slogan. (laughter)
So after getting Obama and Biden elected, I felt this power trip. (laughter) And I start to think maybe I should run for president myself. Where, I have to take a step back and explain a little bit, you know, because I have always been a morose and pessimist guy. I felt that life is kind of like, pee into the snow in a dark winter night, you probably make a difference, but it’s really hard to tell. (laughter) But now, we have a president who’s half black half white, it just gives me a lot of hope, because I’m half not black half not white. (laughter) Two negatives make a positive. (laughter)
You may be saying “Hey, what would be your campaign slogan?” You see, I spent ten years in the past decade (laughter) oh you too? okay. (laughter) So I understand that American people are suffering, so my campaign slogan would be “Who (Hu) Cares”. (laughter)
If elected, I would make same-sex marriage not only legal nor required, (laughter) that will get me the youth vote.(laughter) You see I’m married now, but I used to be really scared about marriage, I was like “wow, 50% of all marriages end up lasting forever” (laughter)
And I will eliminate unemployment in this country, by reducing the productivity of the American workforce. (laughter) so two people will have to do the work of one, just like the President and the Vice President,(laughter) or the Olsen twins. (laughter)
And despite heart disease and cancer, most Americans die of natural causes. So if elected, I will find a cure for natural causes. (laughter) You seem to like that one. (laughter) but you won’t be covered by health insurance though, (laughter) because of pre-existing conditions. (laughter)
And I have a quick solution for global warming. I will switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius, (laughter) It was 100 degrees, now it’s 40. (laughter) You’re very welcome. (laughter)
And I’m great with foreign policy. Because I am from China, and I can see Russia from my backyard. (laughter) I believe that Unilateralism is too expensive, and open dialog is too slow. So if elected, I will go with text messaging. (laughter) I will text our allies just to say hi, (laughter) and text our enemies when they are driving. (laughter) “OMG you’re building a nuclear weapon?” (laughter), “but you’re doing it wrong LOL” (laughter)
I just want to thank Video TV correspondence Association for having me here tonight. This is the first time I wish my son knew what I was doing. Thank you so much and have a very good night. Thank you Linda Scott.