Thursday, March 5, 2009

Random comic genius: Introducing Jonah Takalua

Summer Heights High is the show that introduced the term "ranga" (from "orang-utan", a term of abuse for redheads) into the wider Australian lexicon. Shot in Melbourne at Brighton Secondary College, it features 32 year-old Chris Lilley as Year 8 Tongan school bully Jonah Takalua.



I often wonder how Pacific Islanders would view Lilley's performance as an Islander youth. Personally, having worked with a lot of these kids, I think it's brilliant and spot on. I've met plenty of kids like Jonah and Leon - I've even met the kid who plays Leon, and he's exactly the same in real life. Still, you could argue that it reaffirms negative stereotypes about Islanders. Judge for yourself.

Oh, and I used to teach Iro, the kid who plays Joseph (tall kid with an afro). See how close I am to greatness?

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