“When I do stereotypes, I think people just mean the accent,” he said. “Uncle Roger is a character. He’s never mentioned that Asians eat dogs, or are good at math.”
“There are definitely people who were bullied because they had an accent and grew up Asian in a Western world, and that is a valid life experience. But so is mine. And I think both our life experiences can exist together.”
Uncle Roger revels in being Asian. He calls his viewers “niece and nephew” and is armed with life hacks an Asian parent would have under their sleeve — like having sachets of MSG on hand and skipping the rice at a buffet. More than his virality, Ng said that Uncle Roger’s popularity is a step towards better Asian representation in comedy. “People haven’t seen their parents becoming YouTubers, you know. And in my comedy, I do a lot of Asian culture stuff as well, like cultural differences and little injustices we face … and when people come see Uncle Roger and my stand-up, and learn even more about Asian culture, I think that’s a plus for everybody,” he said.Ng is looking forward to going on his first world tour when the pandemic’s over. Of course, with Uncle Roger as a special guest. How long will he don the orange shirt? “Until I’m sick of it,” he said.
“The difference between them doing it and me doing is that my version is rooted in my experience growing up in Asia, which is celebratory. And the fact that it’s the Asian community who enjoys [my comedy] the most.”