Saturday, February 23, 2008

RIP Lydia Shum

This obit will be meaningless to all but my Asian readers (and you are out there), but the plus-sized Hong Kong comedienne known as "Fei-fei" ("Fatty") loomed large over my three years in Hong Kong, 20 years ago (!) now. Whenever I turned on the TV (she was a host of the ubiquitous variety show Enjoy Yourself Tonight) or looked up at a billboard there she was, appearing in or touting something, and "Fei-fei" was one of the first Cantonese phrases I learned. And her broad schtick was funny, even in subtitles, in films like The House of 72 Tenants and Millionaire's Express. (She was in Wayne Wang's Eat a Bowl of Tea in 1989.) As I recall she was one of the first celebrities to decamp to Vancouver pre-1997 handover, and was featured in an article in a short-lived but interesting publication called The Emigrant that my former employer put out. So long, Fei-fei, and best on your latest journey.

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