As rong as your ruv me,
We could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke,
As rong as you ruv me,
I’ll be your platinum, I’ll be your silver, I’ll be your gold
So goes the familiar but obviously amiss chorus lyrics sung by Peter Chao in his newest YouTube video, his “Chinese guy” take on Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me.” And “ruv” him his viewers do; his YouTube channel has over 700 thousand subscribers and more than 161 million views, big numbers that surely prove him to be “numba one” in many a YouTube viewers’ playlists. Loud, opinionated and unabashedly Asian (or at least what many might think “Asian” is), Chao is a controversial comedian whose act you may or may not find offensive. While highly provocative, however, Chao is rarely not funny. He is, in short, the summation of all the things mentioned above and more because he is “speaking up for timid Asians all across the globe” and wants to “make people laugh and come back the next time.” It’s a tall order, but with Peter Chao, it doesn’t go unfulfilled according to NMR’s book. I sat down with Peter Chao, the Hong Kong-born son of an absentee father and prostitute mother, Mama Chao, to talk about his successful career as a YouTube comic, why people are fascinated with his dick size, and what he looks for in a mudabitch.
So, Peter Chao, you’re the one solely responsible for your YouTube page?
Peter Chao: I am responsible for the YouTube page. I mean I am the sole creator of my YouTube page. My YouTube page is my creation, didn’t get help from anybody, you know. I mean, my mama Chao gave me a little bit of allowance to start up, you know, here is a little money for food, for noodles, but yeah, all me.
Your original account was once suspended for racist content. Are you too big now that they could never flag you down for anything?
Oh yeah, yeah. Every time I say something offensive, like, say I talk about my mama being a prostitute with a dirty vagina, all I would have to do is just say, “Hey, I am a big deal now. Don’t mess with me. All you have to do, unflag my shit right away,” you know? What’s all this stuff with the censorship? No, no. We don’t do censorship with Peter Chao videos. No. No way.
What is Chao Nation?
Chao Nation is just a name that I give my fans. So, I call them, like, kind of like a posse, like people who support me and support my content, they are the Chao Nation. So all my fans who support me, all the fans who love my videos, like my videos, favorite and share with their friends, then they become part of the Chao Nation. It’s like an entity.
So are your fans laughing with you or are they laughing at you?
Well, I hope they are doing a little bit of both. But you know, people who laugh with me understand the content. People who laugh at me, then you know, that’s okay because I do things for people to laugh at me, right?
So in the titles of some of your videos, why do you refer to yourself as “Chinese guy” instead of as Peter Chao?
Well, because when I first started, when you have to have a title for your video, you have to have something that catch people’s eye. If you put Peter Chao and nobody knows who Peter Chao is, people aren’t going to click on that. People are going to click on you know, “Chinese guy is racist” or “Chinese guy’s mama hits really hard” or something like that. It catches people eye and then, I mean, just a nondescript Chinese guy in a thumbnail people will be like, “Oh okay, that is a Chinese guy getting hit by his momma; that’s going to be funny, so I am going to click on that,” but if it just says Peter Chao, then like, people who don’t know who Peter Chao is will not be pulled to the video.
You’ve been labelled as an “ethnic comedian,” I guess just because you’re asian.
Just because I’m Asian.
Do you embrace that label?
Oh yeah, of course I embrace it. I mean, look at me — I am doing an interview with bubble tea in my hand. Not only do I embrace it, I love it.
Are you the voice for Asians in the United States and Canada?
The thing is, for me, I am the voice of a new generation. You know, I talk about stuff that people are only, you know, going to think about. They are going to have too much fear to talk about it in real life, so I am the one that talks for them. I speak everybody else’s mind.
And so, why are Asians considered the model minority? Why have they been labelled with that?
Well, I don’t know. I mean, I’m from Vancouver, so I think the white people should be the minority, it’s not the Chinese people. It should be the Chinese people employing the white people, not the other way around, so I don’t know where — I mean, if you look everywhere, you go to the L.A., you go to everything, there is always these little markets, like Chinese markets. We are taking over, you know, we are taking over the entire world as far as I am concerned.
Very true. So I was watching one of your videos where you were answering questions, and you get a ton of questions about dick size. Why are non-Asian men so obsessed with Asian male dick size?
I have no idea. I get all these questions all the time saying, “How big is your dick?” I mean, why are people so interest? And then, the worst part is they say, “How big is your dick? No homo.” I mean, I am pretty sure if you ask me or ask a regular man how big their dick is, obviously, thats a little bit homo. That’s like 87 percent homo, I would have to say, so I have no idea. I have no answer to that question. That’s crazy.
Peter Chao, do you have a girlfriend?
Well, I have one. I mean, I used to play around, I used to have a lot of mudabitches, right? But you know, I find one, I settle down, you know. You need to start making some little Chaos, right? So, with a little Chao you have to find a woman; you know how it works, you produce little babies, so yeah.
What kind of women does Peter Chao go for?
Oh you know, the hotter, exotic looking type with the long flowy hair and just the good body and everything like that, yeah. Most importantly, a woman has to know how to cook, because I like to just lay back, you know, with my arms behind my head, and they just have to cook for me, so that’s the best right there.
So, why in America do you think Asian women and white men are such a predominant pairing? Why are they such a match made in heaven?
Because the white men have the money, and it’s true. I mean, a lot of businessmen, they are all white, right? So all the girls all flock to the rich white men. Why? Because they want the nice purse, they want the Gucci, the Louis, you know, all that stuff, the Chanel, you know. And who can get that for them? The rich white people. The greasy, bald fat man, that’s what.
So do you see white men, white people, as white devils?
You know, of course. I call them the gwailo, the white devil, of course. But you know, I have reached that height in my career where I can say that I am just as rich as you, so you know, I can supply everything that a white male can supply to the mudabitches, so I mean, good for them. Success for them, but success for me as well, so that’s okay. I love the white people though, no offense.
Your comedy style — is it anything like Margaret Cho’s? Who’s funnier, you or Margaret Cho?
Ah well, we are both different, we are both different. We both comically embrace the stereotype we talk about. I embrace it in a more literal sense, and she is like a third eye point of view, where I live it, you know, I am in it, I do the physical comedy, I do everything.
So how would you describe your YouTube channel to people who have never seen it before?
Well, it’s hard to explain. It’s a little bit of everything. I just started doing a little bit of music video, but people who understand comedy and people who like comedy, who like to laugh, will instantly be like, “This guy is funny.” It’s kind of one way or the other when people come to my channel; they are like, okay, we are either going to love your stuff or we are going to just meh, this guy is just loud, annoying, offensive, obnoxious, I am never going to go and see the video again. But then again, the haters, some of the same haters that say, “Oh, your videos suck,” come back the next video and watch it, so I don’t know. It’s a phenomenon I can’t understand, you know.
Now that you are a big time talent, are you finding yourself more afraid of offending certain people? Have you held back more?
I have never been afraid, I have never been afraid of offending anyone. I mean, I have always found, tried to find more ways to offend people. I mean, I will think to myself some day when I am writing my videos, who have I not offended? I mean, I have offend the fat people, gay people, Chinese people, Viet people, just every sort of people, so I always try to find new ways to offend and offend as hard as I can.
So, what’s something in Asian culture that you hate?
Well, I love Chinese people, but they don’t know how to drive. They just don’t know how to drive. I mean, when I am driving in the supermarket in the parking, people try to park their minivan, like those families, eight times! Like, three times, you should just give up, you should just give up, don’t do anymore. People who just go in, out, in, out and then you are right behind them and they think that they have all the time in the world to just park as long as they want. No! Stop. You don’t know how to park. Stop it, go away, you know?
So when people watch your channel, what do you want them to come away from your channel with?
I just want them to laugh, learn a good lesson, because sometimes, you know, a Peter Chao video you have to look deep inside because the message is rooted in there, and you have to find it and learn from it. But ultimately, I just want to make people laugh and come back the next time and watch more of my videos.
Where do you see Peter Chao in 5 years, 10 years’ time?
Well, I see myself going to acting. I feel that I am a good actor; I express the raw emotion. And also some things that people would love to see on the big screen, not only on the small size computer.
What’s coming up immediately for you in the future here? What’s new on your channel?
I am starting to do more music videos, as I said. You know how we were talking before about the Chinese men hiring the white people, well, I hire all sorts of white people to do all the editing and to do all my music videos, directing and all that stuff, just so that I don’t have to worry about it, so when I do the music video I can just be me, confident Peter Chao and that’s all.
Why do you always wear sunglasses in your videos?
Why do I wear sunglasses? I get this question all the time, and there is rumors: is he cross-eyed? Is he blind? Is he all these types of things? No, the reason that I wear sunglasses is because I look good in them, and I refuse to take them off because you know, when you look handsome one way, you don’t want to just, oh, shock people and go, oh, you know? And it just remains mysterious, get people talking.
Peter Chao, you are an amazing talent. [car horns beep] They are beeping because you’re great.
Oh my, yes. I am sure they are beeping because they cannot drive.
You are an amazing talent, and thank you for taking the time to sit with NewMediaRockstars.
Absolutely, thank you very much. NewMediaRockstars FTW, am I right?
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Photography by Melly Lee