Ling-Ling


Ling-Ling

Drawn Together character


name=Ling-Ling
gender=Male
race=Asian battle monster
hair=Orange fur
age=3 (21 in battle monster years)
job=Battle monster
sexuality=Heterosexual
religion=Possibly Shinto
voice actor=Abbey McBride

Ling-Ling is a fictional character in the animated series "Drawn Together". He is voiced by Abbey McBride.

Background

Ling-Ling is a spoof of Pikachu. He speaks in an incomprehensible parody of the Japanese language along with occasional phrases of broken "Engrish". His language, referred to by show personnel as "Japorean" (though not in the series itself), is complete gibberish which is captioned in English with subtitles, although his subtitles often contain Engrish as well. (See "Race and culture" below.) According to Ling-Ling's driver's license, he is three years old (though fully an adult), and stands one foot, six inches tall (or 45.72 centimeters). Like Pokémon, he is a creature who battles regularly, utilizing an array of supernatural powers (examples being his ability to glow in the dark, shoot lasers from his eyes, generate electrical bolts much like Pikachu, fly, and create balls of energy capable of stunning or immobilizing his opponents). Before he battles he sometimes transforms, growing scales and yellow ridges along his back(A posible parody of a Super Saiyan) . He is also able to use his tail as a sword, as seen in the episode "Foxxy vs. the Board of Education". His tail is the shape of an exclamation point in its natural state (a parody of Pikachu's lightning bolt-shaped tail), but it is capable of assuming other shapes (such as a question mark, profanity symbols, or the Japanese yen symbol) depending on Ling-Ling's emotion. In one episode, Ling-Ling uses his tail to give Wooldoor the middle finger, and in another, it turns into a feather shape when he is cockfighting. In Clum Babies, it swells when he is making out with another battle monster.A now seemingly forgotten parallel to Pokémon was Ling-Ling's initial androgyny; the first few episodes referred to Ling-Ling as an "it" instead of being gender-specific. Initial speculation was that Ling-Ling might be female since the voice actor playing the character is female, and it would make the male/female ratio among the houseguests an even 4/4. In the first episode, Captain Hero said he would "stick and stir any one of these broads", pointing toward Clara and Toot as Ling-Ling lay asleep next to them. It is unclear if the statement was also intended to include Ling-Ling as well. However, in the first season finale, Ling-Ling was placed on the guys' team during the parody of "The Apprentice", and in Season Two.

In "Freaks & Greeks", Ling-Ling's father states that Ling-Ling's full name is Ling-Ling Hitler Bin Laden Seacrest. However, according to Executive Producer Bill Freiberger, this is just a gag and not canon. [cite web|url=http://forums.toonzone.net/showpost.php?p=2308694&postcount=39|title=Bill Freiberger comments|work=Toonzone.com|accessdate=2006-11-27] His father also refers to their house as the Ling family; assuming the family follows the custom in most Asian countries of putting the surname first, Ling-Ling's name would actually be Ling Ling-Ling.

Ling-Ling's species secretes a hallucinogen through the skin when disappointed, though he may not be able to do this anymore after Xandir, Toot, and Wooldoor licked him dry in "The Other Cousin".

Personality

In early episodes, Ling-Ling was portrayed as a sociopath who wants to kill and destroy everyone he encounters. He expresses a desire to kill Princess Clara in the first episode, actually kills Toot Braunstein, and fantasizes about killing Spanky Ham two episodes later (after Spanky had been beating and whipping him to make shoes). Ironically, Ling-Ling is killed off himself in a number of episodes, though this gag has become less frequent as the series has progressed.

The series suggests, however, that the image of Ling-Ling as a vicious killer is mainly in his head. None of the housemates fear Ling-Ling to any noticeable degree. He is frequently neglected and/or mistreated by the housemates, but although he displays annoyance at being treated in this fashion, he never puts up much of a fight about it. (Until he kills Xandir in "Charlotte's Web of Lies", his killing of Toot in "Hot Tub" is the only time he has exhibited violence toward one of the other housemates, and this was only after he believed his battle challenge had been answered).

He resents being thought of as a household pet, although he has been shown using a litter box and being transported in a pet carrier (which is shaped like a box of take-out Chinese food). His bed is a pet basket, and on several occasions, he is shown sleeping curled up like a cat, once even in Clara's lap. In "Captain Girl", Toot's baby believes he is a stuffed animal; when Ling-Ling goes into battle mode in order to attack her, Xandir disciplines him by hitting him with a rolled-up newspaper and calling him a "bad Asian thing", one of the many times characters treat him more like a pet than an equal. When Wooldoor first meets Ling-Ling in "Hot Tub", he assumes Ling-Ling is a dog, and has been placed in the house to be the family's pet. In "The Other Cousin", Xandir, not quite knowing what to call him, refers to him as a "fortune cookie cat thing". In "Ghostesses in the Slot Machine", Ling-Ling is shown scratching himself like a dog in the intro to the redecoration challenge called "TRADING SPACES".

It is mentioned in "The Other Cousin" that Ling-Ling prays to L. Ron Hubbard, suggesting that Ling-Ling is a member of the Church of Scientology.Fact|date=January 2008 However, this is stated during a throwaway gag rather than as part of the story; given that no further references have been made supporting this notion, it is possible that Ling-Ling's belief in Scientology is not canon. (A strong possibility is that the line was included so they could make an Engrish joke by having him pronounce it as "R. Ron Hubbard".) However, some activities such as commiting Seppuku can refer him to being a Shintoist.

exuality

Ling-Ling likes to go clubbing every night to battle female Pokémon-like monsters. While the encounters resemble his regular battles on the surface, their purpose is actually to provide sexual gratification rather than the death or injury of one of the two parties. In "Clum Babies", he battles a green monster named Hoochie in this fashion; though he appears to brutally murder her, she is shown the next morning to have emerged from the encounter relatively unscathed. Ling-Ling is shown to be something of a player, at least until an episode where he had to submit to an arranged battle with a beautiful purple cat-like monster named Ni-Pul. They fell in love, but the relationship eventually became stale before they "dropped the metaphor" and had regular sex (which also caused Ling-ling's tail to get bigger). Ni-Pul and Ling-Ling were both murdered at the end of the episode in a shooting rampage (though they were revived later, but that was not seen). She has not been mentioned since this occurred, though she makes a cameo appearance in "The Drawn Together Clip Show" as a member of the audience. It is not known whether she and Ling-Ling are still involved with one another.

There are possible hints that Ling-Ling is a necrophiliac; in "Hot Tub", when challenging Clara to a fight, he wanted to have sex with Clara's skull before turning it into a birdhouse. In "Requiem for a Reality Show", after being accidentally eaten by Toot, he had sex with a roast chicken that Toot had eaten before she regurgitated them both. In "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II", Ling-Ling demonstrates a fetish for used schoolgirl underwear; this is a reference to the Japanese burusera trend. Both Ling-Ling and his father are mentioned as liking women with small feet in several episodes ("Gay Bash", "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", "Freaks & Greeks"), referencing another Asian sexual stereotype.

In "Wooldoor Sockbat's Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable!", when the Terminator performs a scan of the housemates, his sensors label Ling-Ling as bisexual. However, this appears to be just a gag; to date, Ling-Ling has not demonstrated any bisexual tendencies through his behavior on the show. As Mr. Nagasaki in A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special, he solicits Xandir's services as a prostitute, but since he is role-playing, this act cannot be considered indicative of Ling-Ling's true character.

Race and culture

Ling-Ling is East Asian, but it is never stated explicitly what his particular ethnicity is; this is because the character is intended to represent all East Asian cultures rather than any particular nationality. Ling-Ling's depiction most closely resembles Japanese, but there are hints of Chinese ancestry as well, such as constant references to fortune cookies, Chinese food, dry cleaning (although these references are based more on Chinese stereotypes than actual Chinese culture), and his own name (Chinese children are sometimes called a double version of their first name). While it is possible that Ling-Ling is of mixed ancestry, in all likelihood, the character's nationality is kept deliberately ambiguous to allow for a wider reach of Asian references to draw from. In Season Two, Ling-Ling takes on even more Asian stereotypes (see "Stereotypes" below), such as being unable to drive well and always acing standardized tests. The episode "Super Nanny" reveals that Ling-Ling's perception of the world is radically different from that of the other characters; when Clara simulates his vision, the other housemates look like anime characters, a seemingly empty road seems filled with oncoming cars (the given reason for Ling-Ling's inability to drive), and a variety of other differences are shown which play off Asian stereotypes. When Wooldoor rounds out his eyes with tape, Ling-Ling sees the world normally and can speak English, albeit with his previous speech patterns. However, at the end of the episode, he takes the tape off and reverts back to his old self after seeing another Asian person with rounded eyes gain weight and become stupid.

A running gag on the show involves Ling-Ling's difficulty pronouncing the letter "L", usually substituting the letter "R". In "Clum Babies," Ling-Ling discusses his shampoo Prell, lamenting that "Plerr" leaves his hair smooth, but leaves his soul stained with shame and embarrassment due to his difficulty in pronouncing the name. In "Super Nanny", Ling-Ling reads an eye chart and says "R" for every letter when each letter is actually "L". In "Spelling Applebee's", Ling-Ling is asked to spell the word "L" at the spelling bee; his only response is to stare blankly. At times, the gag is reversed, and Ling-Ling substitutes "L" for "R". In "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", one of Ling-Ling's speeches mixes both gags; when he lists synonyms for breasts, he says, "Merrons, hootels, headrights, flied eggs, cleam puffs!" These gags are just two of many references to Engrish in the series. It may be noted however, that in earlier episodes, Ling-Ling could pronounce the letter L.

The show is somewhat vague as to how well the other characters can comprehend Ling-Ling's speech. Though they seem able to understand him some of the time, they frequently misinterpret him, and often imagine he is saying whatever they want to hear. The only character who unquestionably can understand him is Spanky Ham, but Spanky doesn't bother translating for the housemates. It is suggested in Season Three that Toot may be able to understand Ling-Ling as well; in the episodes "Freaks & Greeks" and "Mexican't Buy Me Love", Ling-Ling and Toot have several conversations during which Toot seems to be able to understand Ling-Ling's dialect perfectly, despite her inability to do so in previous episodes. Ling-Ling, on the other hand, seems to have no trouble understanding the others' English.

Three times during the episode "Freaks & Greeks", Ling-Ling is speaking and the Comedy Central bug expands to say that an all-new "Daily Show" is coming up next, almost completely blocking the subtitles translating what Ling-Ling is saying. Then, Captain Hero or Jun-Jee looks at the bottom of the screen and comments about Jon Stewart or "The Daily Show" while completely disregarding Ling-Ling's subtitled speech. This suggests that some characters (even his own father) actually comprehend him by the English subtitles on screen; indeed, Xandir explicitly says that he can't understand Ling-Ling simply because he can't read the subtitles. This is an example of breaking the fourth wall. However, this does not hold true in all cases. In "Hot Tub", Clara is clearly unable to understand his battle challenge, and in "Clara's Dirty Little Secret", all the housemates except Spanky think he is telling them to kill Clara's Octopussoir when he is actually telling them to clean the dirty dishes in the sink.

In an interview for Comedy Central's Motherload, Abbey McBride dubs Ling-Ling's language "Japorean," which is she admits is nonsense gibberish that is only supposed to sound like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or other languages from Eastern Asia. Ling-Ling's speech does contain occasional words of English and Japanese added for comic effect (for instance, when discussing the death of a Mexican prostitute, the only understandable words are "Paris Hilton"); however, they are simply gags rather than an actual attempt to translate Ling-Ling's language.

tereotypes

A list of East Asian stereotypes that have been applied to Ling-Ling at certain points in the series.

* Speaking Engrish, including reversing the "L" and "R" sounds (numerous episodes)
* Strong desire for honor (several episodes, most notably "Gay Bash" and "Mexican't Buy Me Love")
* Being able to expertly produce counterfeit versions of brand name products, such as trainers, in sweatshop conditions in a matter of seconds ("Gay Bash")
* Being attracted to small feet ("Gay Bash", "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special", "Freaks & Greeks")
* Infanticide of girl babies ("Gay Bash", "Captain Girl")
* Working as a dry cleaner ("The Other Cousin, "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special")
* Displaying a fondness for used schoolgirl panties ("The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II")
* Being extremely skilled at standardized tests ("Foxxy vs. the Board of Education")
* Not wearing shoes inside the home ("Foxxy vs. the Board of Education")
* Operating massage parlors ("Little Orphan Hero")
* Using dogs and cats in meals ("Little Orphan Hero", "Super Nanny")
* Pulling a rickshaw ("Ghostesses in the Slot Machine")
* Being a poor driver ("Super Nanny")
* Possessing excellent math skills ("Super Nanny")
* Wearing Hawaiian shirts to formal events ("Super Nanny")
* Businessmen going to prostitutes ("A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special")
* Working as a pedicurist ("N.R.A.y RAY")
* Eating lots of rice ("Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care")
* Having a small penis ("Super Nanny")

Original artwork

In original artwork before the show's release, Ling-Ling was originally green and much smaller, similar to Jerry the mouse from "Tom and Jerry". [cite web|url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117893385.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&query=%22Drawn+Together%22|title=Reality fever hits cartoons|work=Variety.com|accessdate=2006-11-27]

References


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