After entering self-imposed exile more than a decade ago, grassroots comedy legend Chu Ke-liang (豬哥亮) was located by Apple Daily last week in a small village in southern Taiwan. “I’m still on the lam!” the startled vet told reporters.
A stand-up comedian who rose to superstardom in the 1980s, Chu was known and loved for his vulgar sense of humor and over-the-top appearance that featured a “toilet-lid” (馬桶蓋)hairstyle, which became his trademark.
Big money came his way, way too easily. With a reported monthly income of some NT$60 million, the comic gambled heavily, and wound up ruined.
In 1995, unable to pay off his debts to the mafia, Chu disappeared, along with his third wife and their son. Until, that is, the infinitely resourceful paparazzi caught up with the 62-year-old while he was tucking into a bowl of oden (黑輪) at a humble eatery.
The media have been busy trying to piece together Chu’s missing decade.
Some sources claim the fugitive has several bolt-holes in southern Taiwan. Others speculate he would arrive home late at night and leave before daybreak to avoid detection.
As for exactly how much the former gambler owes, figures vary from US$8.7 million to US$14 million, though his daughter, singer Jeannie Hsieh (謝金燕), once said that even if there were 100 of her, they wouldn’t be able pay off the sum.
Several of Chu’s old showbiz chums including Chang Fei (張菲), Kao Ling-feng (高凌風) and Chu Yen-ping (朱延平) urged the funnyman to return to the stage, and asked his creditors to spare the man’s life so he could work to repay his dues.
Entertainer-turned-lawmaker Yu Tian (余天) made a public appeal to Chu to contact him so that they could “work something out …”
Local pundits, meanwhile, are salivating at the prospect of a possible comeback.
If you’re blissfully unaware of who Yao Yao (瑤瑤) is, you’re most likely not a zhainan (宅男), the Taiwanese version of the Japanese otaku, a homebound, nerdy guy whose life is all about anime films, manga or computer games and the real-life girls who endorse these products.
Yao Yao is a baby-faced 18-year-old high-school girl and the alleged owner of a pair of 33E breasts. She was recently featured in a television commercial for an online game, which apparently was plotless and centered on her undulating umlauts while she rode a mechanical horse.
According to the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper), Yao Yao has quickly attained sex-goddess status in Taiwan’s otaku community and has been dubbed a “big-breasted bodacious baby face” (童顏巨乳), an epithet used in Japan for porn stars.
In a sign of her rising popularity, the newly minted diva attracted the attention of a stalker, her first, who lurked a whole day at the entrance of the school she attends. Police later arrested the admirer, 19-year-old Lee Lung-hui (李龍輝), for stealing an online game package from a convenience store after he failed to make contact with his idol.
When asked why he wanted to meet Yao Yao, Lee expressed his wish to become her bodyguard. As for the game package he pilfered, Lee said Yao Yao looked so fragile and vulnerable in the picture on the cover that he just had to take it home.
The pandemic seems to be far from over, but the Post Pandemic Renaissance Theater (PPRT) is getting a head start by putting on its first event last Friday: the first round of the Taiwan Monologue Slam. Ten contestants delivered passionate and nuanced pieces on stage, and the audience voted with their phones for two winners who will advance to the local finals in November. There will be four finals in the next year, and each winner is automatically entered into the World Monologue Games regional finals, bypassing the preliminaries. The goal is to eventually get a Taiwan team to next summer’s games,
In an industrial unit on the outskirts of Taipei chefs are plating meals that will never be served in a restaurant: welcome to the world of “ghost kitchens.” Even before the pandemic sent an earthquake through the global restaurant trade, the “Amazonification” of commercial kitchens was well underway, but coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions have fueled explosive growth in Asia. The recent boom in food delivery apps meant customers were already used to having restaurant quality meals quickly delivered to their homes. To meet that demand a growing number of restaurants set up delivery only kitchens — also known as “cloud kitchens”
Afghan youth rights activist Wazhma Sayle says she was shocked to see a photograph online, apparently of women dressed in black all-enveloping niqabs and gowns, staging a demonstration in support of the country’s new Taliban rulers at Kabul University. The 36-year-old, who is based in Sweden, later posted a photograph of herself on Twitter dressed in a bright green and silver dress captioned: “This is Afghan culture & how we dress! Anything less then this does not represent Afghan women!” “It’s a fight for our identity,” Sayle said in a telephone interview. “I don’t want to be identified the way Taliban showed
As we packed up our riverbed camp on a sunny Sunday morning, we looked upstream to the unknown terrain ahead, wondering what surprises lay there. Would we come out on the other side? Or would we be forced to turn around and return to the start, heads hanging low? We had come to the end of the road and were now about to blaze our own trail through over 40km of wilderness to the foot of Jade Mountain. The day before we had gotten a ride up Provincial Highway 29, which follows the Nanzihsian River (楠梓仙溪) through rural Kaohsiung all the