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.
IN 2002 Thomas Hertog received an e-mail summoning him to the office of his mentor Stephen Hawking. The young researcher rushed to Hawking’s room at Cambridge. “His eyes were radiant with excitement,” Hertog recalls. Typing on the computer-controlled voice system that allowed the cosmologist to communicate, Hawking announced: “I have changed my mind. My book, A Brief History of Time, is written from the wrong perspective.” Thus one of the biggest-selling scientific books in publishing history, with worldwide sales credited at more than 10 million, was consigned to the waste bin by its own author. Hawking and Hertog then began working on
March 27 to April 2 After placing fifth in the 1964 Miss Universe pageant in Miami, “Miss China” Yu Yi (于儀) toured the US to great fanfare. The Chinese community in San Francisco called her the “pride of the Republic of China (ROC),” and she even received the key to New York City. Taiwan’s Miss China pageant produced three winners that year who performed on the international stage. Lin Su-hsin (林素幸), the second Taiwan-born Miss China, did even better, claiming third place in London’s Miss World. She says she was elated to see
Last week, the huge news broke that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would not host an open primary for its presidential nominee, but instead pick a candidate through a committee process. KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) sent forth a few polite meaningless words about party unity in making the announcement. There’s great commentary on this momentous move, so I will say only that for those of you who think the KMT will “never be that dumb,” I have three words for you: Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), the unelectable candidate the party chose for the 2016 presidential race. Criticism of the Democratic Progressive
Pingtung County was home to many of Taiwan’s earliest Hakka immigrants. Jiadong Township (佳冬鄉), now little more than a small rural outpost along the road to Kenting with a slowly dwindling population and a local economy supported mainly by aquaculture, was once a thriving Hakka stronghold. Evidence of the residents’ strong family ties, self-reliance and, in some cases, keen business sense, still remains. At the time of the Japanese takeover in 1895, it was still an important enough center that the incoming colonists sent a special military mission to capture it. Nowadays, much has been done to preserve the cultural