Joe Biden Imitates an Indian Accent during NH Speech

Vice President Joe Biden (who I like to think of as America’s wacky, slightly off-color Uncle Joe) briefly imitated an Indian accent while giving a speech in New Hampshire on Thursday.

This of course isn’t the first time Biden’s gotten into hot water with the desi community. Back in 2006, the then-Senator noted that “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Watch the video of yesterday’s speech below. The imitation begins at 00:09 and ends rather abruptly. As one Buzzfeed commenter noted, “It’s like halfway through the impression he thought, “Oh sh–, better not follow through with this one.”

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“Outsourced” gets picked up by NBC

Exciting news out of Hollywood for sitcom fans: a show set in India will be on network television this fall.

Outsourced, a sitcom about an American manager who has been transferred to India to run his company’s call center, has been picked up by NBC. The show is based on the 2006 movie of the same name. (The film garnered mostly positive reviews, earning a 78% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.)

Via Headline Planet, here’s NBC’s synopsis of the show:

“Outsourced” is a comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash. The series centers on the all-American company Mid America Novelties that sells whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon — and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India. Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway’s “The Gingerbread House”) is the new company’s manager who learns that he’s being transferred to India to run the operation.

Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world. But as strange as America seems to his eclectic sales team, Todd soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job. Rizwan Manji (“Privileged”), Sacha Dhawan (BBC’s “Five Days II”), Rebecca Hazlewood (BBC’s “Doctors”), Parvesh Cheena (“Help Me Help You”), and Anisha Nagarajan (Broadway’s “Bombay Dreams”) also star as members of Dempsy’s off-shore team; Diedrich Bader (“The Drew Carey Show”) and Jessica Gower (Network Ten’s “The Secret Life of Us”) additionally star.

While the show’s storyline is certainly timely, Deadline.com’s Nellie Andreeva wonders if America is ready for a show centered on outsourcing. She writes:

By tackling such a touchy subject, NBC is guaranteed free publicity because of the inevitable controversy over its new comedy series. And that may distinguish it in next fall’s cluttered landscape where more than 90% of new shows fail.

Do you think Outsourced will appeal to the same niche audience that gravitates towards NBC shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation? And has anyone seen the movie this show is based on?

Hat tip: Actor Parvesh Cheena’s Twitter feed (@Parvesh)

Bangalore Loves Bill Halter

Courtesy of the “Americans for Job Security“, I now have a new favorite political attack ad of all time.*

As political junkies across the country closely watch the Arkansas Senate race and Senator Blanche Lincoln’s (D-AK AR) struggle to hold onto her seat, the “Americans for Job Security” have released this ad against Bill Halter, Lincoln’s opponent in the Democratic primary:

As I’ve probably mentioned before, Bangalore is my family’s hometown and it isn’t everyday when you see an entire campaign spot filled with characters who represent your relatives. It’s extra special when you actually recognize streets and stores in the background of said advertisement. (More on this a bit later.)

Here’s a quick look at why I find this ad so interesting:

1) As Amardeep of Sepia Mutiny points out, “the “our jobs are going to India” bogie [sic] is also still alive and well in American politics.” (I was hoping this meme peaked in 2004.)

2) Despite outward appearances, this ad wasn’t produced by Senator Lincoln or her allies. According to Open Secrets, Americans for Job Security is a “a pro-Republican, pro-business organization” that was founded in 1997. Executive Director David Carney formerly worked for President George H.W. Bush.

3) In a post titled “Worst Ad Ever? Arkansas Senate Race Hits New Low”, Politics Daily reports that Lincoln spoke out against the ad on Saturday:

“I condemn the television ad reportedly scheduled to air in Arkansas sponsored by a group called Americans for Job Security,” Lincoln said. “It is offensive and doesn’t belong in Arkansas. As a victim myself of constant negative attack ads by outside third party groups since early March, I deeply regret that their participation in this campaign isn’t more constructive.”

4) Despite the condemnation noted above, a quick glance at the Facts section of Lincoln’s election website shows the extent the Lincoln campaign is playing up Halter’s ties to India. On the first page alone the word “India” shows up 22 times, while “Outsourcing” and “Bangalore” pop up 13 and 7 times respectively.

5) Finally, a shout out to the producers of the spot. To their credit, that is actually Bangalore on the green screens behind the actors. At 00:20 you can see a glimpse of Jayanagar’s 4th Block. (You can even clearly read the Raymond’s sign.)

*If you are curious, my former favorite attack ad of all time can be found here.