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October 11, 2011 8:06 PM   Subscribe

The True (Korean) Origin of Pizza (SLYT viral)

An advertisement for the Korean pizza chain Mr. Pizza.
posted by bardic (38 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. I kind of can't believe how much I enjoyed this. The super-brief flash of a poster promoting the Dokdo cause was amazing. They're going to get some nasty letters about that; some people take it VERY seriously.

In my experience* Koreans don't tend to do self-deprecation or mocking (silly or otherwise) of Korean pride particularly well. I am sort of amazed.

*am Korean
posted by peachfuzz at 8:17 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really dig this. Does anyone know the agency behind this? I need job. They need hire me.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 8:34 PM on October 11, 2011


Oh man, continuous lols. The portraits really did me in. Great!
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:59 PM on October 11, 2011


Hilarious. The portraits going back through the generations had me laughing out loud.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:06 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The super-brief flash of a poster promoting the Dokdo cause was amazing.

Just above that on the website shown is a map of "historical Korea" encompassing the entirety of coastal Asia. Awesome.

This video is so spot on. The Chinese culture professor talking about "The Greatest Civilization, the Great Chinese People" and "those other people"... the drop-out ultra-nationalist blogger's apartment wallpapered with propaganda, the corporate spokesman who repeats slogans even when they make no sense. It's amazing.

Also, food has no nationality. Just putting that out there.
posted by Winnemac at 9:07 PM on October 11, 2011


Nice. The incessant slow zoom & pans on the map of East Asia really did it for me.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:09 PM on October 11, 2011


That was amazingly spot-on and self-aware for a Korean ad. Mr Pizza is indeed a big pizza chain here -- terrible, terrible pizza -- and the way they could make the (actor, I assume playing the) CEO of the company look like a bit of a dummy was honestly unheard of, as was the poking of fun at the omnipresent we-invented-it-here stuff you hear from Koreans.

Truth is that some amazing things were indeed invented here, but all people repeat, as if it were historical gospel, is the trivial (and incorrect) stuff -- like 'choco-pie' cookies ('wagon wheels', if, like me, you grew up in Canada in the 60s and 70s) being invented in Korea.

But this kind of blew me away in its winking, snook-cocking cleverness and mockumentary chops. I honestly find it hard to believe that it wasn't at least partly produced by a foreign ad company working together with their Korean counterparts, it shows so much uncharacteristic self-awareness and self-deprecation.

Oh, and it's funny on a whole other level too, because jjeon, which is basically a pancake made with thin sliced veggies and green onions and sometimes seafood or pumpkin or any number of other things, a common accompaniment to meals as a side dish, really is perennially referred to as 'Korea pizza'. It is nothing like pizza.

Also, I got confused at the beginning because the fake Chinese professor was said to be at 'Kwang-yang University'. That's the old spelling of the small city I've actually lived in for the last 8 years -- Gwangyang -- and there definitely isn't a university here, Chinese or otherwise.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:25 PM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


"That was amazingly spot-on and self-aware for a Korean ad."

Agreed. My jaw dropped when I saw it -- funny, self-aware, and ironic! Those last two things you don't find much in Korean media.

"terrible, terrible pizza"

Well, I like their seafood pizza but it did take a little getting used to.
posted by bardic at 9:31 PM on October 11, 2011


Also, food has no nationality. Just putting that out there.

Perhaps not, but this particular brand of pizza has a [questionably translated] gender bias.
posted by obscurator at 9:44 PM on October 11, 2011


We believe that second box on his head is the first garlic bread promotion...


...



Still laughing...too excellent...
posted by Skygazer at 9:49 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


but this particular brand of pizza has a [questionably translated] gender bias.

Korea has a gender bias. Though it has been getting better in recent years, with many notable exceptions.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:51 PM on October 11, 2011


*strokes chin, makes pizza*
posted by mannequito at 10:17 PM on October 11, 2011


Also, food has no nationality. Just putting that out there.

Fuck that, vive la poutine libre!
posted by Hoopo at 10:32 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I LOVE IT!!! The picture of the head guy stroking his chin mirroring his picture totally reminded me of the IT Crowd (season 1, episode 1).
posted by ichimunki at 10:35 PM on October 11, 2011


Also, food has no nationality. Just putting that out there.

wait, what? Explain. Because I was planning on going to Chinatown for some Chinese food tonight, and now I'm confused
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:28 PM on October 11, 2011


The humor is completely not Korean - this could not have been done by a Korean ad agency. The Chinese professor doing the finger quotation marks should give it away - that's about as American a gesture as you'll run across.
posted by war wrath of wraith at 11:49 PM on October 11, 2011


like 'choco-pie' cookies ('wagon wheels', if, like me, you grew up in Canada in the 60s and 70s) being invented in Korea.

"I'm only going to say this once, so listen well. My dream is that one day our republic makes the best damn sweets on the peninsula. Got it?

Until then, all I can do is dream about these Choco Pies."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:08 AM on October 12, 2011


I'm hoping this viral ad presages a massive North American franchising effort. The phrase 'kimchi pizza' gives me a kind of religious peace. Often, I wonder why this long universe was set in motion. Kimchi pizza.
posted by liminalrampaste at 1:49 AM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Post of the week!
posted by caddis at 4:06 AM on October 12, 2011


I love Mr. Pizza's potato pizza! Although, for pepperoni, I still prefer the American chains...
posted by nile_red at 4:25 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Youtube comments are gold as well.
posted by NoMich at 4:26 AM on October 12, 2011


Terrific. I'm still laughing. And, yeah, agreeing with the other posters about the non-Koreanness of the humour.
posted by tickingclock at 5:16 AM on October 12, 2011


Lost it at the garlic bread.

Though I do have to point out that the first ancient drawing they claim is of a guy eating a slice of pizza? It's clearly half a calzone.

I think in the US we'd call 'jjeon' a pancake; "scallion pancake" is a staple in Chinese restaurants. It's too bad Mr. Pizza make terrible pizza, because what the Koreans have done with fried chicken is impressive. If you have Bon Chon restaurant near you I recommend trying it. If you go to the one in Allston you can get a bacon-squid-shrimp pancake too.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:00 AM on October 12, 2011


Saw a Mr. Pizza opening soon in Little Tokyo, LA. The signage was oretty Engrishy for an international chain. I wonder if they're playing up their "Wtf Korean Pizza" in more ways than one, then.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:21 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was better in the original Klingon.
posted by bicyclefish at 8:11 AM on October 12, 2011


Saw this while waiting for our pizza to cool. Perfect.
posted by that girl at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2011


Yes, superb and wonderful that this got green-lighted by Mr Pizza; it's the sort of laughing at one's eccentricities that Koreans appear to do very little, from an outsider's perspective. Even the loving attention to detail seems in some way unKorean - the ROK seems in many ways to have elevated "that'll do, now onto the next thing" to a national ethos.

For those unfamiliar with Korea's desire to claim all sorts of things as their own, this is a fairly good example.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 1:31 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Korea's desire to claim all sorts of things as their own

Eh, they totally copied that from China.
posted by kmz at 5:30 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, they totally copied that from China.

That is the way it's done.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:56 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've heard in Korea you can often get corn as a topping. The explanation I heard was that since pizza is American and corn is American, it's assumed they go together. Can anyone confirm this and/or offer other theories?
posted by meandthebean at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2011


la poutine libre? je préfère la poutine gratuite...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:48 PM on October 12, 2011


I've heard in Korea you can often get corn as a topping. The explanation I heard was that since pizza is American and corn is American, it's assumed they go together. Can anyone confirm this and/or offer other theories?

You'll have to ask the Japanese. They started it -- as with so much else here in Korea, the idea was just borrowed.

Mashed sweet potato (goguma) rings on the pizza -- it's fucking horrific -- just may have started here, though. First time it started to show up was about 6 or 8 years back. Not really much to be proud of, unless you're a big sweet potato person, I guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 PM on October 12, 2011


"I've heard in Korea you can often get corn as a topping."

Can?

It's kind of mandatory, actually.

And in Japan too.
posted by bardic at 8:05 PM on October 12, 2011


I had a pizza in Seoul in 1989 and instead of pepperoni it came with sliced hotdogs. I was so sad. This doesn't quite make up for that.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:22 PM on October 12, 2011


I'm told corn is popular as a pizza topping in England, as well, so just lay off already.

Plus corn-and-pepperoni pizza is crazy delicious.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:44 PM on October 12, 2011


Koreans make the world.The God also come from korean too! ;-)
posted by Flusty at 8:16 AM on October 13, 2011


Korea's desire to claim all sorts of things as their own

Eh, they totally copied that from China.

Copying things? Indian! Think about it, ya?
posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:41 AM on October 13, 2011


An excellent in-depth analysis from the Asia-Pacific Journal.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 3:40 AM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


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