You Don’t Know Jack; I Didn’t Either
When I was a kid I kinda, used to watch Barney Miller. I didn’t watch it a lot because for a six-year-old the jokes were over my head. The most I remember is that it had a lot of white guys, a black guy, an Asian guy and Fish. Everyone knew Fish. You may have never seen the show probably know who Fish is. What surprises many people is not that they know of him but he’s still alive and kicking it today.
What surprised many people is when Jack Soo died in real life. It was really unexpected, mostly because we thought Fish was going to die. As a kid I only knew him from the show and was surprised one day rewatching Thoroughly Modern Millie with my daughter to see him come on screen and do a soft shoe. After that I finally caught Flower Drum Song on the American Movie Channel and saw him as Sammy Fong.
He’s still surprising me today. Thanks to Jeff Adachi‘s new film “You Don’t Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story” he will surprise you, too. He was the first Asian American to be regular on a TV show. And, this one is really a shocker, he was the first Asian American to sign with Motown Records in 1965 and he recorded (but never released) “For Once in My Life” before Stevie Wonder.
Sometimes history is lost not because anyone is hiding it but because we forget to tell our story to the younger generation. If you feel like you don’t know Jack but would like to then check the website and see when it comes to a festival near you.