Eight of Hong Kong superstar Stephen Chow’s funniest scenes

Chow may be firmly entrenched on the mainland, but for Hongkongers he’s their own king of comedy. Enjoy these golden moments from HK cinema

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 February, 2016, 4:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 February, 2016, 9:09am

The box office success of Mermaid is a bittersweet one for Hong Kong fans of Stephen Chow.

On the one hand, it further cements Chow’s status as one of this city’s most successful stars ever, but the nature of the production (financed by Chinese studios and shot in Putonghua) means the chance of Chow ever returning to starring in Cantonese mo lei tau comedies grows slimmer by the day. But fans will always have the memories.

READ MORE: Film review: Mermaid – Stephen Chow’s environmental morality tale

Here are eight of his funniest scenes:

How not to escape execution

From From Beijing With Love

What makes Stephen Chow’s ’90s films so hilarious is that his gags are at once absurd and based on reality (or, at least, what Hongkongers believe to be real). Take this scene, for example, in which Chow’s character – a James Bond-like Chinese secret agent named Ling Ling Chat (Cantonese for “zero zero seven”) – is framed by a corrupt senior Chinese government official and sent for execution by firing squad. Ling thinks of multiple ways to escape, only to witness fellow captives try and fail each of his ideas.

Wayward flying daggers

From Kung Fu Hustle

With Chow seemingly retired from acting, this scene, in which his low-level thug character attempts to assassinate a Kung Fu master with disastrous results, is perhaps the last mo lei tau scene of the superstar’s acting career.

Siu Keung, the pet cockroach

From Flirting Scholar

This scene, in which Chow’s character competes with another man to see whose life is sadder in an effort to gain the sympathy of a beautiful woman (Gong Li) is not only laugh-out-loud hilarious, but significant to Hong Kong popular culture because the nickname “Siu Keung” is still commonly used for cockroaches today.

Only you

From Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella

Arguably Chow’s most beloved film, this wacky yet heartbreaking reinterpretation of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West reimagines the Buddhist monk Xuanzang as an annoyingly verbose man who threatens the sanity of not just Chow’s Monkey King, but also the moon goddess.

Triad auditions

From God of Cookery

This scene begins with Chow’s smart alec character repeatedly interrupting a heated argument between two triad bosses while hidden among a crowd of gangsters. Eventually, both bosses are so fed up, they force the group of thugs to form an audition line and recite the comment one by one, so they can identity the anonymous commenter. Watch for Chow regular Lam Suet practising his lines as if he was an aspiring singer.

Judgement day

From Love on Delivery

This parody of a classic Terminator scene is an amusing set-up for Chow’s nice-guy pushover character.

Poetry battle

From Flirting Scholar

Ming dynasty poet and painter Tang Yin (aka Tang Bohu) is known for his linguistic prowess. So, naturally, Chow’s portrayal of him takes the skills up several notches – his prose is so good, rival scholars vomit blood.

The 18 bronze men of Shaolin

From God of Cookery

Chow plays a corrupt celebrity chef with mediocre cooking skills who, after being stabbed in the back by his business partner, heads to the kitchen in the Shaolin temple to improve his culinary skills. In this flashback, Chow’s character recalls the gruelling training that repeatedly left him a bloody mess, much to the laughter of the audience.