Why Chuck Norris Is Worthy Of Praise Rather Than Parody

Chuck Norris is worthy of every man’s respect. But you wouldn’t know that watching any mainstream media today. These days, he is more an object of playful sneering at best (look at any of the “Chuck Norris Facts”) and condescending dismissal at worst (mention his name to any leftist film nerd).

This cultural snubbing is partially understandable. He’s a practitioner of a martial art considered lame (Tae Kwon Do), his film and television output—his main claim to fame—was of varying quality with his good product (Lone Wolf McQuade and Code Of Silence) vastly outweighed by the bad (his entire 1990’s catalog). Worse yet, his late career embrace of Evangelical Christianity and vocal participation in conservative politics guaranteed him a potential place of scorn with the leftist cultural overlords.

Now, he seems to be a quaint artifact from a bygone era (Karate magazines of the 70s and action movies of the 80s), relegated to late night television infomercials (Total Gym), and Walker, Texas Ranger re-runs on some obscure digital sub-channel. When he does make a “mainstream” appearance in movies or television, he’s practically the physical embodiment of a punchline (see Dodgeball or The Expendables 2).

Chuck Norris in Dodgeball

Usually, if an actor or performer embraces anything right of extreme left-wing politics, there are either immediate professional repercussions (witness the cowardice of singers dropping out of Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities) or long term smearing of legacies (demeaning John Wayne as a draft dodger, Walt Disney as an anti-Semite etc.). However, fellow Hollywood Republicans (and 80s icons) like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis have enjoyed lengthy careers. Even strong Catholic Mel Gibson seems to have weathered the storm.

So what’s up with Chuck? Why is he the object of cultural derision?

Karate! Karate! Karate!

Norris’ first claim to fame was in the martial arts world. With an impressive Karate tournament record and being one of the few in the Hollywood area to actually know an Asian martial art got him a nice gig as a trainer to the stars (like Steve McQueen). Since martial arts was a small niche community at the time, he, along with others like a recent Chinese immigrant named Bruce Lee, trained together and even took bit roles in movies (both participated in 1968 spy parody The Wrecking Crew) to take falls for actors way below their skill level (Dean Martin). When Lee returned to Hong Kong to make movies he called on Norris to fight him in a now classic climax in Way of the Dragon.

Bruce Vs Chuck in Way Of The Dragon

It was exotic to know Karate (Norris actually specialized in the Korean art of Tang Soo Do, a relative of Tae Kwon Do) in 1960s and 1970s. It isn’t anymore. With McDojo’s in countless shopping centers across America and the rise in popularity of MMA, martial arts have been demystified. In UFC, Karate practitioners (such as Norris contemporary Ron Van Clief) were dispatched with ease. Celebrities now learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from MMA veterans like Bas Rutten. Having a black belt in Karate or Tae Kwon Do carries little prestige in America today.

But that wasn’t the case in the 1970s. After the death of Lee, martial arts and martial arts movies became a hot commodity which led to the next phase of Norris’ career and add another layer of mockery.

Bad Movies

Norris started in the low budget realm of American independents. Due to the grindhouse success of Kung Fu films and an increased interest in martial arts, film companies tried to capitalize on it with homegrown product. Who better than the American who fought Bruce Lee himself onscreen?

However, the US product lacked the kinetics and cultural cache of its Asian counterparts. Whereas Chinese and Japanese film companies allocated their biggest budgets and best talents behind martial arts fare, Hollywood initially relegated it to the ghetto (literally and figuratively). Similar to other indie-centric genres (horror and porn), novelty, was really the only appeal of American “Karate movies” like Norris’. But his movies had a good return on investment.

As the market demand for Kung Fu flicks transitioned to television, Norris was able to transition to more straight-ahead action fare that would make Stallone and Schwarzenegger household names. But instead of doing it for mainstream studios like Fox or Paramount, he signed on with a notorious mega-indie which would not help his career reputation.

Association With Cannon Pictures

Though moderately successful in the 1980s, Cannon Pictures is more grossly ridiculed today (see the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films). Ran by Israeli transplants Menaham Golan and Yoram Globus, they are considered as purveyors of schlock, embodying all the negatives of 80s cheese: cheap action thrills featuring Karate, American Ninjas and hysterical Arab villains, all against a backdrop of shrill ‘Murica jingoism. This image is not 100% accurate but to every myth there is some truth and Cannon did emphasize quantity over quality for the most part.

Cannon owners Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus

Norris, being their marquee star (along with the other “Chuck”—Charles Bronson) found his career reputation suffer with the negative fortunes of his cinematic benefactors (Cannon filed for bankruptcy; a victim of the junk bond investment schemes of the era). Unlike Bronson, who had a couple decades worth of cinematic goodwill before basically ending his career with Cannon, Norris’ main body of work was with the studio. While sneering at Bronson’s endless cycle of Death Wish sequels, critics could recall the classics he was a part of (The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, the original Death Wish etc.). They experienced no recall with Norris. So they just laughed at Missing In Action, Invasion U.S.A. and Delta Force.

And they probably laughed when Cannon shut down. Unfortunately for Norris, the studio had planned to produce his debut television effort but had to drop out. However, he had enough popularity that CBS agreed to produce his show (networks usually didn’t directly produce shows at the time), which became the cherry on top for professional disdain.

Walker, Texas Ranger

Chuck as Walker

Every element of the show embodied cheese: the acting, the writing, the editing and of course it’s-so-bad-it’s-good theme song. Produced in Dallas—removed from the production center of Hollywood—Walker, Texas Ranger was a lynchpin in that purgatory of network program schedules: Saturday night primetime.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a few years after the show started, Norris converted to Evangelical Christianity and didn’t shy away from presenting those beliefs on the program. This of course would not endear him to the cultural elites residing in the parenthesis states nor do anything to help ensure his legacy in “official” histories in the annals of Hollywood. His tepid movie output of movies that went straight to video, only seemed to confirm this dismissal.

And Yet…

Though now an object of jest, those poking fun at him do so out of at least mild admiration than any outright hateful motivation. Norris himself is very likable both onscreen and in person. Behind our laughter might be a disguised admiration. Why? Chuck Norris is a self-made man. Really, he embodies the Kaizen ideals of continual self-improvement without regard to the good opinion of others (the elite). He seems comfortable in his own skin, no regrets or insecurities about his career. Better yet, his personal and professional life go against the grain of everything liberals hold dear—mainly victimhood and sucking up to elites. Let’s consider his career in reverse:

Walker, Texas Ranger, though pedestrian, was a safe space of sorts for Middle America. Families, home on a Saturday night, desperate for entertainment that would not attack their values found said entertainment in Walker. It’s easy to laugh at the innocence of it all but in a way, it was a continuation of the cinematic tradition of actors like Roy Rogers: Simple fare, with clear cut heroes and villains, giving boys action and adventure without having to face grim reality.

Growing up, Norris admired Rogers and John Wayne—icons to a generation of kids—and wanted to continue their legacy. He succeeded in a way. The show was a solid performer and wasn’t intended to be a critical darling. So, when some sneer at Chuck, could it be they are degenerate and don’t understand that one does not have to kowtow to critics to make a living?

Though Cannon—with its easy to lampoon immigrant ownership—definitely produced some bottom-of-the-barrel entertainment, people forget that ALL movie studios are guilty of the same thing. Cannon is easy to laugh at because they are out of business—there’s no fear of repercussions. Their action movies were puerile entertainment with adult thrills. I would choose to watch a Cannon movie over today’s supposed “mature” product with puerile characters, stories and preachy leftist messaging.

Cannon was honest entertainment. Those who grew up in the 80s (myself included) look back on the era with fondness—the apex of the home video era. When I went to the rental store, it was usually Cannon product I was begging my parents to bring home.

Fixtures of every neighborhood video rental store

And Chuck Norris was at the center of this. Adding to the leftist hostility, Norris’ Cannon movies, with their strong anti-Communist message, were widely distributed via the black market behind the Iron Curtain. As noted in the documentary, Chuck Norris vs Communism, these movies acted as propaganda to help topple socialist dictatorships. Yes, Chuck Norris helped defeat Communism! So when some sneer at Chuck, could it be he helped destroyed their leftist fantasies?

But most importantly, Chuck Norris represents a masculine ideal that is expressed through martial arts. Yes, Karate and Tae Kwon Do might not work best in a street fight but neither does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (you don’t want to be on your back on the street). In actuality, along with MMA, Boxing and Greco-Roman Wrestling, they are combat sports with skills that can be appropriated for real life encounters.

And Norris excelled at his respective sport. He learned it in Korea, where the training is more rigorous, with emphasis placed on the mental and spiritual just as much as the physical. He’s the first westerner to receive an 8th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do—a feat that required a lot discipline and self-mastery. And self-discipline is a skill many men are lacking in this modern world.

Looking good in old age

And he did this coming from a background of extreme poverty. Growing up in Oklahoma, he spent his teenage years helping his single mother raise his siblings. So, up from poverty to become a martial arts champion and then a rich movie star; truly an American success story. So maybe when some sneer at Chuck, could it be out of insecurity and weakness?

But all this makes him persona non grata in Hollywood. He didn’t beg for handouts, he built himself up, all the while actively participating in movies that literally destroyed leftist shibboleths. In the case of Norris, his “work”—movies and television shows—aren’t as important as the force of personality making them. His creative output isn’t as strong as his contemporaries but it’s really a moot point.

Just as men don’t need approval from the feminist left, Norris’ fans don’t need any cultural stamp of “approval.” Chuck Norris is a symbol of what men should aspire to be: Physically and mentally tough as well as self-reliant. He did things his way.

Read More:  4 Reasons Why We Should Praise The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

100 thoughts on “Why Chuck Norris Is Worthy Of Praise Rather Than Parody”

    1. Chuck Norris discovered Kratom so the rest of us could, if only for a while after a “bump” be like him!

  1. Thanks for the article. First movie of Chuck Norris I saw was ‘The Octagon.’ And it was the first time I heard of ninja. Saw it at the theater when it was new to the world. Perhaps the movie started the ninja craze in America.
    Anyway, fuck the left and fuck Hollywood. Does anyone think Matt Damon can whip Chuck Norris? How about Sean Penn? They make fun of Chuck Norris because he is something they will never be….A man! Great article. Thanks again.

    1. This is actual footage of Matt Damon and then professional commie-killer Chuck Norris kicking his ass

  2. So what would happen if Chuck Norris took Kratom?

  3. Good read! A lot of interesting background on Chuck, of which I knew nothing. I have an acquaintance in Waco, Texas, who is one of Chuck’s nephews. The only thing the guy ever said about him, was sarcastically negative. Jealousy…it’s a disease.

    1. They’re just tall tales. Same as Paul Bunyan stories a hundred thirty years ago. We American men have always loved to make up hilarious stories about a figure with hyperbolic strength.

      1. That was once an artifact of general European mythology and story telling. It is basically only present in the U.S. these days (as your observation alludes to in a way) because we’ve escaped a lot of the Deconstructionist bullshit in regard to Western culture as it has been handed down since 40,000 B.C.

      2. Chuck Norris vacationed in the Virgin Islands and when he left they had to rename the place “The Islands”…

    2. I thought that also.
      Either way, I once saw him on a morning show interview reciting some “facts” and having a good genuine laugh about it.

    3. I was always took the slew of Chuck Norris Facts as a form of appreciation. I’m pretty sure even he doesn’t feel insulted by them. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, Honda did a commercial with him appearing in a stuffy upper class restaurant decked out in his action film attire in a vain attempt to equate their shitbox Ridgeline as a “tough meets classy” truck. Despite his mediocre 90’s era catalogue of films, his name does still carry the “tough guy” connotation.

      1. IIRC, there were some Chuck Norris Fact-esque jokes during his cameo in THE EXPENDABLES II.

    4. Yes, praise, but also that familiar “ironic” homage to all things retro-masculine: those icons of the simple working-class past: turn-of-the-century beards, 50’s high-and-tight haircuts, plaid work shirts, boots, and cheap beer like PBR.
      The hipster millennials and their fetish for “branding” and insta-whoring have adopted the symbols and signals of a culture that was destroyed to make way for their gender-fluid safe spaces where DiveristyEquality makes for goodfeelz.
      Such is the Zeitgeist: signaling over substance. In their defense, they were born in the twilight of Western Civ, and thus can’t be taken to task for their misplaced “ironic” appropriation of what has since been banished to the dark corners of our culture, aka “alt”.
      Chuck was an icon of an era that celebrated the god-fearing, unapologetic white-male action hero, however hyperbolic. These days, it’s all dark-triad, anti-heros fighting evil raciss badwhites while poly-banging 90# mystery-meat MMA go-girls who run a Woman & Minority Owned organic fair-trade crime syndicate that steals from BigBadBanks and gives back to poor pre-op trannys who can’t afford the cut.
      I like to believe this kind of ironic homage as an innate desire to return to the natural state, where men are men, women are women, and masculine men fuck feminine women to create healthy babies. Repeat.
      Plus, 50+ y/o doing roundhouse kicks in skintight 501’s and boots is indeed badass, late night infomercials or not.

    5. In my country Norris is a legend, obviously in the good sense of the term. I never thought of these jokes as derrogatory, neither did the people I know (as far as I’m aware of).
      We idolize Norris exacly for the qualities mentioned on the article.
      He was and still is a great man, and his work was an good example for my generation.

    6. Exactly, it kept him in relevance with the cultural zeitgeist and all the same time being hilarious

  4. Being in the military in 2008 Chuck norris jokes where written all over the portoshitters in Iraq. A lot of soldiers had a comical reverence for the man. An unobtainable standard of manhood.

    1. While many berate the quality of his films of back then – to me, they stand worlds above the standard of tripe that the Hollywood degenerates are spewing today. Depravity, emasculated men, and all round projectile diarrhea which is often deduced by leftoid, shit eating cucks.

      1. True that..I just thought they were rather bad in general..I liked Slys, Arnolds, Van Dammes and Seagals movies more..still imagine living in times where they would actually make movies like that ? We didnt know how good we had it..now every movie is promoting fat and slut acceptance and feminism..the action hero is at best a metrosexual hipster.

        1. I would certainly agree there, Tom. Those guys were definitely a cut above. But Chuck Norris had a rawness about his films which made them original in their own way. I kind of like the ‘it’s-so-bad-that-it’s-good’ thing.

    1. Chuck Norris didn’t know how to read, so he wrote a book on how to read, then read it.

  5. I grew up near where Chuck Norris once lived in Lemon Heights (Santa Ana, Ca). I was in High School at the time, but we would run into him at the grocery store and he was always gracious; seemed like a real stand-up guy.

    1. I heard that about him. I once ran into Eddie George (OSU tailback) in his senior year just off campus having lunch. We exchanged a few words (I recall he menionted still feeling bruised and sore from Saturdays game) and he was quite a congenial and polite guy.

      1. Eddie George is renowned to be a pleasant decent type of fellow.

  6. The memes were insulting? I thought it was a kind of over-the-top praise–the joke would never have worked on Woody Allen, say.

    1. Indeed. One of my favourites is “every night the bogey man checks under his bed for Chuck Norris”. Wouldn’t work with Shemale Laboef.
      Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep. He waits.
      Chuck Norris destroyed the Periodic Table because the only element he recognizes is the element of surprise.

        1. Chuck Norris doesn’t read books – he just stares at them till they tell him what he wants to know.
          Chuck Norris and Superman once had a fight – loser had to wear his undies on the outside.

    2. Me too. I’ve always kind of interpreted the memes and jokes as praise, as if he were a modern day Paul Bunyan or John Henry.

  7. I also didn’t find anything particularly derogatory about Mr Norris, when the “Chuck Norris Facts” meme was in full steam. Granted, it has petered out and grown tired over the last 7-10 years…
    …still, I would not go around reciting them in front of Chuck himself; he’s liable to punch ya with that third fist hiding in his beard ; )

    1. I think he enjoys it. If you google around you can find an ad he does for Mike Huckabee where he recites Mike’s strong qualities while Mike recites Chuck Norris memes. Whatever your politics it’s pretty funny.

  8. When the wireless companies ran first cellular network, Chuck Norris already had two missed calls and a sms message.
    :thumbs up:

  9. Celebrities now learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from MMA veterans like Bas Rutten…

    Who, oddly enough, seems to be trying to make himself into a joke with his over-the-top antics, like he’s trying to embody the Chuck Norris parody memes.
    My favorite is the schlocky video where he explains how to be a tough guy in a bar…which, quelle surprise, does not teach any ground grappling BS.
    “Somebody’s telling me that about my wife? I’m sorry sir, but I’m gonna break your leg.”

    1. Boris Nemtsov, the Russian politician sponsored by the US state department (Hilary & Co) who got whacked on the streets of Moscow by Putin for betraying his country? Not sure a turncoat is the best role model.
      If you’re looking for the original badass it’s Vladimir Putin ROK should write about.

    2. Sure pal. An article about a beta turncoat who was a darling of Hillary and the Onigger State Department.
      That’s an article we are all waiting for. Not.

  10. During one of his films Chuck Norris traveled to the Virgin Islands. They are now the Islands.

  11. Meehh, his movies and tv shows really sucked. I mean Walker T R was awful lol.
    More of an Eastwood admirer, you can’t beat Clint’s: “the pussy generation needs to get over racism”.

  12. “It was exotic to know Karate (Norris actually specialized in the Korean art of Tang Soo Do, a relative of Tae Kwon Do) in 1960s and 1970s. It isn’t anymore. With McDojo’s in countless shopping centers across America and the rise in popularity of MMA, martial arts have been demystified. In UFC, Karate practitioners (such as Norris contemporary Ron Van Clief) were dispatched with ease. Celebrities now learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from MMA veterans like Bas Rutten. Having a black belt in Karate or Tae Kwon Do carries little prestige in America today.”
    The author knows nothing about Martial Arts.
    1) ‘Karate’ and Tang Soo Do are completely different styles; so its incorrect to use the first as synonymous to the former. In fact, Karate is just a generic term, like Whiskey; if you are going to talk about Karate you must mention the school: Karate Kyokushin, Karate Shotokan, Karate Goju Ryu, etc, etc.
    2) ‘Karate’ practitioners, especially Kyokushin have been the best competitors in tournaments focused on striking like K1 and other kickboxing/striking events; Google Andy Hug and Francisco Filho. MMA today is mostly BJJ enthusiasts who can’t stand a good old fashioned standonyourfeetandlet’sfight match.
    3) Bas Rutten is not teaching BJJ; again, Google is your friend
    4) Having a black belt in Karate Shotokan from a McDojo carries little prestige, but having a black belt from Kyokushin is a totally different story.

    1. Funny thing is… bad has a tkd background along with his kickboxing and wrestling root haha

  13. I remember one time when Chuck Norris challenged Lance Armstrong to a “Who has more testicles contest” and won by 11

      1. Did you know, when chuck Norris gets into water, he doesnt get wet, water gets chuck Norris?

  14. need to make a sequel to this article about steven segal, my dad loves his movies but we all agree he comes with all of the cheese and far less redeeming qualities

  15. The biker chick with the big tits in “silent rage ” teasing his fat deputy partner , classic ! I think she called em sweet cheeks or something . If someone could up load that seen be awesome !

  16. “In the eyes of a Ranger,
    the unsuspecting stranger,
    had better know the truth of wrong from right.”
    “‘Cause the eyes of the Ranger are upon you,
    any wrong you do he’s gonna see,
    When you’re in Texas look behind you,
    ’cause that’s where the Ranger’s gonna be.”

  17. Chuck Norris is also a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, under the machados. So he has both stand up and ground game. So he is actually a real badass….just fyi

  18. A few points to add – chuck Norris was an earlier pioneer in M.A. – he did film work in Brazil during the late seventies and early eighties where the locals kept telling him to meet professor helio. He ended going to their school and rest is history. Karate (his main discpline) is still adopted in mma and street fighting.
    Also cannon studios has an oscar nomination.
    Paul haggis created walker Texas ranger. The same guy who won an academy award for best director. Hollywood likes to forget that.

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  20. I used to think my taekwondo was a waste, but after I started getting into real street fights I noticed that the footwork and movement reflexes I adopted were very useful.

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