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Comedian Monty Franklin defends Aussie term Mexican Wave after realising other countries don’t use

By Zak Wheeler for Daily Mail Australia

04:59 02 Mar 2023, updated 05:12 02 Mar 2023

  • Comedian defends Australian term
  • “The Mexican Wave” has an innocent origin
  • Sports staple popularized at the World Cup in Mexico

An Australian comedian has defended an unusual line saying Down Under claims the beloved Mexican wave is completely innocent.

Monty Franklin, who left Australia for Los Angeles, explained the origin of the “Mexican wave” in a February TikTok after noting the sports icon had a string of names around the world.

Mr Franklin championed the Australian term in the video entitled ‘Things in Australia that sound racist but aren’t’.

After moving to the US, he realized how many cultural differences existed between Australia and other countries and began to incorporate them into his comedy.

The stand-up comic poked fun at the odd inclusion of “Mexican” when describing the friendly sports festival, which sees crowds simulating the fluid motion of a moving wave.

Monty Franklin, who left Australia for Los Angeles, explained the origin of the “Mexican wave” in a February TikTok after noting the sports icon had a string of names around the world
The sporting staple is hard to miss when crowds simulate the fluid motion of a moving wave

“You know ‘the wave’ at sporting events that goes around and everyone is doing and having a wonderful time,” Franklin said in the video.

“In Australia we call it ‘the Mexican wave’…I don’t know why. There is no need to precede Mexican.’

The comedian realized the term wasn’t as common abroad when he returned to Australia with his American wife.

“They said ‘The Mexican Wave’ for the cricket on TV, she said ‘Why do you call it that?'” Mr Franklin told Daily Mail Australia.

“She thought it sounded weird, but I realized I had no idea why we called it that and I never questioned it, it just always was.”

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New Zealand is another of the few countries to use the term “Mexican Wave” instead of just “The Wave”.

After moving to Los Angeles from Australia, Mr. Franklin noticed the differences and worked them into his comedy

This prompted some investigative research by Mr. Franklin, who found the term’s controversial origins.

“The first time commentators saw this wave was at the soccer World Cup in Mexico in 1986, so they started calling it the Mexican wave and it’s kind of stuck ever since,” he said on TikTok.

However, a comment on his video actually disputed Mr. Franklin’s research, claiming that it may in fact have been made in 1979.

“The term was coined by “Krazy” George Henderson in October 1981 at the televised A’s/Yankees playoff game in Oakland,” the commentator noted.

“Krazy” George Henderson is widely credited with perfecting the Mexican wave before it exploded around the world

The Mexican Wave was first documented in 1981 in video captured during a Major League Baseball game.

It was then introduced to the world at the 1984 Olympics when 100,000 fans created a wave during the soccer final.

The move gained worldwide notoriety at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when spectators did it at least once in every game.

This is how the term “Mexican” entered the Australian lexicon as many around the world first saw it during the 1986 World Cup.

Mr Franklin said many Mexicans happily reached out to him after he posted the video, which has since been viewed more than a million times.

“I’ve had thousands of Mexicans contacting me on Instagram thinking it sounded hilarious but they just call it La Ola, which is ‘the wave,'” he told Daily Mail Australia.

The Mexican wave isn’t the only oddity he’s spotted since moving to the US.

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“You know, Americans have something like Aussie Cheese Fries – I’m sure I’ve never heard of that at home,” he said.

“As an Australian living in America, I say a lot of things sound strange and raise eyebrows.

“Flat white is another weird thing.”

Aussie Cheese Fries are not a common dish in Australia, but are very popular at the Outback Steakhouse
Likewise, those living in the US are unfamiliar with the popular Australian style of coffee we call Flat White

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