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Mr. Hyunh (pronounced like the surname "Wynn") is a character on Hey Arnold!, a resident of the Sunset Arms boarding house. An immigrant from Vietnam, he is one of the few Asian characters on the show. Voiced by Baoan Coleman, Mr. Hyunh eventually obtains a position as manager of a Mexican restaurant, and has a hidden talent as a country singer who when he performs sounds a lot like Randy Travis. He had a short-lived career as a country music star, achieving minor celebrity status with his hit single, “The Simple Things,” however he eventually chose to stay true to his song and give up a life of fame and fortune to return to his previous modest lifestyle.

Although Huynh (which would also be pronounced h-"win") is a common Vietnamese name, this appears to be a deliberate misspelling, probably to make absolutely clear that he is a fictional character. The Hyunh spelling is kept consistent within Hey Arnold! cast credits and closed-captioning.

Hyunh does not speak much about his past, but his emotive backstory receives some treatment in Arnold's Christmas: He did not have any contact with his daughter Mai since the Fall of Saigon of 29-30 April 1975 when, unable to be evacuated himself, he gave her as an infant to a U.S. helicopter crew to be evacuated. It is possible that Mr. Hyunh's year of birth was some time between 1950 and 1957, because in Snow, when Grandpa Phil mentions the year 1949, Mr. Hyunh says he had not been born yet, and was old enough to have had a baby daughter in 1975.

In his recollection of the past, Hyunh does not speak much about any involvement he had in the war, but it could be theorized that he was in a position to act on the "White Christmas" alert because he was connected on some level to South Vietnamese intelligence or law enforcement, or to Western news media. This would seem to account for Hyunh losing track of his daughter (and others in his family) and leaving Vietnam some years afterward, possibly after a period of incarceration or 're-education'.

Hyunh Mai, now a grown woman in her mid twenties and voiced by Vietnamese actress Hiep Thi Le, is eventually located by Arnold in another part of the town with the reluctant help of a U.S. Government bureaucrat, and is reunited with her father for Christmas.

SourcesEdit

  1. "Arnold's Christmas." Hey Arnold! (1.11). Toran Caudell, Baoan Coleman, Hiep Thi Le perfs. Nickelodeon, New York. B/c 14 Dec 1996.
  2. Del Grande, Don. "Hey Arnold! - Season 1 Specials." Hey-Arnold.com. Acc. 25 Jul 2008.

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