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Rolling with the punches

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-23 10:02
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Performing in live venues has helped many budding comedians overcome their personal fears and phobias and learn how to stay calm in the face of adversity, Xing Wen reports. 

The third season of online comedy show Roast concluded earlier this month, notching up 2.33 billion hits on Tencent's video streaming platform, according to box office tracker Maoyan.

The Chinese equivalent of the US comedy series Comedy Central Roasts and other programs that feature performers who entertain audiences with monologues-such as Rock and Roast and Tonight 80s Talk Show-have gained legions of followers in recent years and helped to fuel the expansion of China's online stand-up scene.

Online interest in stand-up comedy has also helped propel the growth of live comedy clubs around China, with venues hosting regular open-mike events and commercial live shows picking up steam in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai after New York stand-up club, TakeOut Comedy, first established a branch in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, in 2009. The Shenzhen club was also said to be the first venue in the world to showcase stand-up comedians performing comedy and improvisational scenes in Mandarin.

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