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It's funny, but no joke for female comedian

By Wang Qian | China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-18 08:33
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Since then, she has been frequently showing up in nightclubs and bars, but didn't tell her parents what she was up to.

At the beginning, they were worried, "but now they support me. They have inspired more than half of my jokes", Yang says.

But they still think it is not a good career for a woman and may scare men away, because the traditional path expected to be taken by most Chinese women in their 30s is to find a husband and start a family.

But for Yang, "a man who really appreciates me will understand my career, which makes me shine".

Dating back to the 1800s, stand-up comedy has been a popular art form in Europe and North America. Still a new thing in China, open mic nights first emerged in big cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, in 2009.

The successful stand-up comedy shows, such as 80's Talk Show and Rock and Roast, have seen comic style grow roots in China, attracting many young fans. The performance by humorist Joe Wong, born in Jilin province, at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington, has inspired Chinese comedians to bring Chinese humor into the American-style art form.

As a bilingual comedian, Yang gradually gets her own observation and understanding about the difference between English and Chinese stand-up comedies.

"For English and Chinese, it is similar in the topics, such as difference between men and women, conflicts between old generation and young, and regional differences," Yang says.

However, the cultures behind is different, she adds.

One example she explains about the difference is her routine about "ironman". Her joke goes like, "If China stopped exporting iron, there will not be Ironman, there will only be man." It works for English speakers, but not for a Chinese audience, according to Yang.

British online newspaper The Independent described her performance as "there's an international quality to her comedy, coupled with levels of calm and confidence that belie her youth".

For Yang, comedy comes first. In her future plan, she wants to quit her sales director job and focus on her comedian career.

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