Intercultural comedian Jesse Appell, founder of US-China Comedy Center in Beijing, shares his fun and educational journey of learning what makes Chinese people laugh, and bridging cultural gaps with humor. www.ChinaFocus.us hosted Jesse's performance at UC San Diego on Feb. 6 as part of his “Great LOL of China” North American tour.
Jesse Appell (艾杰西) is a Fulbright Scholar alumni whose research focuses on Chinese humor and performance. He is a disciple of master Xiangsheng performer Ding Guangquan, and regularly perform Xiangsheng (a form of Chinese comedy also known as crosstalk), bilingual improv comedy, and Chinese stand-up live and on TV. Jesse creates comedic online videos intended for the Chinese audience; one of these, “Laowai Style,” gathered 2 million hits across several media platforms.
Jesse’s performances, writing, and commentary on Chinese comedy, media, and culture have been seen and heard on CBS, TEDx, PBS, NPR and PRI, as well as Chinese media such as CCTV, BTV, and CRI.
Jesse founded www.laughbeijing.com, with the focus of using comedy to bridge cultural gaps by focusing on storytelling and character rather than surface differences and stereotypes.
China 21 is produced by the 21st Century China Center, at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. This podcast features expert voices, insights and stories about China’s economy, politics, society, and the implications for international affairs. Learn more at china.ucsd.edu
This episode was recorded at UC San Diego Studio Ten300
Host: Samuel Tsoi, Jack Zhang
Editors: Mike Fausner, Anthony King
Production Support: Lei Guang, Susan Shirk, Amy Robinson, Sarah Pfledderer, Michelle Fredricks
Music: Dave Liang/Shanghai Restoration Project, Jesse Appell remix of Bad Boy Records
Episode photo credit: Susetta Bozzi/The Boston Globe