Dashan Live at the Sony Centre in Toronto, February 2019
Video of this bit really took off, with over a million views on YouTube (despite being blocked in China) and who knows how many more on the various video hosting sites it was copied to inside China.
(English subtitles available on YouTube)
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This was a guest performance of "Dashan Live" during the Chinese New Years Gala at the Sony Centre in Toronto. I called it a xiangsheng, but it's really blurring the line between Western stand-up and traditional Chinese xiangsheng. Online commentary has been divided over just how to classify the performance, which is fine by me. One of my goals with Dashan Live was to defy that sort of clear-cut categorization between Chinese and Western styles of comedy, so I feel this performance struck a nice balance. The opening bits are all original compositions done in more of stand-up style, but the last 4 minutes are adapted from a xiangsheng performed back in the 1990s by my mentor Jiang Kun 姜昆 and his partner Tang Jiezhong 唐杰忠, which I've adapted into a solo version more suited to "Dashan".
In 2022, Jiang Kun performed his version of this piece on the CCTV Chinese New Year Gala, causing some controvery online with a large group of people recalling my performance from 2019 and believing that Jiang Kun had "stolen" my material. Social media postings showing the two performances side-by-side went viral. Sure enough, some parts of the performance matched word-for-word. I put up a vlog post to clear up the controversy. In fact, this kind of adaptation from mentor to pupil is extremely common with traditional xiangsheng.