For the CCTV Chinese New Year Gala 2022, my mentor Jiang Kun performed material that was strikingly similar to a performance I had given in 2019 in Toronto. It didn't take long for trolls to launch an attack on Jiang Kun online, putting the two performances side-by-side and claming that he had stolen material from his own pupil.
"Chunwan 春晚", as the gala is known, is an insitution on Chinese television, the biggest extravaganza of the year with an audience estimated at close to 1 billion viewers. It's also a show that people love to criticize year after year, as it never seems to live up to its own hype. This controversy went viral online in the days following the show's live broadcast on January 31.
So who stole from whom? I posted this vlog to set the record straight.
No English subtitles for this, unfortunately. It's just not that relevant to people who don't know the show or follow Chinese entertainment gossip.
In short, my 10-minute performance contained about 4 minutes of material that Jiang Kun had in fact taught me back in 2018. He had been performing this particular bit in some form or another since the late 1980s. This is exactly how traditional xiangsheng pieces were passed down from mentor to pupil in the days before online media.
You can watch my performance here
Dashan Live at the Sony Centre in Toronto