New episode of "Stand-up Comedy" focuses on the service industry
The popular variety show "Stand-up Comedy" recently aired a new episode revolving around the service industry, which took a hit during the pandemic lockdown.
Tencent and Xiaoguo's show has already focused on the work of police officers and firefighters. It has been praised by online viewers for its hilarious and indepth treatment of various careers and hot social topics.
The show invites both standup comedians and professionals from various industries to create and perform original standup comedy acts.
In the latest episode that was released on the streaming platform Tencent on July 27, Caroline Lai, a postgraduate from Tsinghua University, showed off her talent for comedy.
The Chongqing native works as a product manager at a local Internet service provider. During the two-month lockdown in Shanghai, she volunteered and organized group purchases for a residential community in Xuhui District.
She highlighted the fact that group buying involved a lot of trivial work, from finding a qualified supply chain to providing aftersales service, and added her own bit of humor to her pandemic experiences.
When Lai created "jielong" (a WeChat mini-program that allows group members to list their requests), an old man asked her if it was to buy a dragon and how much a pound of it would cost? In Chinese, "long" refers to a dragon.
She also captured the enthusiasm of Shanghai residents for coffee and recalled how she organized coffee purchases for neighbors during the lockdown.
"This is my first standup comedy show," Lai said. "I watched the previous episodes and lots of foreign and domestic video clips to prepare for the act. Standup comedy is a form of entertainment that reflects social realities in a humorous yet thought-provoking manner."
The variety show has unearthed many potential comedians.
Lai recorded impressive stories from the lockdown and discussed them with the show's directors during the production process.
"They taught me how to perform on stage when we were working on the script before the shoot," she recalled. "I've never performed on stage before. They patiently explained how to find the pause and rhythm in each sentence, which gave me more confidence."
Many followers of the show have shown an interest in learning more about the creative process and the behind-the-scenes stories.
"Audiences can see societal changes through individual experience and perspective," Lai said. "They also get the opportunity to tell their own stories and express their views on careers.
"Standup comedy has the potential to become a popular form of entertainment that all Chinese people can enjoy in the future."
The episode also invited comedians to work in the service industry for a day in order to experience the hardships of couriers, waiters, and barbers. The city's service industry is showing signs of recovery.
He Xiaoxi, CEO and cofounder of Xiaoguo, said they are considering hosting tour performances across the country and producing more interactive online programs.
"We will work with Fuxing Park to create a special venue to bring standup comedy closer to the people," he said. "In addition, we will continue to cultivate young talent through training and workshops in order to revitalize the entertainment industry."