Found In Translation

Former stand-up comic Anna Chen goes in search of the Chinese sense of humour.

Comics, historians and a Chinese Elvis all give their take on what makes the Chinese laugh and why.

China isn't a nation you would automatically associate with comedy and laughter, unless it's to do with badly translated instructions.

Anna Chen would like to change your mind.

She says China invented the political joke: "With 4,000 years of often repressive rule, you'd need some sort of outlet".

Texts written in the middle ages are full of mockery of authority.

Crosstalk was a rambunctious art form which lampooned corrupt officials and country bumpkins.

The Communist authorities put the dampners on crosstalk by requiring practitioners to "praise", rather than "satirise"- a death sentence if ever there was one.

But increased leisure time has an effect on culture and we're starting to see the emergence of some sharp rebellious youthful satire in China.

Guo Degang has revitalised the crosstalk form and now plays to packed theatres.

Han Han is China's most popular blogger and gets away with comments such as this one about party officials:

"The only thing they have in common with young people is that like us, they too have girlfriends in their 20s."

In "Found in Translation", Anna Chen reveals the history and the future of Chinese comedy - and she'll even throw in a gag or two.

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Former stand-up comic Anna Chen goes in search of the Chinese sense of humour.

Comics, historians and a Chinese Elvis all give their take on what makes the Chinese laugh and why.

China isn't a nation you would automatically associate with comedy and laughter, unless it's to do with badly translated instructions.

Anna Chen would like to change your mind.

She says China invented the political joke: "With 4,000 years of often repressive rule, you'd need some sort of outlet".

Texts written in the middle ages are full of mockery of authority.

Crosstalk was a rambunctious art form which lampooned corrupt officials and country bumpkins.

The Communist authorities put the dampners on crosstalk by requiring practitioners to "praise", rather than "satirise"- a death sentence if ever there was one.

But increased leisure time has an effect on culture and we're starting to see the emergence of some sharp rebellious youthful satire in China.

Guo Degang has revitalised the crosstalk form and now plays to packed theatres.

Han Han is China's most popular blogger and gets away with comments such as this one about party officials:

"The only thing they have in common with young people is that like us, they too have girlfriends in their 20s."

In "Found in Translation", Anna Chen reveals the history and the future of Chinese comedy - and she'll even throw in a gag or two.