Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

The Wong way (2)

(Global Times)

10:42, July 11, 2013

Culture difference

Wong's jokes have different layers of connotations. He knows where to stop to wait for the audience to get the punch line, as timing is essential to comedy.

However, connotations require listeners to share a common background, which refers to their shared culture. After Wong came back to China, there were doubts about whether he could make the transition from English to Chinese.

Upon seeing the result, some say that his Chinese jokes are simply not as funny as the English ones.

Wong admits that there is a difference between how audiences in different countries perceive humor. He used this joke as an example: "When I was in China, my teacher told me that the US is 150 years more developed than China. But since I came here, I realized that China is 12 hours faster than the US."

This joke would do well in the US but not necessarily in China because not all of the audience will understand time differences.

Wong's main dissatisfaction lies with the absence of comedy venues. In the past, if he came up with a joke he could find a comedy club to test it immediately, while here in China there are few comedy studios.

"But it also depends on the things we do now," he said, adding that Chinese audiences are more familiar with crosstalks but not so familiar with one-person stand-up comedy, so they don't know what to expect when watching this art form.

Try another time

Now besides the CCTV program, Wong is continuing to work on his American sitcom. Meanwhile, he plans to move his family to China and switch his career focus here, helping more people understand what live comedy is all about.

In an interview with CCTV in 2011, Wong's father said that for Wong to tell English jokes in America is like using his disadvantages to fight another's advantages - like throwing straws against the wind. Later he comforted Wong, joking that even if it didn't work out, he could always go back home to grow some cucumbers and watermelon.

"Deep in my heart I agreed, but I have a family now so can't really live a countryside life like that. But I'm not worried, because I can always go back to a biochemistry job," he laughed.

He wrote in his autobiography that he finds the meaning of life is not a catchphrase or system of thinking, but trying to find inspiration everyday so that one can be encouraged and use the inspiration to improve life and the soul: like a duck, calm on the surface, but paddling like hell underwater.

As he wrote and said, making people laugh is a miraculous job.

"If the audience didn't laugh, just continue to tell the next one."

【1】 【2】

We recommend:

Most beautiful boulevards around world

A cruise on Mariner of the Seas

Fantastic Beijing - The Imperial Palace

Stunning views in deep sea

Enshi Tusi Imperial City in China

Most popular actresses in Taiwan

"Tiny Times" cast pose for Fashion Weekly

Top 10 most dangerous roads in the world

Fans at Confederations Cup Brazil 2013

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese, Russian naval forces in drill

  2. Chinese,Russian naval forces leave for drill

  3. Iranian female ninjas show combat skills

  4. Children's hospital full of patients

  5. Pushy parents turn matchmaking events

  6. China's weekly story

  7. Shining WTCC grid girls

  8. Top 10 Chinese art works

  9. China Pan-Asia Stone Expo kicks off

  10. China's 50 best CEOs named

Most Popular


  1. Inflow of 'hot money' tackled, expert says
  2. Caution urged in seeking experts from abroad
  3. China didn't cause German solar firms' bankruptcy
  4. China, U.S. discuss cyber security
  5. Why are we obsessed with selfies?
  6. Israel keen on luring Chinese tourists
  7. 'Bernanke shock' necessary
  8. Safety first for baby formula
  9. Defense paper shows Tokyo's hysteria
  10. Shanghai investor sentiment drops

What’s happening in China

Rainstorms flood more than 10,000 cars in underground garages in Wuhan

  1. One-tenth of condoms failed tests in Guangdong
  2. Free bus rides in rush hours to end for seniors
  3. 2 dead, 7 injured in central China blast
  4. China confirms 132 H7N9 cases, 43 deaths
  5. China completes overhaul of dairy standards