So why do they call you “furious”?
Maybe I seem a bit hyper-excited on shows, so they call it that.
How did you end up doing
My company discovered me when I was performing in comedy clubs in Beijing two years ago. They asked me to try record an episode of Roast, so I did, and they thought my performance was good.
How long do you normally need to prepare for an episode of
It depends — sometimes a week, sometimes rushed in two to three days. When we finish the initial scripts, we can revise them for two weeks or a month. I can even revise for more than half a year — there’s no limit to making the scripts funny.
Are the scripts all written in advance or are some things spontaneous?
First I write it, then the staff revise it. On the show, it’s basically according to that finalized version. Because improvisation is unpredictable, a performance can be hard to control. If I improvise on stage and the result is awkward silence, the following dialogue can be hard to carry out. It’d also influence the panel and the whole ambience — the audience. So basically, we all perform according to the script.
Do you prefer to write your own scripts for
Yes. Personal style is important on a talk show and my style is unique — others’ scripts may be not suitable for me.
And do you watch your own shows?
Actually, no, it’s quite embarrassing! Unless they say there’s something wrong with it, then I’ll watch. But normally I don’t — it’s quite silly.
Do you reply to your fans’ messages on Sina Weibo?
I reply to some. My fans are quite magical (interesting). Whatever I post, some leave comments to ridicule me. There are familiar names who comment frequently and I interact with them, too. Just a few days ago, I posted a short video of me performing as a news anchor and a fan left a message: “In addition to talkshow performer, the requirement for a news anchor also turns out to be very low.” And I replied to her with something like “Hahaha that’s a good one!” I think this kind of relationship is very nice — they make fun of me and I can react.
What was your environment like growing up? Is your family pretty jokey?
Yes! But mainly it’s me who’s always joking around — my relatives all know that I’m a noisy and naughty boy. I grew up in Henan province, came to Beijing around seven to eight years old, then went to school until high school. After gaokao (the Higher Education Exam), I stayed at home, then I started in talk shows. So this has been my path.
Since I was little, my environment has been very free and my parents have educated me with their very free mindset. What I want to learn, I do; what I want to do, they support me — as long as I don’t commit crimes. Like if I want to learn Ping-Pong, I go for it; if I want to learn taekwondo, I go for it. They wouldn’t force anything on me, like, “You must learn piano.” So the environment I’ve grown up in has been very free.
When youdecided to skip university, were your parents supportive?
I can’t say they were fully supportive… they considered it, then discussed. So it’s not like “Whatever I say is right.”
Everyone analyses the situation rationally.
But you didn’t think about doing a talk show at that time.
I didn’t think about doing a talk show even when I started to do one. The better you are at something, the more you don’t take it seriously. Everyone knows I have sense of humor and I know it too, so it didn’t cross my mind to make a business out of it. It’s quite a surprise — it all just happened, I think.
Do you think you express your true self in your shows?
It’s pretty much my true self — there are actually not that many “performing” elements when I’m on stage. My offstage state is even crazier than that!
What’s your plan for the future?
I don’t think about things too far ahead; I just want to be a friggin’ awesome talk-show performer, and my small goal is to be a DJ.
What are you like in private?
Like a psycho. I’m quite quiet when I’m alone or when I see complete strangers.
How do you maintain your hairstyle?
I’m lazy, so it’s just the way it is — it keeps growing, so I don’t need to maintain it, just tie it back. You need to cut your hair frequently if you have short hair, so I thought if it was longer, I wouldn’t need to take care of it that much. I’m a versatile person — I cut it myself back then. Now on the shows, they cut it for me.
Is humor universal?
I think so, for sure. We all like to laugh and we all like things that can make us laugh. I think that’s universal.
Describe yourself in three words.
Quick-witted, cool/awesome and out-of-the-box.
If you were sent to a desert island, which three musicians’ albums would you bring?
Michael Jackson, for sure, and Daft Punk, and… for something different, Jay Chou!
Three countries you want to visit the most?
Spain, Cuba and Mexico.
Are there any languages you want to learn?
I want to learn French so much! I have a few French friends and I like French movies. But I didn’t learn it systematically, only learned some simple sentences, like “Bonjour! Je m’appelle Quentin.” (Hello! My name is Quentin) It’s the name of the protagonist of a French movie I watched — I plan to use this as my French name.
Can you take a selfie and send it to us?
Sure — you don’t want to look at me without makeup!