FRESHLY ROASTED

So why do they call you “fu­ri­ous”?

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - STYLE -

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!

XIAOGUO CUL­TURE COM­PANY

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