China to Get Its Very Own Saturday Night Live
Image via YouTube
Fresh off it celebrating 40 years making light of American pop culture, Saturday Night Live is becoming an official International entity, announcing that a Chinese version is in the works.
Bloomberg’s Lulu Yilun Chen reports the show whose mention sparks images of Buckwheat, Wayne’s World, Stefon and countless others is headed to China.
Chen writes, “After 40 years as a weekend staple on U.S. television screens, ‘Saturday Night Live’ will start a Chinese version in partnership with Sohu.com Inc., operator of an online search engine and video streaming sites.”
Now the report notes that the original show has been streaming to China thanks to Sohu, so there is undoubtedly recognition in place for the iconic show.
A show, by the way, that just enjoyed turning 40 by corralling some of the biggest names ever to grace the stage at Studio 8H:
Chen continues, saying the deal is in large part due to a deal in place with Broadway Video Entertainment since 1979.
A statement made available to Bloomberg states this collaboration will help “see comedians from across China hired for the show featuring live music and sketch comedy.”
Of course this isn’t as easy an enterprise as it might seem. Chen contacted Wang Sixin of the Communication University of China who offered: “China’s Communist Party has been looking for new ways to engage with an audience because past forms of preaching are no longer suitable for today.”
The professor continued, “What Sohu needs to be careful about, though, is finding the right balance when doing satire about social and political issues.”
In time, we imagine, a crack team of writers will be hired to address that very fine line. At that point the world will condense just a wee bit smaller as SNL sparks humor on the other side of the world.
If the show is a fraction of the hit of the American version, Chinese pop culture will inevitably be shaped by it. Characters will hold a mirror to an immense country with humor and, hopefully, a great deal of truth.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
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