Can China take a joke? The NYT Magazine examines the growing standup comedy scene in China, and its complicated relationship with traditional Chinese "cross-talk" performances, and modern Chinese society. [previously on metafilter]
How can one bit actor have hundreds of millions, perhaps over a billion adoring fans and yet be a virtual unknown in his native land? Ask Mark Rowswell, aka DaShan. In 1988, Rowswell won a scholarship to study Chinese at the prestigious Peking University. More than twenty years later he has one of the most recognizable faces in China. He's been awarded and investigated for his work in film, on stage, in television, in commercials and for charity. So just who the heck is he?