Chinese comedian Zhou Libo arrested in Long Island / Newsday
Zhou Libo 周立波 is a comedian from Shanghai famous for popularizing a performance style he calls “Shanghai Small Talk” (海派清口 hǎipài qīngkǒu), which is more similar to American stand-up comedy than the crosstalk format that northern Chinese tend to prefer. Many of his jokes are about Shanghainese subjects, and often mock people from other parts of China for being unsophisticated rubes.
He was arrested in Long Island, New York, on Thursday after a traffic stop for illegal possession of a “loaded Colt MKIV Mustang .380 pistol and two plastic bags containing crack cocaine.” The news became the top trending topic on social media platform Weibo on Friday. The comments are overwhelmingly critical of him, pointing out his derogatory remarks about people who are not Shanghainese; also, that he reportedly beat up his father-in-law. Many social media users delighted in posting this video clip from his TV show, in which he jokes that he would never take drugs in his life, although he might choose to sell them. (All links in this paragraph are to Chinese sources.)
Jia Guo is from the coastal city of Qingdao. She has an M.A. in multimedia journalism from NYU and has worked at Facebook and Bloomberg TV in New York City.
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