Sino Celeb is a monthly feature where we introduce a Chinese celebrity to our readers.
Yue Yunpeng is China’s answer to American funnyman Zach Galifianakis. Much like The Hangover star, Yue Yunpeng began his career as a comedian, before going on to host TV shows and star in blockbuster films. As a xiangsheng, or Chinese crosstalk, performer, Yue has garnered a legion of followers with his distinctive and peculiar style, oftentimes portraying illiterate and somewhat idiotic characters. Here, we give you five fast facts about Yue Yunpeng.
1. A Rough Start
Image via Sina
Fame didn’t come overnight for ol’ Yue. He started his working life at the tender age of 14; first working as a doorman in Beijing, before becoming a welder and then a dishwasher and waiter at a noodle restaurant.
2. ‘Little Yueyue’
Affectionately referred to as ‘Little Yueyue,’ Yue began his Chinese crosstalk career back in 2005. While establishing himself in the Chinese stage tradition, he initially participated in productions targeted at younger audiences.
3. The Song of the Fifth Ring
Yue’s rendition of this popular Chinese song is ridiculous, for lack of a better term, but people absolutely love it. Titled ‘The Song of the Fifth Ring,’ it features such memorable lines as, “Ah… Fifth Ring, you’re one ring more than the Fourth Ring; Ah… Fifth Ring, you’re one ring less than the Sixth Ring.”
4. Chinese SNL Host
Image via Madisonboom
Last June, Saturday Night Live got a Chinese makeover, broadcasting on Youku for 10 episodes. Co-hosted by Yue, the first season of Chinese SNL (Zhou Liu Ye Xian Chang) was well-received by audiences, who literally LOL’d at his witty jabs and punch lines.
5. A Penny Pincher
In an interview published two years ago, Yue portrayed himself as “a small star from a rural village” when explaining why he is often seen in casual clothing. “After leading a hard life for a long time, I hate to part with my money, because I know it’s hard to earn it.”
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[Cover image via Hudong Baike]