Chinese bootleggers have done it again. American satirist Stephen Colbert was recently surprised to find that the Chinese news comedy show the Banquet (夜宴) has completely plagiarized his opening. From the epic “Iron Man jump” graphics to the theme song, “Baby Mumbles” by Cheap Trick. It’s a total knockoff.
Keeping in with his television character, Colbert’s vain persona was very happy to reach the potential Chinese audience of 400 million. “Folks, this is nothing more than wholesale theft… and I love it.” Colbert proceeded to hilariously pander to Chinese audience, sarcastically of course, by making them more comfortable with some familiar smog.
But Colbert (or his writers) made a bit of a laowai mistake, saying mantou are eggs.
He concluded by demanding that the Banquet invite him to China. Let’s wait and see if they take up his invitation.
The Atlantic has reported that some Chinese netizens were not amused. “This is down-right plagiarism: Absolutely shameless. I hate this kind of thing,” said a young woman on Weibo. “With the great popularity of The Colbert Report, don’t you know how easily Colbert can make a laughingstock out of China, and ensure the whole world knows about it?” remarked ‘Coolgirl1982’.
The Banquet apparently has taken those critiques into consideration and now has a new intro. Meanwhile, American comedy does seem to be growing in popularity in China. Saturday Night Live now being legitimately streamed on Sohu with official Chinese subtitles.
In 2012 fellow late-night host Conan O’Brian was also copied by Internet show Dapeng. He took it rather well after an apology was given and actually offered a free opening graphic for the perpetrator.
As the English chengyu goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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