Born in Kaiyun in Liaoning province, Shen He is an apprentice of the famous Chinese comedian Zhao Benshan. He started his career performing Er Ren Zhuan, a popular comic form in Northeast China. Later on, he adopted Xiao Shenyang as his stage name.
Xiao Shenyang is a regular on Zhao’s TV series Love Stories of My Village. However, his breakthrough moment came when hundreds of millions of Chinese tuned in to watch this year’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala. The show is arguably the world’s single-most watched TV event, with more than 96% of China’s viewing audience seeing it at home on Lunar New Year’s Eve. Xiao Shenyang performed in a comic sketch that tells the story of an old man who brings his granddaughter to a Scottish restaurant to meet the director of a popular CCTV programme, hoping to turn her into a star. Dressed in kilt-inspired costume, Xiao stole the limelight by playing a waiter at the restaurant.
Any other talents?
He can sing and dance too. And in more serious moments he has recited Chinese literature.
Why is he in the news?
Since his popular performance at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, footage of Xiao’s comic sketches has topped almost all Chinese video-sharing websites. Over 5 million people have visited his blog and DVDs of the young comic star’s performances have also led sales lists. He is rumoured to charge up to Rmb500,000 ($73,000) for a show, a price only established, well-known performers can command.
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