Short sketches still popular on Spring Festival Gala

2010-02-12 08:48 BJT

Special Report: 2010 Spring Festival |


Zhao Benshan, a Northeast Chinese comedian has become a must-see on the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in recent years. Some say they are bored with his performance, but short sketches are still the most popular part of the gala. For over three decades, the short sketch has evolved to one of the most welcomed stage arts in China.

Zhao Benshan's short sketches
Zhao Benshan's short sketches

On CCTV's first Spring Festival Gala in 1983, a mime performance called "Eating Chicken" was elected the most popular comedic program.

Since then a group of comedians has risen to become a mainstay of the gala. The long list includes Zhao Lirong, Huang Hong, Zhao Lianjia, Song Dandan, Guo Da and Cai Ming. Speaking different dialects, they amuse the audience members with humorous dialogues, and tease them with social topics carrying realistic themes.

1999 was the initial year of success for short sketches performed in a Northeast Chinese accent. A play starring Huang Hong, who acts as the father of four babies, and Zhao Benshan's sketch, depicting a belated love, stirred up a fever around the nation. Northeastern comedians Pan Changjiang, Gong Hanlin, Gao xiumin and Fan Wei have since performed at the Spring Festival Gala. The number and duration of short sketches have also been extended to fit the viewers' needs.

The short sketch used to be a training item in acting majors, and has become the most local and popular stage art. Experts say it reflects modern people's need to release tension and ease depression.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: