Jesse Appell is a former Fulbright Scholar whose research focuses on Chinese humor and performance. He is a disciple of master Xiangsheng performer Ding Guangquan, and regularly performs Xiangsheng, bilingual improv comedy, and Chinese-language stand-up live and on TV all around China. Appell creates comedic online videos intended for the Chinese audience; one of these, “Laowai Style,” gathered 2 million hits across several media platforms.

Appell’s performances, writing, and commentary on Chinese comedy, media, and culture have been seen and heard on TEDx, PBS, NPR, BBC, PRI, and The Economist, as well as Chinese media such as CCTV, BTV, and CRI. He was listed as one of the “People of the Year” for 2012 by the Global Times. In 2012, Appell founded LaughBeijing, with the focus of using comedy to bridge cultural gaps.

Last Updated: May 15, 2014

Sinica Podcast


Humor in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Feel that your jokes have been falling flat lately? Enough that you’ve even started wondering whether China is a grand experiment in irony and deadpan humor? This week on Sinica, hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn are delighted to invite guests...