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[R.I.P.] Ma Ji (11/20/06) Prominent Chinese Comedian

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  • madchinaman
    Ma Ji, 72; Chinese comedian best known for satirical routines From Times Staff and Wire Reports http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2006
      Ma Ji, 72; Chinese comedian best known for satirical routines
      From Times Staff and Wire Reports
      http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-
      passings21.1dec21,1,4148526.story?coll=la-news-obituaries


      Ma Ji, 72, a roly-poly Chinese comedian best known for his mastery of
      puns and satirical dialogues with other performers, died Wednesday of
      a heart attack, state media reported.

      Ma, whose given name was Ma Shuhuai, died at the Anzhen Hospital in
      Beijing, Chinese Central Television reported.

      A biography on the official China Daily website said Ma was born in
      Beijing in 1934 and had worked in a textile factory before he started
      studying xiangsheng, or "crosstalk," in 1951.

      Crosstalk is a traditional Chinese comic form involving one or two
      actors bantering on a fixed topic, usually at a quickening pace, that
      relies heavily on slang, puns and imitation.

      He joined China's Central Broadcasting Recitation and Ballad Troupe
      in 1956 and later became a regular feature on CCTV's hugely popular
      Lunar New Year variety show, it said.

      Ma, who was pudgy and had big ears, was a talented mimic and
      particularly quick with puns. He innovated the crosstalk art form by
      focusing on the absurdities of China's rapid modernization and other
      social changes.

      Among his more famous monologues was "The Universal Brand Cigarette,"
      in which he played a cigarette salesman with a gift for gab and a
      hopelessly shoddy product. The skit poked fun at newly rich Chinese
      obsessed with brand names but blind to quality.
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