Roast it off!

2021-04-01 12:04:59

Actress Huang Yi (second from left) and her team hold a meeting before the show. CHINA DAILY At one point in her life, 44-year-old actress Huang Yi's emotions were in tatters. However, after joining internet television show Roast, the actress was relieved that it had helped her overcome the negativity in her life. "Roasting can heal. The show Roast gives us the chance to freely express ourselves by mocking each other and laugh at our battered pasts," Huang says. Produced by streaming platform Tencent Video, Roast is one of China's most popular stand-up comedy shows. As its fifth season comes to an end, the show has become an instant sensation with its new competing format. In this season, a guest celebrity is roasted in each episode, with comedians and celebrities forming teams to take turns mocking each other in battles. Segments such as "striking back" and "one-versus-one-versus-one battle" are included this season to keep viewers glued to their screens. Previous seasons of Roast received lukewarm response from viewers. It was even once called the "whitewash show", as participants shied away from being completely honest of their pasts. However, after a revision of the show's format and creating a more competitive environment, guests began to make more prominent jokes. "The revision of the program format is like a marine creature that evolves to walk on land," says Bai Hongyu, the show's producer. Each 5-minute performance not only gives the guests a chance to gain points for their teams, but also stirs discussions about recent social issues, such as the "shipping" of young idols, or the fans' particular interest in a romantic pairing between two celebrities. Malicious comments or unpleasant experiences that comedians and celebrities encounter form part of the content of performances, most of which they brought it up on their own. This form of mocking has resonated with the audience, generating positivity and enthusiasm of both the participants and viewers. Tan Xiaohong, Roast's director, says Huang was very excited to participate in the show. Though Huang's life has many twists and turns, she is still willing to share her stories in a humorous way and laugh together with the audience. Apart from actors and actresses participating in the show this year, well-known figures from other fields also appeared as guests. Singer Zhang Wei, host Zhang Dada, cross-talk comedian Yan Hexiang, journalist Yi Lijing, editor Xu Zhiyuan, along with other famous rappers and sports stars all drew big laughs and applause during their appearances on the show.