My dad sent me the clip above from 周立波’s “I’m Mad About Wealth” show, who is a famous talk show comedian from Shanghai.
It’s in Mandarin with simplified Chinese subtitles. For those of you who don’t understand Chinese, here are some of my observations:
His body language is very measured (in a way that almost resembles Chinese opera sometimes) and there’s the Chinese thing where the higher up the body part the more it moves (e.g. the hands move quite alot, as well as the head, but the waist only swivels from time to time).
There’s much hemming and hawing (this in fact becomes part of the joke) and the punchlines are carefully placed at the end of a joke. From the excerpt I watched, there weren’t any signs of very dark humor or acerbic racial barrages found in American stand-up. In fact, I get the impression much of the humor comes from the diplomatic restraint that allows the joke to be somewhat provocative but remain inoffensive.