What Do Fans of The Daily Show Starring Jon Stewart Have in Common With Chinese Fans of the Meiri Xiu Starring Jiong Situ (囧司徒)? It's the Same Show!

As reported by Max Fisher in the Washington Post on April 9th, 2013, a subtitled clip from The Daily Show - "discussing the latest North Korean provocations" - recently captured a huge audience - over 2.8 million views - via social media in mainland China:

"So what explains the enormous popularity [of a Daily Show clip behind the Great Firewall of China - especially considering that the program isn't legally available in most territories outside the US]? The “Daily Show” segment, without meaning to, may have hit on growing frustration among Chinese citizens, particularly middle-class urbanites, with their misbehaving ally. Chinese state media, though it has allowed some measured disapproval of Kim’s latest threats, has held back from so roundly mocking the country and its supremely mockable regime. The voraciousness with which Chinese viewers are watching the segment suggests that their appetite for such coverage, for publicly criticizing an ally that has become something of an embarrassment, far exceeds what they’re getting."

As reported by Evan Osnos in the April 12th, 2013 The New Yorker, the popularity of the Kim Jong-Un clip isn't a one-time only event. The Daily Show apparently has a devoted following inside China - relying on fans there who rip their favorite clips from the Comedy Channel's authorized online outlets in the West (using VPN's?). These fans then race to translate and upload the clips to various social media sites: "It’s nowhere to be found on official channels, but in the last few years ordinary men and women have banded together to subtitle and post clips as fast as they can. About half of the Chinese population is now online—a transformative experience for many people. In Chinese, “The Daily Show,” or “Meiri Xiu” (“Everyday Show”), is hosted by a certain Jiong Situ, a.k.a. 囧司徒 [a.k.a Jon Stewart]. It’s an elegant transliteration: 囧, or jiǿng, is a fashionable Chinese character (yes, there are such things) these days, because it’s been adopted by young people to mean what it looks like: a face that is vexed, frustrated, embarrassed."

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