Saturday Night Live is officially expanding an empire. While the show is offered through many international streaming sites, China will be the second country that gets to put its own stamp on the brand name (South Korea was the first; and Saturday Night Live Korea just wrapped their fifth season). Lorne Michaels' sketch program is going to be remade in China, with Chinese comedians, and music guests.
Here's a list of crazy things happening in China that'll maybe get an idea of their potential "Weekend Update" characters. Ghost marriages, "Love Hunters, "and wealthy stand-ins at trial sound like a good place to start. The press release didn't indicate which city SNL China would record in.
Also unknown is if China's SNL will actually make any political jokes on their SNL. “China’s Communist Party has been looking for new ways to engage with an audience because past forms of preaching are no longer suitable for today,” a Beijing-based professor at the Communication University of China, Wang Sixin, told Bloomberg Business. “What Sohu (the Chinese distribution company) needs to be careful about, though, is finding the right balance when doing satire about social and political issues.”
This is the second big bit of Chinese consumption of American media that's hit this week. The newest season of House of Cards was pirated the most in China. Not gonna lie, I'd be super interested in seeing a Chinese spin on Frank Underwood on SNL China.
That's 1.3 billion people for SNL China to win the hearts and minds of (of which, 642 million are Internet users, which is the largest Internet community in the world). Maybe in the future SNL can set up a study abroad program.
Note: This Post was updated to reflect that China will be the second country to get their own SNL program.