Made In China: An Irish Comedian’s Journey Performing Stand-up in China

Imagine you are an Irish kid from Queens, New York thrown out of school in your teens for alcohol. Your parents, who evidently have no sense of irony, send you away to Ireland to punish you for your drinking. You subsequently grow up to become a comedian and a celebrity in Ireland, and you are looking for new venues to conquer. Then it hits you: If you perform in China you’ll have a potential audience of billions. Only two problems: one, you want to perform in Mandarin, but you don’t know the language at all; and two, you want to perform stand-up comedy, but the Chinese don’t know what stand-up is.

Well then you would be Des Bishop, who did exactly that. He went to China, learned Mandarin, and performed a stand-up comedy act for Chinese audiences. What’s more he went on the Chinese equivalent of The Dating Game and conversed with his potential dates in fluent Chinese.

Des tells the story of his Chinese encounters, and his love of the country in his very funny new one man show called Made in China. I interviewed him for the Arts Express program on radio station WBAI 99.5 FM NYC. You can hear the fascinating show by clicking on the gray triangle above.

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