First you slander, then you apologize. Then, stand on high moral ground and evaluate everything, and you’ll get famous. I even wrote the press release.-Zhang Jiuling teaching Wang Jiulong how to be famous in their satire
“I, Wang Jiulong, has attacked plenty of celebrities and now my life is in danger, but my partner deserves none of the blame. …
Sure I’m just a comedian, but if I weren’t trying to promote our culture, increase national pride, and reduce the influx of foreign influences, I wouldn’t have been going around slandering people. On first sight, my crosstalk works are spreading joy and love, but on the grand scale of things, they’re letting the world know what is Made in China.”
Meet the latest and hippest duo in town as they debuted on TV this summer. While other xiangsheng/crosstalk artists like Zhang Yunlei specialize in traditional arts, 25-year-old Zhang Jiuling and 24-year-old Wang Jiulong are on top of the latest trends. In addition to releasing their own rap song with The Rap of China’s Hui Zi, their newest original piece is a brilliant satire of ways to get famous in the entertainment world with digs at artists who beef for fame and those who use “made in China” as an excuse for poor quality. If you follow Chinese entertainment, it’s hilarious and full of memorable lines such as “How will people get to know your comedy if you don’t have a tragic backstory?”
Here are some random facts about them:
- The two are great at synchronized kuaiban, but have also tried rapping with beatbox. Watch a segment of their kuaiban below and one of their best skits with kuaiban with Chinese subtitles here. More Chinese subtitled programs here, though my favorite program of theirs is definitely their unsubtitled entertainment industry skit here.
- Zhang Jiulong’s poem that he wrote for Wang Jiulong’s 23rd birthday has such a good line (唯愿风雨吉，处处皆是你) that it’s now reposted everywhere.
- When they first began as partners six years ago, they had little earnings since they couldn’t sell tickets. Zhang Jiuling worked a side job and would give Wang Jiulong part of his salary to keep him afloat.
- When a fan gave Wang Jiulong with her hotel card in the middle of a performance, Zhang Jiuling broke the card in half and said in a joking tone to Wang Jiulong, “I’m two years older than you, if someone’s going to be ruined, it should be me before you.”
- Zhang Jiuling began training at the age of 12 and is the first disciple of the whole class of so far 30 disciples of Guo Degang with the generation zi “Jiu 九”. He’s fittingly named after the Tang Dynasty poet.
- Wang Jiulong is the nephew of their teacher Guo Degang. He, his cousin and fellow actor Guo Qilin, and distant affine and fellow actor Zhang Yunlei all used to live at Guo Degang’s estate “The Rose Garden” and were nicknamed “the three princesses of The Rose Garden”.
- Since 2010, the two have been best friends with fellow actors Guo Qilin and Yang Jiulang. The three were in the youth team and then the same performing team together until 2016.
- The two first began headlining their own shows last October.
- They debuted on TV comedy program 笑傲江湖 and won second place this year. Watch them on the show here.
- On the show, Zhang Jiuling said that if one day Wang Jiulong quits, he would also quit the profession.
Zhang Jiuling’s birthday poem for Wang Jiulong:
I hold a cup of wine,
A cup of wine for my brother.
My brother takes it to savor,
Savor his life in the future.
We all dream of our future,
not fearing for rain nor shine.
I only hope rain and shine always be in your favor,
And for you to always by my side.*
*the last sentence can also be interpreted as:
I only hope that you will be everywhere where the rain and clouds are clear