‘Rock and Roast’ Gets Roasted

The latest season of the hit stand-up comedy show bombed with audiences.

For years, “Rock and Roast” has been Wendy Zheng’s favorite way to unwind after work. But the 24-year-old writer found the latest season of the hit stand-up show more cringeworthy than funny.

“Every time I watch, I want to laugh, but there’s so much that’s supposedly laughworthy that I’m afraid I just don’t find amusing,” she told Sixth Tone Friday.

One of China’s most popular variety shows, especially among the coveted young urban demographic, the fifth season of “Rock and Roast,” which finished its 10-episode run Wednesday, was overshadowed by controversy. It also seems to have bombed with audiences, earning a 5.5 score from users of rating site Douban, a full two points lower than any of the preceding three seasons.

The trouble began in September, when viewers reacted negatively to the show’s treatment of some of its contestants. In one frequently cited scene, the celebrity judges, known as “leading laughers,” seemed indifferent to a parcel delivery driver’s jokes about his job; one later mistakenly referred to the contestant as a “food deliveryman.”

The show quietly replaced the judges, but audiences continued to complain about this year’s contestants, including their supposed lack of pizazz and overreliance on mining online memes for laughs. The criticism grew louder in November, when Pang Bo, a veteran comedian who won the show’s first season, was accused of plagiarizing jokes from the internet. Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.