Here Are The Stand-Up Comedy Finalists From The Beijing Improv Festival

The Stand-up Showcase portion of the Beijing Improv Festival took place this past Friday. Here’s my takeaway after watching the five finalists:

It turns out that there’s an honest-to-goodness, thriving stand-up scene in Beijing. If you’re a closeted comedy nerd who’ll only risk coming out to see live shows in Beijing when big name comics fly in from the States, I hate to break it to you, but Louis CK isn’t walking back onto that stage anytime soon. Why not try to get a laugh on at one of the many local venues in Beijing that host regular stand-up nights? These include weekly Wednesday night shows at the Hot Cat Club, among others.

The notable stand-ups from Friday’s showcase were Jehan Azad (a.k.a. Jay Zaad), Paul Creasy, and the evening’s grand prize winner, Sherwin Jiang. Watch their performances here — and watch for when they take the mic next. Because unless we pool our money and fly Marc Maron out to Beijing, they’re the best we have.

The Good Doctor is a writer in Beijing. Check out his website, The Chaos Factory, and follow him on Twitter @doctorentropy2.

Ed’s note: Dominic Swire has posted all the finalists on Youku, plus two bonus videos. In order: Host Toby Jarman kicks things off, followed by Jay Zaad, Calvin Pollak, Sherwin Jiang, David Fertitta and Paul Creasy, topped off by the final awards. Below, we sample Jehan “I’m not making fun of black people” Azad and Paul “English and middle class” Creasy. The above video is of the aforementioned winner, Sherwin “shabi” Jiang.

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