Censorship: China's party leadership doesn't take a joke. No one knows this better than the country's comedians

It's 7:30 p.

Censorship: China's party leadership doesn't take a joke. No one knows this better than the country's comedians

It's 7:30 p.m. when the main lights in a comedy club in Shanghai are dimmed and only one bright spotlight illuminates the stage. A young man steps through the black curtain in front of a lonely microphone stand. "Who of you has been here before?" he calls into the hall. Many of the around 200 mostly young spectators in the sold-out club raise their hands. Stand-up comedy is a relatively new genre in China, but one that has exploded in popularity over the past five years.

"Ok, here are the rules," the young man continues. "Mute phones, no videos - and nobody in the audience makes jokes funnier than ours!"

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