China Uncensored is a thrice-weekly satirical news show on YouTube in the vein of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. Hosted by Chris Chappell, the show aims to uncensor the People's Republic of China.
China Uncensored is very critical of the current regime in China. And the show does tackle some serious issues, such as the matter of China's excessive territorial claims (inevitably leading to territorial disputes with its neighbor countries), its constant threats directed toward Taiwan and Japan, human rights abuses (most notably the persecution of minorities such as Tibetans, Uighurs, and Falun Gong members), organ harvesting from "prisoners of conscience"Note , abuses of power, widespread corruption, the export of ingredients used to make illegal drugs, their deteriorating environmental situation, and of course, censorship.
So what's the best way to bring those issues to light? Through humor, sarcasm and satire, of course! As Mel Brookssource would say, "If you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can't win. You show how crazy they are."
Tropes that apply to China Uncensored include:
- Appropriated Appellation: The China Uncensored fanbase is called the "China Uncensored 50-Cent Army." This is a reference to the " 50-Cent Party/Army", or "Wumaodang"—Internet trolls paid by the Chinese government to spread their propaganda and manipulate public opinion to favor the Chinese Communist Party.Note
- Author Tract: The show is produced by New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television, which was founded by Falun Gong members. As such their descriptions of Falun Gong are very positive and omit elements that might be more controversial. And that's all that will be said about that.
- Brain Bleach: In one video discussing America's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and China's opportunity to assume a leadership role following America's withdrawal from the agreement, Chris actually drinks a bottle of the stuff after seeing a picture of Xi Jinping dressed up as Captain Planet.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Invoked in the July 10, 2017 episode:Chris: And coming up after the break, we bring you corruption, sex scandals, and murder. Or as the Chinese Communist Party calls it, "Tuesday".
- The Cameo: Fellow YouTube celebrity Travis Kraft appears as a guide for the China Uncensored crew during their visit to Binondo in Manila.
- In-Series Nickname: "Humor Ninja" for Shelley Zhang, the show's writer and researcher.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Both the opening and signing off catch phrases (see below for the latter) are this.Chris: On this episode of China Uncensored, (*mention of the current topic that's about to be discussed in the episode*).
- Race Lift: The show has replaced white cast members with Asians and Asian cast members with white people to parody Hollywood's tendency to whitewash Asian characters.
- Running Gag: Chris sometimes mentions a fact or two relevant to the news he's discussing, only to be corrected by Shelley when there's an update to that fact.Chris: What's that, Shelley?
- Signing-Off Catchphrase:Chris: So what do you think of (*whatever topic was discussed in the episode*)? Leave your comments below. Once again, I'm Chris Chappell, see you next time.
- The Smurfette Principle: Shelley—the aforementioned "Humor Ninja"—is the only woman in the China Uncensored crew.
- Top Ten List: A handful of their videos are basically this, usually pointing out the strange or scary things the Chinese government does.
- Yellowface: The show criticizes this practice in one episode, specifically the infamous Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's.