Laughing Away the Language Barrier

Comedian Victor Borge once said, "laughter is the shortest distance between two people." If humor has the ability to bridge gaps, couldn't it theoretically be used in a public diplomacy context?

The U.S.-China Comedy Center (USCCC) seems to think so. Located in Beijing, the USCCC puts on shows in both Mandarin and English, and those who don't speak both languages can still enjoy the full performance.

Jesse Appell, founder of the center, says today's problems have less to do with language because "it's not an unusual thing to have a foreigner speak Chinese...[or] for a Chinese person to be able to speak English." Therefore, he says we need to solve deeper issues like "how do we make people laugh, how do we tell each other stories, how do we make people care about each other?"

Check out USCCC's video below, or visit the CCTV+ YouTube channel for more information.

Cross Cultural Comedy Entertains Audience beyond Language Barrier


Visit CPD's Online Library

Explore CPD's vast online database featuring the latest books, articles, speeches and information on international organizations dedicated to public diplomacy.