According to Bloomberg Business, Lorne Michaels has partnered with Sohu.com Inc. to develop a Chinese version of Saturday Night Live. That means Chinese comedy fans will finally get to experience the hilarity of Chinese Adam Sandler performing the Chinese-equivalent of Opera Man, and in 40 years they’ll be able to see Chinese Eddie Murphy awkwardly waste an opportunity to do something funny during the show’s star-studded anniversary special. Sohu.com already offers streaming episodes of the American SNL to viewers in China, but this will be an entirely new show, featuring Chinese comedians and—presumably—Chinese musical guests.
The big question everybody has about this, though, is how the show will handle SNL’s penchant for political satire. Of course, the American Saturday Night Live‘s political satire has been a bit toothless for a while, but Bloomberg‘s report suggests that it will be slightly more toothless. “China’s Communist Party has been looking for new ways to engage with an audience because past forms of preaching are no longer suitable for today,” a professor at Beijing’s Communication University Of China told Bloomberg, adding, “What Sohu needs to be careful about, though, is finding the right balance when doing satire about social and political issues.” The subtext there—if you can call it that—seems to be that the Chinese SNL will have to treat the Communist Party pretty favorably if it wants to last for 40 years.
There’s no word on when the Chinese SNL will premiere, but we hear that the Chinese Jimmy Fallon has already started giggling at Chinese Horatio Sanz, and Chinese Norm Macdonald has already been fired.