For the record, I’m not super fan of Xiangsheng(相声, Cross Talk), but I have some opportunities to hear it. One of my graduate school roommate listened Guo Degang’s Xiangsheng every night before sleeping. Every Lunar New Year’s Eve, CCTV will host a Spring Festival Gala Evening, and Xiangsheng would certainly be there.
Xiangsheng is an art about every day life. The content needs to connect to the aoudunice’s experience. Something far away from audience is hard to catch people’s “laugh point”. At least, it’s necessary for audience to understand what are actors talking about without too much consideration.
When xiangsheng was play in an close place, like any other comedy performances, it will certainly contain something not ready for children. It almost an indispensable part. The effect can be great if it was use properly. And no doubt these kind of xiangsheng can not go public for obvious reason.
In the tradition xiangsheng, there are two people, and a table. The main character standing outside the table, do the most of the jokes. Meanwhile the “wingman” standing behind the table, cooperating the jokes talked by the man outside the table. Just like what they did in BlackBerry 10 Presentation.
Modern xiangsheng do not have those rule, they can stand whatever they like. Sometimes there are more than two actors in the stage.
Anyway, no one hates joke.