Stephen Chow's 'spokesman'

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 14, 2015
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Shi Banyu promotes "Kung Fu Hustle 3D" in Beijing on Jan. 9, 2015. [Photo/]

Shi Banyu studied Chow and learned to imitate Chow's voice, tone and style of speaking before he started recreating even greater effects to make people laugh. As for the voiceover of "Kung Fu Hustle 3D," Shi said he could have done better now if the studios had let him. He rated his 2004 performance fairly low, giving himself a score of 6.5/10.

"What impressed me about Chow," Shi remembered, "is whenever he found that I had performed better than him, he would follow my route and record a similar Cantonese version for the same track."

Outside of Cantonese-speaking areas in China, Shi's voice has been the voice that many people identify with Chow for years. As China rolled into the Internet era, many Internet slang terms, popular phrases and some online cultural phenomena were directly drawn from the vocabulary of Chow's comedy, whose popularity among young generations was enhanced by Shi's voice and his own invention of new words and phrases.

Chow was involved in a new round of controversy at the end of last year when founder of Win's Entertainment Charles Heung's wife Tiffany Chen attacked Chow for asking a fan to write an Internet post that smeared the Heung brothers, Chow's former bosses, as mafia members, though the Heung family's Asian mafia Triad background has led to controversy before.

Chow never spoke up about the issue and his management denied involvement in the online post, leaving Tiffany Chen no choice but to ask more celebrities to support her and her husband by bashing Chow while movie fans and colleagues showed their support for him.

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