CARTOON: Saturday Night Dive

CARTOON: Saturday Night Dive
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Attempts to launch 'Saturday Night Live' in China have hit predictable headwinds.

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NBCUniversal's attempts to launch a Chinese version of the immensely popular U.S. satirical sketch show "Saturday Night Live" ran into fairly predictable trouble this week, after the online video platform that hosts the show, Youku, stopped broadcasting its content.

A Youku customer service agent told The New York Times that the show had been temporarily taken offline pending a "rectification and upgrade of its content" at the behest of the show's production team.

While the Chinese version steered clear of poking fun at China's politicians in the manner of its illustrious American peer, and was not even broadcast live despite its title, the show did attempt to satirize topics such as the Chinese national football team's performances, perhaps a bridge too far for Chinese censors who are increasingly intolerant of even entertainment-focused online content that undermines the national character.

In any case, the show was widely mocked on Chinese social media for being "inappropriate to a Chinese context" (read: impossible in a one-party dictatorship), as well as being simply unfunny.

Where the show writers go from here is anyone's guess.

Read Next: CHINA: Communist Party Battles to Have Last Laugh on Web Censorship

Editor: David Green

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