Stand-up comedy in China has become popular over the last six years. The format won more fans when online show Roast, copied from the Comedy Central Celebrity Roast format, allowed comics to test their sharp tongues on each other. China’s comedy pioneers are seeking to rocket to the top by using the Internet – but the industry, according to insiders, is sluggish, and many people are leaving. Low incomes, a lack of clubs where comics can hone their talents, and the limited options available to promote their work are just some of the problems comics face. Censorship is another obstacle; for political safety, Chinese comics rarely talk about politics or the news, but focus on celebrity gossip, leaving their work shallow and anodyne.