Zhao Benshan attends a talk show hosted by Guo Degang on Wednesday in Beijing. [Photo: sina.com]
Top Chinese comedian Zhao Benshan has decided to stop performing stage skits to give other comedians more opportunities to perform and take time to reflect upon his previous work, The Beijing News reports.
"From now on, audiences won't see me performing skits," Zhao said. "I have decided to quit."
The comedian made the remarks Wednesday evening on a talk show hosted by famous crosstalk comedian Guo Degang in Beijing.
"The pressure to perform on the 'Spring Festival Gala' of China Central Television (CCTV) is unimaginable, and I have not been in good health these last few years," Zhao said. "I had performed on CCTV's grand gala for 21 years and gained much from that. I could not have achieved what I did without the 'Spring Festival Gala,' and I treasure profound feelings for it."
The CCTV gala is a festive occasion that can do without any single performer, Zhao said, and encouraged TV audiences to enjoy the show without him.
It is a family tradition for many Chinese to gather in front of their televisions on the eve of the Chinese New Year and watch Zhao's skits.