Fugitive funnyman Chu Ke Liang (豬哥亮) has come out of hiding and returned to showbiz to pay off the huge gambling debts that caused him to disappear for more than a decade. The 60-year-old entertainer’s first gig is a television commercial for consumer electronics retailer Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co (3C, 燦坤) that began airing this week.
Chu Ke Liang plays five characters in the commercial — including a grandmother and seven-year-old boy — all wearing his trademark “toilet-lid” (馬桶蓋)hairstyle and is reportedly being paid US$60,000 for his efforts. Apple Daily reports that Chu Ke Liang has received offers to do more commercials and appear on or even host a few television shows, and estimates that the comedian’s earnings from these projects could add up to US$840,000. That’s a fraction of the US$8.7 million to US$14 million he reportedly owes.
While Chu Ke Liang is making money, Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝) is spending it. The actress, one of the prime victims of the Edison Chen (陳冠希) sex photo scandal, enjoyed a luxurious, five-day visit to Taipei last week, wining, dining and shopping, and going to amusement parks with her son, Lucas.
Cheung received a warm welcome from her Taiwanese celebrity friends including sister duo Big S (大S) and Little S (小S); Chen Jien-chow (陳建州), better known as Blackie (黑人); and Chen’s girlfriend, singer Fan Fan (范瑋琪). The paparazzi dutifully tailed the gang and provided gossip readers with day-to-day accounts of their itinerary, from one exclusive Japanese restaurant to another, and lavish spending on products made by a certain American shoe company.
“I am crazy about kids and want to have more,” Cheung was quoted as saying in the Apple Daily. “I have no wish to return to the movie business at the moment. My plan is to use Nicholas Tse’s (謝霆鋒) money for a while longer.”
Though Hong Kong’s Cheung isn’t interested in making a comeback anytime soon, 23-year-old singer Hsu Sung (許頌)is getting plenty of attention as Cheung’s doppelganger. She hit the celebrity radar after winning a talent show in China’s Anhui Province and is now being called a shan chai (山寨版) version of Cheung. Shan chai, which translates roughly as “bandit stronghold,” was coined recently to describe fake goods made in China, which rip off a brand’s image like bandits steal from people.
When asked how she felt about missing the chance to meet the real Cheung, Hsu, who was in Taipei to promote her new single this week, said, “It’s a pity. We may enjoy the thrill of seeing each other’s mirror image.”
In other music news, alt-rock star Faith Yang (楊乃文) is scheduled to perform live in concert at Taipei Arena (台北巨蛋) next month, with erstwhile sweetheart Lin Wei-tse (林暐哲) on board as the music director. ABT pop star Jeff Huang (黃立成), another Yang ex, made a video clip that was played at a press conference held last week in which he wished Yang luck.
When the subject of her old flames was brought up at the media event, the conversation between Yang and journos went something like this:
The press: “Can you compare Lin and Huang?”
Yang: “One is my first, the other [is also] an ex. One is thin, the other chubby. One can do a back flip, the other can’t.”
Miao Lin-Zucker (林季苗) wanted to teach Taiwanese how to speak French; instead she’s helping the French learn Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese). As of last week, nearly 120 people had expressed interest in the first ever Hoklo classes (listed as Taiwanais in French) offered by Les Cours d’Adultes de Paris, one of the largest public language learning institutions in France. The courses begin online next month. “It’s getting easier to explain Taiwan to people here due to its recent international visibility,” Lin-Zucker says. “So it doesn’t seem as strange anymore to promote a Taiwanese Hoklo class. I’m not training language experts
Sept 27 to Oct 3 When an apparition appeared in a vision telling Easter Lee (李幫助) to build a seminary, she said she would only do so if three conditions were met — conditions that were nearly impossible to meet for a woman born in 1909 to a modest family with 22 children. Still bitter about nearly having to give up her schooling for her younger brother, the ambitious 18-year-old wanted to cancel her arranged marriage, attend seminary school abroad and become Taiwan’s first female pastor. Lee accomplished all three before she turned 40, reaching the final milestone in March
It’s not often I glimpse something from a bus that, in a second or less, convinces me to press the stop-request button earlier than planned. But just after crossing into Taichung’s Shihgang District (石岡) from Fongyuan District (豐原), we passed a building that was so distinctive I didn’t care if I’d end up with a long walk under the hot sun. I’d never seen a fire station quite like it. The greater part was gray and somewhat bland, but to those familiar with Taiwan’s various architectural styles, the endearing cream-yellow entrance way screamed, “colonial-era public building.” My hunch turned out to be
For the past 10 years, Sonia Grego has been thinking about toilets — and more specifically what we deposit into them. “We are laser-focused on the analysis of stool,” says the Duke University research professor, with all the unselfconsciousness of someone used to talking about bodily functions. “We think there is an incredible untapped opportunity for health data. And this information is not tapped because of the universal aversion to having anything to do with your stool.” As the co-founder of Coprata, Grego is working on a toilet that uses sensors and artificial intelligence to analyze waste; she hopes to have