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Smackdown alert: USA v China


Conan O'Brien tries to exact revenge on a Chinese tv show host who's copied his opening sequence.

It’s no secret that China has an intellectual property rights problem, but recently it seems it's taken copycatting to new heights.

Over the weekend, a blogsite brought to our attention the rather impressive phenomenon of ripping off movie posters.

But one American’s had enough.

Last week, Conan O’Brien discovered that a Chinese tv program hosted by Da Peng has copied the opening sequence to his own talk show.

“Someone made us aware of it, we looked into it, and it blew my mind,” said O’Brien on his show Monday evening. 

“This is a really weird show,” he added before throwing down the glove.

“For years now, China has been ripping off America with cheap knock-offs, right?  Well, China, if you’re gonna rip off my show, I think I should rip off their show, don’t you?  And let’s see how you like it?”

O’Brien then proceeded to lift from Da Peng’s program pop-up characters in Chinese, the sound effects, and an odd character bunny-hopping in the background, ending with chants of “USA! USA! USA!

Da Peng was not to be upstaged by O'Brien's smackdown.

Chinese tv show host Da Peng responds to Conan O'Brien's smackdown.

The Chinese host began his riposte without fanfare and an apparent humble apology: “I am Da Peng without an opening sequence.  Sorry, I’ve embarrassed the Chinese people.”

But the regretful stance quickly becomes a playful joust before lapsing into a lecture--albeit a light-hearted one--about “soft power” and geopolitics.

“For many years, you Americans have tried to push your culture and values onto the entire world.  You might be happy to know China has millions of netizens watching your shows and are influenced by your humor,” said Da Peng in his monologue.

“On the other hand, you are always saying, ‘Oh bull@!$%# this is all ripped off,’” he continued.  “From this perspective, we’re a bit nicer.  China has bought so much of your national debt.  But in this show we have never made fun of you running around borrowing money from everyone.”

He concludes with his own chants of “China! China! China!”

If only all international conflicts were this entertaining.