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By contrast, more sophisticated forms of humour such as satire require an understanding of its social meaning and context, and thus tend to appeal to a more mature audience.Many theories exist about what humour is and what social function it serves.
During the 1930s, the transliteration "youmo" (humour) caught on as a new term for humour, sparking a fad for humour literature, as well as impassioned debate about what type of humorous sensibility best suited China, a poor, weak country under partial foreign occupation.
Local performing arts, storytelling, vernacular fiction, and poetry offer a wide variety of humorous styles and sensibilities.
Famous Chinese humorists include the ancient jesters Chunyu Kun and Dongfang Shuo; writers of the Ming and Qing dynasties such as Feng Menglong, Li Yu, and Wu Jingzi; and modern comic writers such as Lu Xun, Lin Yutang, Lao She, Qian Zhongshu, Wang Xiaobo, and Wang Shuo, and performers such as Ge You, Guo Degang, and Zhou Libo.
Mento star Lord Flea, stated in a 1957 interview that he thought that: "West Indians have the best sense of humour in the world.
Even in the most solemn song, like Las Kean Fine ["Lost and Can Not Be Found"], which tells of a boiler explosion on a sugar plantation that killed several of the workers, their natural wit and humour shine though." Confucianist Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, with its emphasis on ritual and propriety, has traditionally looked down upon humour as subversive or unseemly.