Spotted: the most loyal “Utility Man” at CCTV New Year’s Gala; netizens’ comments

February 2, 2011Jing Gao3 Comments, , , , , , , ,

CCTV New Year’s Gala is broadcast live on the eve of each Chinese New Year on its multiple channels to the entire nation’s TV viewers. Though TV ratings and popularity are declining each year, it is still one of the most watched TV program among Chinese speaking world, including Chinese diaspora around the world.

In addition to notable people, the studio audience consists of “ordinary people.” They play an important role: heating up the atmosphere with staged and rehearsed outbursts of laughter, applause and cheer, and participating in shows, such as magic shows and skits. In Chinese, they are called Tuo’er, which means secret collaborator who appears a random and irrelevant outsider. Because of their staged reaction and response to the shows and uncredited role, Chinese netizens also gave them a nickname “longtao,” or Utility Man. (For our detailed report on the secrets behind the studio audience, please click here. )

Today, a post on Tianya, the most popular online discussion forum, exposed a “frequent Gala-goer” by capturing frames of video of the Gala in the past ten decades.

Using first-person point of view to fake a soliloquy of the Utility Man, the post says in a jocular fashion,

Robin Li spent 40 million for showing up at the Gala, which baffles brother (referring to himself).
So many celebs beat one another’s heads for a spot at the Gala, which amuses brother.
Brother I have met with viewers over the last ten years while remaining the lowest profile.
Brother I fully deserve to be the most familiar stranger.
Brother I am not a secret collaborator. But brother will give you the most enthusiastic applause whenever the camera takes brother.
Brother I am not easily entertained, but no matter how dry the humor is, brother will strain to open my mouth as wide as possible to smile.
No doubt you will see brother at the 2011 New Year Gala.
Brother will be with you forever, in the name of the New Year Gala.

Similar utility men and women have been spotted by sharp-eyed netizens and later identified by netizens through human flesh search engine. But this guy holds the record for having gone to the most Galas.


2011 Gala (broadcast yesterday)


2010 Gala


2010 Gala-closeup


2009 Gala


2008 Gala


2007 Gala


2005 Gala


2005 Gala


2004 Gala


2003 Gala


2003 Gala


2002 Gala


2002 Gala-closeup


2001 Gala

In 2009, A man named Song Shanmu with trademark beard, glasses and suspender pants and white suit was discovered by netizens to have gone to six Galas. Song Shanmu, founder of Sun Moon, a multinational training an continuing education company, was found guilty of molesting female employees in 2010. Netizens joked that he could no longer attend the Gala.


Selected comments from Tianya:


Guess (it’s because) he shouts “Perfect!” loud enough.


As a person who hasn’t watched CCTV New Year’s Gala for years, I feel extremely hilarious on reading this post.


To the post author: I also found a secret: He has done a great anti-aging job.


The post author is so sharp-eyed!


Looks like a rice ball with multiple fillings. (I) Got fed up just by looking at him.


(I) am always wondering who on earth are these people in the audience.


What’s surprising about it? You thought those who cheer are ordinary people?


I have the feeling that this is simply a post of self-exposure. Otherwise who would look for the same guy over so many years? And he looks homely.


This should be a Tuo’er (collaborator) arranged by CCTV. At times, (he) cheers, leads the audience to clap hands. Otherwise program like this year’s can’t warm up the atmosphere.

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3 comments to “Spotted: the most loyal “Utility Man” at CCTV New Year’s Gala; netizens’ comments”

  1. [...] men and women, and they were really amused. For those hilarious pictures, please read our post: Spotted: the most loyal “Utility Man” at CCTV New Year’s Gala.If you enjoyed reading our articles, please subscribe to our blog feed, follow us on Twitter [...]

  2. KL | February 4, 2011 | Permalink Reply


  3. Marco | February 9, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Big deal. He is just an actor working as an extra.
    Who would come by his own will there?
    All countries have this.

    If he earns well, then why not?

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