By JONAS WHALE
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Dashan fans are said to be “stunned” following revelations that comedian and performer Mark Rowswell, aka celebrity cross-talk “comedian” Dashan, may have had cosmetic surgery on his name.
Few in China don’t admire the handsome moniker “Mark Rowswell”, which the beloved Canadian celebrity sometimes goes by. But revelations made by famed surgeon Dr Yi Dingjian claim that Rowswell’s name has undergone cosmetic enhancement.
“You can always tell,” said Yi. “He probably had the work done when he was much younger. It’s not a clean job.” Yi believes that as a young, ambitious cross-talker, Rowswell – then going by the far less sexy name “Roswell” – went to an illegal backstreet surgeon to amplify his flat, boyish name.
“We can all see the results,” says Yi. “Listen to those curvy vowels: the second ‘w’ turns a bony ‘o’ into a sensual ‘ohhhh’. I just wish he’d admit it.” By failing to do so, Yi claims, Rowswell is sending out a hypocritical message that celebrities’ names are just “born” that way.
Dashan has a huge influence on consumers and many young foreign visitors deeply admire his trend-setting ways. A 2006 endorsement of a luxury baiju brand apparently led to sales tripling in the Sanlitun area, to twelve bottles.
“There’s probably some young guy out there right now called Deng or something, staring at a picture of Rowswell’s name, thinking his could never be that alluring. But for just a few thousand yuan, he could be ‘Dwen,’ a potential star of tomorrow,” Dr Yi told China Daily Show.
Not everyone shares Yi’s certainty that Rowswell’s name went under the knife, however. One blogger, who describes himself simply as “The Watcher”, claims that Rowswell’s enhanced name is the result of a clever prosthetic attachment.
“It’s uncanny, and you’ll notice the font is almost identical to the usual, human typeset,” he told this reporter. “But occasionally Rowswell will forget the extra ‘w’, or if you say it vigorously and repeatedly, the ‘W’ can even come off mid-sentence. You’ll probably find it at the bottom of your notes.”
“The Watcher” has no doubt as to the origin of the clever prosthetic. “It’s not of this earth,” says The Watcher. “I have to be careful what I say, but it’s certainly of alien design.”
Rowswell’s agent, Kathy Duan, was dismissive of the claims but did say that the story behind Rowswell’s curvaceous moniker would be revealed in a forthcoming autobiography, tentatively entitled Never Stop Smiling, to be published by the Pattaya Press next year.
“Mark is right now prepping for a Cross-Talk Grand Prix in Shanghai for September, then of course you’ll see him on the CCTV New Year show re-runs. After that, he’s free for the rest of the year.”
One Canadian tourist, speaking under condition of anonymity, told China Daily Show that, “Prosthetic name or not, I for one welcome the fact that Dashan has given the Chinese something else to associate Canada with, other than seal meat.”
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