Chinese people love variety shows. This can be seen in the countless shows airing each year on television. However, the one show that is on top of them all has to be “Happy Camp” (快乐大本营 Kuài yuè dà běn yíng) or 快本 (Kuài běn) for short.

“Happy Camp” started airing in 1997. Since then, it has gained hundreds of millions of followers. The age range of its viewers is extremely broad. It ranges from people born in the 1970s all the way to the 2010s.

To many people, the hosts of this incredible show were their childhood friends and accompanied them throughout the years. Thus to them, “Happy Camp” is more than a popular variety show. It is family!

Happy Camp Hosts

“Happy Camp” has some of the best show hosts and MCs in the country. The main hosts are 何炅 Hé Jiǒng, 谢娜 Xiè Nà, 吴昕 Wú Xīn, 李维嘉 Lǐ Wéi Jiā and 杜海涛 Dù Hǎi Tāo. They are the backbone of the entire show. If any one of them is not present, the whole show feels as if it is missing its soul. He Jiong’s hosting skills are unparalleled.

In order from left to right: 吴昕 Wú Xīn, 李维嘉 Lǐ Wéi Jiā, 何炅 Hé Jiǒng, 谢娜 Xiè Nà, 杜海涛 Dù Hǎi Tāo

Not only do they create a fun and exciting atmosphere for their guests and audiences, but they also throw in plenty of humor. It makes “Happy Camp” that much more binge-worthy.

Use of Language

If you are an active Chinese learner, you can relate to the fact that textbook Chinese is very different from the Chinese that native speakers use in their everyday lives. Well, problem solved!

“Happy Camp” is unscripted. This allows Chinese learners to gain a better understanding of what real conversational Chinese is like. Reading the subtitles can also increase your reading skills in real-time conversations.

Much of the popular internet slang used in the show can be quickly learned and incorporated into your everyday conversations. Many people watch “Happy Camp” solely to learn more about the Chinese language and stay up to date with slang trends!

Guests in costumes

Show Themes

Fans of “Happy Camp” might know this already, but to the people who are new to “Happy Camp,” every episode has a different theme. Everything in the episode is centered around that theme.

This can range from the games the hosts and the guests play to the food that might be served to them as a reward or punishment!

For example, in one episode, the theme was “The Signal From Hometown”. The hosts and guests all dressed up as their favorite foods from their hometown and played games revolving around food.

The production team of “Happy Camp” seeks trendy, fun and relatable themes, especially to  Millennials and Gen-Zers. Because young people like to stay on top of the trends and crave to learn more about popular culture, they make up the majority of viewers.

Their Guests

“Happy Camp” is known to invite some of China’s most popular celebrities onto the show. But wait, it gets better! The show has also invited celebrities outside of China.

To list a few: EXO, Wonder Girls, Maggie Q, Song Joong Ki, Ian Somerhalder, Yoona from Girls’ Generation, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Super Junior and many more!

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson meeting the hosts. Because of the popularity and reputation of “Happy Camp,” many Chinese celebrities believe that if they are invited to this show, it signifies that they have made it in the entertainment industry.

Maggie Q on the show. Through interacting with their guests with games and activities, “Happy Camp” brings out a different side of celebrities.

The show’s five hosts put the guests at ease and help reveal their true charms and natural talents.

Jackie Chan and guests playing a game.“Happy Camp” embraces interculturalism. When there are foreign guests on the show, they talk about their culture as well as teach them  about Chinese culture. This, in return, allows the audience to learn more about cultures around the world!

The hosts of “Happy Camp”

After broadcasting for more than 20 years, “Happy Camp” survived it all. They have learned to adapt and fit the needs of the audience.

Each episode is guaranteed to be educational, comical, exciting and fun. “Happy Camp” is a big part of Chinese culture and it is here to stay!

You can watch  “Happy Camp” on Youtube with English subtitles. 

With so many variety shows out there, what is your favorite variety show and why? Have you watched “Happy Camp” before? If yes, what is your favorite episode? Comment down below!



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Amie Lin

Amie Lin is currently attending Hunter College double majoring in Mandarin and Media Studies. She is such a foodie and loves Chinese dramas.