Chu Ke-liang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chu Ke-liang
Hsieh Hsin-ta
(謝新達 Siā Sin-ta̍t)

(1946-12-05)5 December 1946
Died15 May 2017(2017-05-15) (aged 70)
OccupationComedian, television host, actor, singer
Years active1980–2017
Children5 (including Jeannie Hsieh and Ting Xie)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Musical career
Also known asChu Ko-liang

Chu Ke-liang (Chinese: 豬哥亮; pinyin: Zhū Gēliàng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ti Ko-liōng or Ti Ko-liāng; 5 December 1946 – 15 May 2017) was a Chinese-born Taiwanese comedian, actor, television show host and singer. He was known for his "over-the-top appearance" with unusual clothing and hair styles and his coarse humor.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Chu was born Hsieh Hsin-ta (謝新達; Taiwanese Siā Sin-ta̍t) in Zuoying, Kaohsiung in Taiwan Province of the Republic of China.[4] Chu left home in his early teenage years to pursue his dream of being in the theater. He went on to receive tuition from Lin Sung-yen (林松煙 Lín Sōngyān) and became an actor and writer but remained largely unknown to the wider public. At around age 30, he had a role in a play about the semi-legendary Liao Tianding as the clown character Zhū Gēliàng. He was so popular in this role that he chose the name as his own stage name.[n 1]


Early career[edit]

In 1980, the Chu Ke-liang Cabaret Show (豬哥亮歌廳秀; Zhū Gēliàng Gētīng Xiù) broke onto the scene in Taiwan and Chu's popularity took off.[6] In the show, Chu had a mild-mannered persona but often used coarse language and double entendre. He would get into quarrels with the guest singers and tell off-color jokes. Along with Chang Fei, Frankie Kao, and Ni Min-jan, Chu was one of Taiwan's biggest TV stars of the 1980s.

In 1994, Chu campaigned on behalf of James Soong in his candidacy for the governorship of Taiwan province. Soong successfully used support from Chu, who was at the time Taiwan's most popular entertainer, to help convince Taiwanese to support a candidate with a mainland Chinese background.[7]


Chu racked up gambling debts over NT$100 million (US$35 million) from playing Taiwan's illegal lottery and Hong Kong's Mark Six despite an income of NT$60 million per month.[1][2] He is said to have owed his boss, Yang Tang-kuei, NT$120 million.[8] As a result, he fled into hiding to escape this and other debts to underworld figures in 1995.[1] He briefly returned to the public eye in 1997 but again absconded in 1999.[2]

Reports of Chu's whereabouts occasionally surfaced. In 2002, Chu was spotted in a He Xian Gu temple in Wandan, Pingtung County.[9] However, generally, the media took pains not to expose him.[2] Chu's performances were available on videotape and were occasionally shown on Taiwan television, so his audiences did not forget him.[10]

On 19 February 2009, correspondents from the tabloid Apple Daily followed Chu in various areas of Kaohsiung and Pingtung Counties before confronting him in a Yongda Road swordfish oden noodle restaurant in Pingtung City.[2] With his trademark hair now slicked back, he told the reporters he was "still on the lam" and still very poor.[2] He was reportedly working at a temple at the time.[8]

Some of Chu’s former fellow performers, including Chang Fei, Frankie Kao and Kevin Chu, called for Chu to return to public life and for his creditors to spare his life so he could work to repay his debts.[1]


Following Chu's exposure in an Apple Daily cover story, Sanchong legislator and entertainer Yu Tian, on 23 April 2010, announced an advertising deal between Chu and Tsann Kuen 3C whereby Chu would receive NT$20 million. The following day, Chu announced plans for a comeback in a short speech aired on Taiwan's major TV channels.[11] Chu euphemistically said that he had been "studying abroad" for ten years but that he was grateful to the media for "photographing me eating oden".[11] He said he had always wanted to come back but did not have the courage.[11]

According to the China Times, Yu facilitated a meeting between Chu and Chu's former boss Yang Tang-kuei where Yang agreed to forgive 80 percent off the total debt owed to him.[5][8] Chu was required to give Yang 20 percent of his earnings until he repaid the remaining NT$24 million he owed.[5][8]

On 5 June 2009, Golden Throne Communication TV Co., Ltd. announced a series of new video-on-demand shows starring Chu. Recording of a new variety show hosted by Chu, Zhūgē Huìshè (豬哥會社),[n 2] began in July 2009. Chu received NT$300,000 per show for his new program as of 2009.[8]

On 16 September 2010, Chu released his first music album, Dōngshānzàiqǐ (東山再起). In the following month, he was recognized in the Golden Bell Awards as Best Variety Show Host, together with his co-host, Rene Hou.[12]

Chu also had a major part as a city councilman in the 2011 hit movie Night Market Hero, a role which cemented his comeback.[13]

Living with cancer and death[edit]

Chu was diagnosed with stage II colo-rectal cancer in 2014. He feared the adverse effects that came along with the cancer treatment especially the installation of colostomy, leading him to delaying to have intensive treatments until September, 2016 when he had severe ascites and poor health status where he were left no choice. (It's reported that Chu had tried many other regimens and unknown treatments both are not proven to be effective instead of the surgery and chemotherapy which are proven to be effective in treating cancer.) Whereas, even though he finally returned to the hospital to accept surgery of removal of the malignant tumor, his cancer of colo-rectal had advanced to the final stage.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][21] When interviewed subsequent to the surgery, he said "I should have believed in evidence-based medicine two years ago." [22]

Having terminal colorectal cancer for two years, Chu died in the National Taiwan University Hospital on 15 May 2017 due to liver failure. He was 70.[23][24][25] A private memorial was held on 16 May.[26] A public funeral attended by 2,000 people took place in Banciao District on 20 June.[27]

Image and influence[edit]

Chu's screen image includes a distinctive hairstyle and clothing. Chu typically wears a (sometimes colorful) dinner jacket with a bowtie but with bermuda shorts, black shoes, and white socks.[3] Chu's hairstyle has been called a "toilet-lid (馬桶蓋 mǎtǒng gài) haircut"[2][28] and is similar to a bowl cut like that of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges but covering the ears and shoulder-length at the back.

Taiwanese entertainer Show Lo is a known admirer of Chu and has imitated his style.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Chu was married four times and had two sons and three daughters. His second daughter, Jeannie Hsieh, is a well-known Taiwanese singer and actress.[1][11]




  1. ^ Chu's name is usually rendered as Chu Ke-liang or Chu Ko-liang in English sources with "Chu" written separately as if it were a surname and "Ke-liang" written as if it were a given name (see Chinese name for further information). However, in Taiwanese, ti-ko (豬哥) is a single lexeme that literally means rooster (cockerel) but through semantic change means "womanizer" or "lecher" when referring to people. To this is added the character liōng (亮), one typically used in men's names. Together, the characters of this stage name are nearly homophonous (in Mandarin Chinese) with those of Three Kingdoms figure Zhūgě Liàng (諸葛亮).[5] Because Chinese characters are written without intervening spaces or hyphens, the issue of the name spacing does not arise in Taiwanese or Mandarin.
  2. ^ The name of Chu's show, Zhūgē Huìshè (豬哥會社) also has a double meaning arising from the Taiwanese ti-ko (豬哥; "womanizer" or "lecher" when referring to people) It can mean "Chu Ke(-liang)'s Club" but also "gentlemen's club", i.e. strip club.


  1. ^ a b c d e Ho Yi. "Pop Stop". Taipei Times. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g 娛樂中心 直擊報導,〈《蘋果》直擊 豬哥亮找到了10年人間蒸發「我還在跑路啦」〉 Apple Daily 20 February 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011. (in Chinese)
  3. ^ a b 豬哥亮:我深造回來 吃黑輪也被記者拍到. NOWnews. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2012. (in Chinese)
  4. ^ 黃哲斌, 郭石城 「天王同窗豬哥亮叫他班長」. 天下文化 Commonwealth Publishing Co., Ltd. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2012. (in Chinese)
  5. ^ a b c 朱梅芳. 一提妻子與楊登魁 豬哥亮哭很大. China Times. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2012. (in Chinese)
  6. ^ 艾瑪. 超級笑匠――豬哥亮. Archived 12 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine 富蘭德林. (My China Business). Retrieved 25 August 2012. (in Chinese)
  7. ^ Fell, Dafydd (2005). Party Politics in Taiwan: Party Change and the Democratic Evolution of Taiwan, 1991-2004. Taylor & Francis. p. 112. ISBN 9780415359733.
  8. ^ a b c d e Noah Buchan. "Pop Stop". Taipei Times. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  9. ^ 凌安屏 屏東報導. 〈豬哥亮躲賭債銷聲匿跡 屏東仙姑廟現蹤〉. NOWnews. 19 June 2002. Retrieved 15 October 2011. (in Chinese)
  10. ^ "Zhu Ke Liang's road to wealth". Watch Taiwan. National Museum of Taiwan History. 8 April 2011. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d 綜合報導,〈復出 豬哥亮:感謝媒體拍到我 新廣告片飾5角色「感覺回來了」片酬250萬〉 Apple Daily 25 April 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011. (in Chinese)
  12. ^ "Winners at the 45th Golden Bell Awards". PopAsia. 23 October 2010. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  13. ^ "'Night Market Hero' Tops Box Office". Taipei Times. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  14. ^ 東森新聞雲 (31 March 2017). "豬哥亮大腸癌病危... 「人工肛門」竟成拒絕治療原因? - ET健康雲". 健康雲 (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  15. ^ "【豬哥亮傳奇】人生什麼都做過了!病危最大的心願是... - 鏡週刊 Mirror Media". 鏡週刊 Mirror Media (in Chinese). 3 April 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  16. ^ TVBS (9 March 2017). 癌末病危 豬哥亮憔悴求神救命畫面曝光. TVBS (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  17. ^ 豬哥亮該做這三件事 向娃:可惜全錯過. NOWnews 今日新聞 (in Chinese). 29 March 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  18. ^ 【傳奇殞落】70歲豬哥亮清晨5時癌逝 家屬發聲明:他真的累了,走得安詳. 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  19. ^ 【女兒集氣】豬哥亮大腸癌開刀 手術成功已清醒. 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). 7 September 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  20. ^ TVBS (9 March 2017). 開刀化療心裡懷恨... 豬哥亮:我想活!. TVBS (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  21. ^ a b 中時電子報 (7 September 2016). 豬哥亮6日開刀切除大腸癌 手術成功!. 中時電子報 (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  22. ^ 自由娛樂 (30 March 2017). 豬哥亮抗癌路 坦言「內心其實很怨恨」. 自由娛樂 (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  23. ^ 獨家》豬哥亮病逝 享壽70歲. Liberty Times Net (in Chinese). 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Taiwanese comedian Chu Ke-liang dies aged 70". Channel NewsAsia. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  25. ^ Lim, Karen (15 May 2017). "Taiwanese comedian Chu Ke-liang dies at 70". AsiaOne. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Final bow for Chu Ke-liang". China Post. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Friends and family bid farewell to Chu Ko-liang". Taipei Times. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  28. ^ Ho Yi. "Pop Stop". Taipei Times. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  29. ^ Ian Bartholomew. "Pop Stop". Taipei Times. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  30. ^ Chu Ke-liang at

External links[edit]