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Daily DripEntertainment

Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Singles’ Day Gala” Appearance is Super Cringe

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British actor and man who looks like a disappointed piano instructor Benedict Cumberbatch appeared on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Gala last night, and his performance was far from enthralling.

For the blissfully unaware, the gala is a variety show on the eve of Singles’ Day, an unofficial consumer holiday that falls on November 11 each year (earning it the moniker ‘Double 11’ or ‘11.11’). The celebration is like Black Friday on steroids and involves discounts from retailers on online ecommerce platforms like Taobao and Tmall.

The program regularly includes celebrity appearances, and previous years have seen the participation of everyone from Kobe Bryant to Taylor Swift

Cumberbatch, who appeared remotely over a video link, is the latest Hollywood heavyweight featured on the gala. 

Benedict Cumberbatch on the Singles' Day Gala. Screengrab via YouTube

Benedict Cumberbatch on the Singles Day Gala. Screengrab via YouTube

This year, the show revolved around a group of Chinese celebrities attempting to solve puzzles to obtain a gift shipped from the future. Perhaps best known for portraying Dr. Stephen Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actor plays an apartment building superintendent. Through a rambling two-and-a-half-minute dialogue, he attempts to relay information about the parcel. 

While the performance does offer some — uh, interesting — insight into the actor’s dietary habits (he can allegedly eat 30 dumplings in one sitting), and it is delightful to hear Cumberbatch call himself by his Chinese nickname Juanfu 卷福 (Curly Holmes), it’s mostly super cringe. 

Watching the footage, it’s not hard to tell that Cumberbatch’s heart isn’t into the appearance. (Don’t believe us? Watch for yourself below.)

It seems, however, that most Chinese netizens couldn’t be too fussed with Cumberbatch’s lackluster performance. In fact, most seemed more preoccupied with the length of his face.

Hashtags such as ‘Benedict’s face occupied half of the phone screen’ (#本尼脸占屏幕一半长#) and ‘Benedict’s screen time was shorter than his face length’ (#本尼出现的时长还没他脸长#) have been trending on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo. 

“I waited for so long, and that’s it? I thought he’d do something big,” one netizen posted, lamenting the actor’s short appearance time. Though, we’d argue that two and a half minutes was about two minutes too long.

Additional reporting by Lu Zhao

Cover image via Wikimedia

Matthew Bossons
Matt is RADII's managing editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with a passion for history, untold stories and scuba diving. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Matt has worked as a journalist in China for over half a decade and has had work published in major Chinese media outlets and international publications. He has previously lived in Guangzhou and Beijing.
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