The creator of “Brikko” and “Suddenly shaved his head”… Kuniko Yamada was chosen as a judge for the M-1 competition.
Kuniko Yamada (62) has been chosen as a judge for the “M-1 Grand Prix 2022”, which started in 2001 and ended in 2010, but was revived in 2015 and this year will be the 18th time. In its long history, only one woman, Emiko Uenuma (67), has served as a judge. Yamada is the second female judge in history.
Yamada’s artistic career began long ago, when she made her television debut as a first-year high school student on the legendary amateur variety show “TV Jockey” (Nippon Television), and since then she has been a regular on amateur variety shows. Yamada, who became a popular figure in the tea room, was well known even before his professional debut, and is best known for his
Yamada was well known even before he debuted as a professional. The highest one is his middle finger.
The most famous gag is the one about the bus guide. He has been using this gag since junior high school, and he has been seen in a popular corner of “Laughing at you! (Fuji Television Network), a popular corner of the program “Comedy You Are the Star! The popular word “burikko” in 1981 was based on the gag “buri, buri, burikko” that Yamada uttered in a bus guide story.
Her professional debut with a major entertainment agency further accelerated her momentum, and she also made her debut as an actress. It was the haunted comedy show “Ore-tachi Hyokinzoku” (Fuji Television) that catapulted her to stardom. In the early 1980s, most female comedians were comic duos, and although there were comedians who broke up their duos and became pins, Yamada was probably the first to be active as a pin artist from the beginning.
Yamada, who became one of the most popular comedians on the show, once surprised the public in 1985 by suddenly shaving his head. At the time, it was reported that this was due to alopecia areata caused by stress.
“Because it was easy to wear a wig during the filming of a period drama in which I appeared,” he later said.
The real reason was “because I was wearing a wig during the filming of a period drama in which I appeared.
Yamada’s rapid progress, which has made the world go “ah-ha”, has not stopped, and she has appeared in a number of TV programs, such as “Quiz! (Fuji Television from 1988 to 1994) and “MOGITATE! Banana Ambassador” (TBS from 1989 to 1995). After moving into the hosting business, he finally had his own TV show, “Kunichan no Yadamatte Television” (Fuji Television, 1989-92). Until then, no female pin-up comedian had ever had a prime-time show, so it was understandable that Yamada was regarded as a “female comedian who has taken the world by storm.
Not only that, but in NHK’s “Favorite Talent Survey” (conducted annually from 1975 to 2003), Yamada has been ranked as the most likable talent for eight consecutive years since 1988. In 1990, he made his debut as a novelist with “Akkanbese” (Ota Publishing Co., Ltd., now Kadokawa Bunko), and the following year his book “Kishinai” (Ota Publishing Co., Ltd., now Gentosha Bunko) became a bestseller with a circulation of over 400,000 copies. Yamada’s versatility has never ceased to amaze, as he has published several novels since then, but there is much more to the Yamada legend that cannot be written here.
The pride of “I am a “comedian by profession
However, even after reaching the top, it is not easy to stay there. The more exposure you get, the faster you get tired of it.
The ratings for my TV shows started to decline rapidly,” he said. At the same time, her popularity plummeted due to bashing, perhaps as a reaction to her No. 1 rating.
It was a bad time for her to be involved in a love scandal. She became the target of photo magazines and entertainment reporters, who hounded her. And when the entertainment reporter directly interviewed him, he replied.
You’re not popular, are you?
Are you stupid?
When a wide-ranging TV show aired the scene in which Scandal was abused by a reporter, his favorability ranking dropped dramatically. As a result, Yamada was no longer on television, but she made irregular guest appearances at comedy live shows of Ota Productions, to which she belonged, to perform new material, and she also performed material on Kuniko’s “What’s Up with Kuniko? In 2008, the 40th anniversary of her debut, she made her first appearance at the Asakusa Engei Hall, and last year she made a guest appearance at an event to announce the successor to Katsura Miyaji’s promotion to the rank of machete. In the past, he was a guest performer at a comedy show in which he was a member of a troupe. In the past, he once said
I am a comedian by profession. Well, I do a lot of different jobs. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to stop.
Yamada has not lost her passion for comedy. Yamada’s appearance as a judge for “M-1” was met with some critical posts on social networking sites, such as “Who are you? Yamada responded on her YouTube channel, saying, “You know, I’m an old lady.
I’m an old lady, but I’ve been in the entertainment business for 42 years. I’ve been in show business.
She responded with the following words.
My criteria for judging is the most interesting group of the day.
He also revealed his criteria for judging. A senior executive of an entertainment agency that hosts many comedians said, “‘M-1’ is a competition for challengers.
In the M-1 competition, not only the challengers but also the judges are tested on their sense of humor. In this respect, Mr. Uenuma was outstanding. The judging itself became the “laugh” of the show, and the judges ate up the challengers. Mr. Yamada is different from Mr. Uenuma, but he has a great sense of humor. I think he is the best judge for the competition.
The fun of watching “M-1” has doubled, as we wonder if Yamada is a suitable successor to Uenuma.
Text： Hiroyuki Sasaki (entertainment journalist)
Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting numerous scoops during his time with FRIDAY and later working mainly for the weekly magazine. Recently, he also appears on TV and radio as a commentator.
Photo： Hiroyuki Komatsu, Kenji Ikeda (2nd and 3rd photos)