Interview with Hikaru Ota, Bakusho Mondai: “I’ve become a lame comedian myself | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Interview with Hikaru Ota, Bakusho Mondai: “I’ve become a lame comedian myself

Special interview: Hikaru Ota actively distributes his comedy on YouTube, which he started last summer, and published a blockbuster near-future novel in March.

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Ota is frightened in front of the camera of this magazine. It was late at night, but he responded with a smile to the end, occasionally interjecting a gag.

I don’t care if I’m lame. I’ll never be a good-looking comedian anyway.

When asked about his life as a comedian to date, Hikaru Ota (57) said with a self-deprecating smile, “I’m not going to be that good looking anymore.

Ota, who made his debut in 1988 as “Bakusho Mondai,” will celebrate his 35th anniversary this year. He has become an opinionated figure in the world of comedy with his unspoken opinions, but he did not start out with his current style. The show that triggered their breakthrough was the “GAHAHA King Bakunso Ou Ketteisen” (TV Asahi), a storytelling show broadcast from 1993 to 1994, in which they fought to the death to win the title of champion.

The others were younger than us, and we were desperate not to lose to them. Also, everyone in our generation didn’t get along with each other. We were like ‘Honjamaka’ and ‘Asakusa Kid. Well, I was the one who was bad-mouthing them (laughs). But I was more determined than most to get out into the world as soon as possible.

At the time, he felt that his artisanal style, in which he devoted himself only to comedy, was chic. However, as he became more successful, his ideals began to waver.

For example, there were two geniuses of rakugo at the same time, Tatekawa Danshi (75 years old) and Kokontei Shincho (63 years old), and they were both good-looking. Shintcho was like a musician, and his rakugo was just comfortable to listen to. On the other hand, Danjo wrote a book analyzing rakugo, became a politician, and performed off-the-cuff. Master Dancho is the most chic as a performer. But Danshi also has a coolness that does not fit into the framework of rakugo. Today, he is like Akashiya Sanma (67), who never talks about anything but laughs, and Kitano Takeshi (76), who makes movies and writes novels. I’ve been in the middle of it all my life. I’ve been lost for a long time.

A major turning point for Ota came in April 2006 with the regular broadcast of “Hikaru Ota’s ‘If I Became Prime Minister… Secretary Tanaka. (Nippon Television Network Corporation).

I was prepared to say, ‘It’s lame, but it’s OK. It was a program in which I would engage in serious, heated discussions with Mr. Ishiba (Shigeru 66) and others about blue-sky, honest arguments. At first, I was hesitant, thinking, “It’s not for a comedian to talk so much about politics,” but I didn’t have time for that. But I had no time to say that. I got the job and accepted it, so I couldn’t do it half-heartedly. I never became a good-looking comedian, but in retrospect, I think that choice was a good one.

Danshi’s Words Behind the Challenge

At 57 years old, Ota continues to perform on the stage at his office live. Ota explains what motivates him to continue his manzai act: “Making up stories has been my duty since I was a youngster,” he says.

Every few months, I make a new material before a live performance, which has been my routine for 35 years. So for me, manzai is a daily routine. It’s not that I want to keep doing it, it’s just something I have to do to survive.

Meanwhile, the scope of his activities has been expanding year by year. Last summer, he opened a YouTube channel, “Bakusho Mondai no Kontô: TV no Hanashi,” where he releases a weekly video of a comedy show set in a TV program production company.

He says, “I submitted a number of proposals to TV stations for a comedy show, but for some reason they didn’t take them at all (laughs). (Laughs.) Then, I was a guest on a TV show that Canning Takeyama (51) was doing on his online salon. That’s when I realized that it was no different from a regular variety show, so I started doing it, thinking, ‘I wonder if I could do a You Tube skit.

In March, his latest novel, “Smile, Humanity! (Gentosha) will be released in March. (Gentosha) will be released in March. It is an epic work of over 500 pages set in the near future.

There is a book reviewer whom I greatly respect named Yumi Toyosaki (smiles). She said, “There is a book reviewer named Yumi Toyosaki, whom I respect very much, but she has never once criticized or praised my past works, saying, ‘Mr. Ota won’t grow because he doesn’t listen to his editor as far as he is seen on TV. So I thought, ‘This time I’m going to make him gasp! So I wrote a proper feature film.

At the root of his continuing challenge is the influence of Tatekawa Danshi, who also influenced his own artistic style.

Before his death, he once told me, “Don’t give up on manzai. At the time, I didn’t really understand what he meant. But Master Danshi continued to perform on stage right up until he lost his voice due to the progression of cancer. Behind that, he believed that the answer to a question is not what you give, but how the audience receives what you ask. In other words, what the public thinks is everything. That is why he never broke the connection with the audience until the end, and never went into the protected world because it was a classical art. Now I understand a little of what he meant at that time.

Ota’s presence has also had a great influence on his younger colleagues. In an interview with this magazine after winning the “M-1 Grand Prix 2022,” “Westland,” from the same office, stated, “I am stimulated by his sincere attitude toward his art. When watered down about the growth of his juniors, Ota smiled, saying, “It’s not thanks to me.

I just think it’s nice that ‘Westland’ is honestly rewarding him, since he’s been the frontrunner for our show for years. But I was disappointed when ‘Japan Erekiteru Rengo,’ which was in the same league as ‘Westland,’ won the ’14 Ryuko Words of the Year Award with ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ (laughs). I wanted to make ‘pip’ (a gag in which the performer puts his middle and index fingers on his forehead and points them at the person he is speaking to) popular and win it.

Even now that he has become a veteran, he has made it clear that he has no intention of handing over his position to a junior actor, and he will continue to perform on the stage.

He continues, “Ever since I was young, I have been watching the great veterans such as Itoshi Yumeji and Koishi Kimi and W. Kenji up close. The older I get, the funnier it gets. It’s not that I want to accomplish anything in the future. I just wish I could do manzai all my life.

Ota declared his intention to be an active performer for the rest of his life in a high voice. There was nothing “tacky” about his appearance.

Ohta Hikari, 57, was born in Fujimino City, Saitama Prefecture in 1965. He formed “Bakusho Mondai” in 1988 with Yuji Tanaka (58), whom he met when they were both at Nihon University. In addition to comedy, he has a deep knowledge of movies and the arts, and is eager to try his hand at painting and directing movies in the future.
He attends every live performance at the office. He happily laments, “I can’t come up with a story unless I’m cornered, so the day before is tough.
Westland” broke through with a style similar to his own: current affairs and tongue-in-cheek. Ota squints at the success of his younger colleagues.
Laugh at Mankind! (Gentosha) on sale March 8.
Unpublished cuts from the magazine: Special interview with Hikaru Ota, Bakusho Mondai
Unpublished cuts from the magazine: Special interview with Hikaru Ota, Bakunshobutsu Mondai
Unpublished cuts from a special interview with Hikaru Ota, Bakunsho Mondai
Unpublished cuts from the magazine Special Interview with Hikaru Ota, Bakunshobutsu Mondai

From the March 3 and 10, 2023 issues of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text Comedy Researcher, Asahi Suzuki PHOTO Takero Shigumura (1st and 2nd photos, Westland) Sankei Shimbun (3rd photo)

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