Why the former “elite comedian” and “successor to Nai-Nai” is once again attracting attention | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why the former “elite comedian” and “successor to Nai-Nai” is once again attracting attention

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Minato Ward, Tokyo. Kota Okada, 32, a popular YouTube comedian, lives in a 37,000 yen old apartment in a celebrity district where the average rent for a one-room apartment exceeds 140,000 yen. He has about 500,000 YouTube subscribers. He is also active on TV and radio.

“He still lives in a budget apartment. The secret to Okada’s popularity is his simple demeanor and his ability to blabber away like an amateur, but “there is another me who controls my blabbering from behind,” Okada says.

Okada says, “The other day, Huwa-chan said to me, ‘How long are you going to keep acting like you’re a low-ranking actor? I’m not forcing myself to live here. I’m not forcing myself to live here. I’m not interested in clothes or a place to live. Savings? I have saved up a lot (laughs). I look at my bank book as if I were laughing at myself.”

Okada’s clothes and hairstyle give a sense of simplicity, but he is in fact an elite performer who made a spectacular debut 14 years ago.

He was a longtime Fuji Television personality who appeared on the variety shows “Mecha x 2 Iketeru! and “Haneru no Tobira,” which have long been a staple of Fuji Television. These are legendary programs that “sold out for sure for the comedians who appeared on them.

In 2009, Okada was chosen to be the main MC of the successor to these programs, “Fukurumu Scrum! the successor to these programs. Okada was selected as the main MC for the successor to “Mecha-ike” (Mecha-ike: Ninety-Nine). She was supported by popular comedians such as Kamaitachi and Nitschke.

When I was in high school, I performed as an amateur at a live comedy show and caught the eye of the Fuji Television staff, so I decided to audition and made my debut at…”

However, it was probably too much to ask for an amateur with zero days of experience as a comedian to be placed in the center of the show. The “Fukumu Scrum! was terminated after only six months.

The recording and filming were always tough. I had already put out all the material I had in the first session, and from the second session on, there was nothing left to put out. The people around me were all very talented seniors. The kinder they were to me, the harder it became. The more they were kind to me, the harder it became. I couldn’t do anything interesting anymore.

Okada continued his life as a comedian while living in this apartment. He also tried his hand at Yoshimoto Kogyo, but quit after two months. He scraped by with part-time work and live performances at home for 500 yen a show. A turning point came in 2019, when he made his YouTube debut as “Minato-ku Rent 37,000 yen Man. It had been nearly 10 years since that setback.

My art is an extension of my personal life, and I don’t care what medium I use to show it. Whether it’s on YouTube, on stage, or on TV. I think you can have fun no matter what you do.

Today, the scope of entertainment continues to expand. It seems that the “Okada era” has truly arrived.

I’m going to be in Friday, too! Okada sits on the chair given to him by Huwa-chan and imagines the page he will appear on.

From the March17, 2023issue ofFRIDAY

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