Comedians and Idols Collide: Exploring the Genre-Crossing Face Off with Underground Icons | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Comedians and Idols Collide: Exploring the Genre-Crossing Face Off with Underground Icons

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What is a “festival of music, laughter, and games” that attracts more than 20,000 people with a total of 90 groups performing over three days?

KOYABU SONIC 2023, a music festival hosted by comedian Chin Yutaka Koyabu, was held in Osaka City last September for the first time in four years after the COVID-19 crisis.

Billed as a “festival of music, laughter, and games,” it is a large-scale festival that features artists, comedians, and gamers from across genres.

This year’s festival will once again feature a lineup of artists such as Aina the End, New School Leaders, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Gesu no Kiwami Otome, and Sambo Master, as well as comedians such as Kamaitachi, Diane, Nakagawa Family, Hiccorohee, Football Hour, Laughing Rice, YouTubers, game players, and many more. The organizer, Koyabu himself, was one of the organizers of the event.


Koyabu, the organizer of the event, himself performed at the “Jenny” event, which he formed with Emon Kawatani, Kukki, and others! and Balenciaga, a band of comedians formed by Koyabu, Chihara Jr. and Football Hour’s Teruki Goto and Nozomu Iwao, which was formed exclusively for this festival.

KOYABU SONIC, the first music festival held in four years, hosted by comedian Chin Yutaka Koyabu.

In addition to these large-scale festivals, so-called pair-bang events, in which comedians and rock bands or idols perform on the same stage, are actively being held in various locations, including smaller ones.

For example, the Ongaku no Chikara 2023 event was held on October 14 at the Ueno Onshi Park Outdoor Stage. The organizers of the event, three-piece band Mizunaka, It’s Bitter, as well as popular comedians and artists such as Hoff Dylan and Yoneda 2000, who also performed at the KOYABU SONIC, and the likes of Always Here and NaNoMoRaL, took turns appearing on stage and enlivening the event.


Three days earlier, on October 11, a comedy-idol pairing event titled “Comedy & Idol Live Spirit and Time Room” was held at the live house Honey Burst in Yotsuya.

Popular comedians such as Choshinjuku and GO! Minagawa and idols appeared alternately and performed. Yurapiko, a solo idol from Self, performed on this day. In addition to her own live performance, Yurapiko also collaborated on stage with GO! on stage, jumping over the boundaries of genres and enlivening the audience.

Comedy  and idols: Why is there such a strong affinity between these two different performance genres?

What is the reason for the high affinity between the different performance genres of comedy, idols, and artists?

Yurapiko, who celebrated the 10th anniversary of her debut in December, has performed with comedians many times since her days as a member of an idol group, but she has long felt that comedy and idols/artists are compatible on stage.

They may be considered different genres, but they share the same goal of delivering fun, excitement, and empathy on stage, in TV programs, and through monitors for distribution. 

At these collaborative live events, we idol fans cheer and burst out laughing at the comedians’ jokes, and the comedians’ fans also enjoy the idols and artists’ live performances, and some of them even laugh after the performance. They even came to sell products.

I feel that many people seem to enjoy both genres because they share the same sense of enjoyment.


From the performer’s point of view, there is much to be learned from the comedians who make the audience laugh and get them excited with their stories and MCs on stage.

I always feel that comedians are professionals at telling stories and reading the atmosphere. Especially at live houses where they are close to the audience, I learn a lot from the way they entertain the audience while observing the temperature of the floor and performing their material.

I wonder if comedians can learn anything from our idol performances.

Yurapiko (pictured right) After joining the idol group “Idol Drop” in 2014, Yurapiko worked as a member of a music unit and an idol unit before making her solo debut in 2022. In 2023, she held a nationwide 47 prefectures tour, and in December, she held a solo live performance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her activities.

I thought it would be another way to enjoy the show, where the stage would no longer be a blank space.

Yurapiko’s motto is “One to Smile,” and she continues her activities with the goal of making people around the world smile.


I believe that we idols, bands, and comedians are all friends who bring smiles to everyone through our performances (laughs).

Yu Muroi, a member of the self-produced two-member idol unit “GoodDay” has always loved comedy as well as idols, and has been going to comedy live performances at theaters and live houses in Tokyo since she was in junior high school.

She has used comedians such as Yoichi Okano for the CD jackets and music videos of GoodDay, and has often offered popular comedians such as Joyman, Donguri Takeshi, and Satsumakawa RPG to perform at the events she organizes. In August, he hosted the successful “GOODDAY FES” event, in which idols and bands performed with Machine Guns, Mama Tart, Hiroaki Terada, and others.

There is another reason for having comedians perform at the live shows that Muroi hosts.

The time required to change equipment and other settings when the artists change acts is called conversion.

Most of the time is used to enjoy the music played by the DJ and the drinks and food, but we thought that by having the comedians perform their material during this time, the stage would not be left empty, and the audience could enjoy the show in a different way.


“Is there anything we should take into consideration as the inviting party?

“Although there are some things in common,they are also different types of entertainment.

To be honest, a live show can be held with only comedy, bands, or idols. I think a lot about the balance and compatibility, so that neither one of us is away from the other or feel that it is time they don’t need to see the show.

I want to create a synergy and a sense of fun in a genre-less atmosphere that cannot be created by a live performance of a single genre, and I think this is the kind of fun that is shared by large-scale events such as those performed by Koyabu-san.

The “ultra-free music unit” GoodDay and comedian Yoichi Okano (center). Yu Muroi (right) formed GoodDayi in 2021, and in 2023 began working as a producer for the idol group Neochi.

He has also produced “8 O’clock! All Together” and “SMAP x SMAP” 

In the world of Showa-era television, “Shabondama Holiday, 8 O’clock! All Together and Yan Yan Singing Studio, there were many popular programs in which the corners were seamlessly connected or, for that matter, singers appeared as contrabands.

Even in the Heisei era, there was always a ground for enjoying laughter and singing together, as in the case of “SMAP x SMAP,” which featured SMAP’s comedy and singing every week. The shift in the mainstream of music enjoyment from TV to live music venues may be the result of festivals and events such as KOYABU SONIC.


Koyabu’s own festival hosting and his band activities with Emon Kawatani are the result of his love of music, but there are also comedians who profess a love of rock music and idols, as well as idols like Muroi who profess a love of comedy, and so on.

For example, Hoshi no Disco (Perpa) has attracted attention as a comedian who sings in his “I tried singing” videos, and comedians such as Mayurica’s Sakamoto and Long Coat Daddy’s Domae have formed a band called Juice Goku Goku Club, which performs live and releases albums. Some comedians are cheered on with fans like idols and are called “warcow” comedians.

I feel like there are many similar aspects other than fun. By posting what you like or actually inviting people to it, some people will watch it because they think it’s something they like, and some people may simply be interested but don’t know how to get into something new, and so on. However, I always think that I would be happy if events like this could be an opportunity for people to discover new things they didn’t know or didn’t know about.

Yurapiko, mentioned above, describes the changes she feels through her activities over the past 10 years.

There are fans on both sides who don’t like female idols performing with opposite-sex bands or comedians, or taking pictures with them to post on social media.I’ve said this many times myself. As we live in an age of diversity, I feel that such voices have become rarer these days.

I feel that the desire to have fun has become the top priority, regardless of genre or gender, and this is a change that I feel after 10 years of experience.

It seems that the worlds of comedy and music are becoming closer and closer.

Yurapiko collaborates on stage with Minagawa’s gag Unchoochoochooppi!
Comedians, artists, and idols crossed genre boundaries to perform together at “GOODDAY FES,” an event held by Gday in July 2023. Photo: Hiroaki Terada performing a story using the screen on the stage (PHOTO: provided by Yu Muroi).
  • Interview and text by Satoru Ota

    Writer, editor, interviewer. He has been a writer since his student days and currently writes mainly entertainment articles and interviews for websites and magazines.

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