Unprecedented Success, Audrey & Hanamaru-Daikichi Triumph with Dome Performances in Comedian Event | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Unprecedented Success, Audrey & Hanamaru-Daikichi Triumph with Dome Performances in Comedian Event

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
The duo’s rapport is another reason for their popularity.

On February 18th, comedy duo “Audrey,” consisting of Toshiaki Kasuga (45) and Masayasu Wakabayashi (45), held an event titled “Audrey’s All Night Nippon in Tokyo Dome” at Tokyo Dome. The event attracted a record-breaking audience of 53,000, making it the largest-scale solo comedian event.

This event was held in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the program broadcasted on Nippon Broadcasting System. It marked the first time in the history of All Night Nippon that an event was held at Tokyo Dome, making it an unprecedented attempt in the radio industry. In addition to the Dome audience, 52,000 people attended through live viewings in 201 venues such as movie theaters, and 55,000 watched the online live broadcast, totaling 160,000 spectators.

During the event, Kasuga competed in a wrestling match against talent Fuwa-chan (30). Furthermore, during Wakabayashi’s DJ stage, singer Gen Hoshino (43) made a surprise appearance, and the two performed their collaboration song “Orange” passionately. The event concluded with a comedy skit by the duo.

“When ticket applications opened, they were flooded with over 190,000 entries, sparking discussions about the rigorous measures taken to prevent scalping. Not only were there attendees from all over Japan, but also from overseas. The event mainly focused on talk sessions held at a radio booth set up on the Dome stage, effectively recreating the atmosphere of the program within the Dome.” (Listener in their 30s who attended the Dome performance)

The proceedings of this event were also covered on the morning information program ZIP! aired live on February 19th on the NTV network.

NTV’s main host, announcer Asami Miura(36), was reported to have been among the audience at the Dome. When the event’s video footage aired, tears welled up in her eyes as the camera zoomed in, and she exclaimed,” It’s truly amazing! They’re so cool!“ She expressed her excitement for about 50 seconds, unusually with reddened eyes, passionately discussing the event.

On the other hand, preceding Audrey on the 10th, the comedy duo Hak\kata Hanamaru (53) and Hakata Daikichi (52), collectively known as “Hakata Hanamaru-Daikichi” (hereinafter, “Hanada”), held a comedy event titled “Hakkata Hanamaru-Daikichi presents Hanada DonTaku supported by Aoyama” at Fukuoka PayPay Dome, attracting over 34,000 spectators.

This event, marking the 33rd anniversary of Hanada’s formation last year, brought together popular comedians and became the first comedy event at PayPay Dome. In addition to a comedy stage featuring selected comedians from “Hanada,” such as “Kamaitachi,” “EXIT,” “Chidori,” and “Reiwa Romance,” there were also planned stages like the “DonTaku Great Sports Festival” and the “Great Riddle Stage.” The event’s proceedings were also broadcast on TBS’s documentary program “Passion Continent,” which closely followed the duo.

“Audrey, originally from Tokyo, and Hanada, hailing from Fukuoka, each held events at domes in their respective hometowns, capitalizing on their ‘local advantage.’ However, merely relying on this wouldn’t guarantee a large audience. Over 15 years, Audrey built their listener base through their program, while Hanada has been performing on stage for 33 years. Additionally, the steady growth of their fan base, especially since April 2018 when they began hosting the NHK information program ‘Asaichi,’ has contributed to the resounding success of their dome performances.” (Entertainment journalist)

Audrey, with Kasuga as the funny man and Wakabayashi as the straight man, achieved second place in the 2008 “M-1 Grand Prix.” Kasuga has also ventured into bodybuilding, aerobics, and finswimming, achieving notable results. Wakabayashi is active as a solo MC and essayist. Furthermore, the drama “Daga, Jyonetsu wa Aru,” depicting the lives of Wakabayashi and Ryōta Yamashita (46) from Nankai Candies, was broadcast on NTV last April and became a hot topic online every time it aired.

On the other hand, Hanada, with Hanamaru as the funny man and Daikichi as the straight man, initially active in Fukuoka, moved to Tokyo in 2005. They won the championship in “THE MANZAI 2014” with their Hakata dialect comedy.

On January 9th and 10th, 2016, they held a “Hakata Hanamaru-Daikichi 25th Anniversary Live” at Canal City Theater in their hometown of Fukuoka. Many comedians associated with the duo, including Takashi Okamura (53) of Ninety-Nine, appeared as guests. Additionally, “The Big Three of Comedy,” Tamori (78), Beat Takeshi (77), and Sanma Akashiya (68), sent video messages to congratulate them. They were supposed to hold a 30th-anniversary event at PayPay Dome in January 2021 but had to cancel it due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With the recent series of reports about Downtown’s Hitoshi Matsumoto (60), the image of Osaka comedians has undoubtedly taken a hit. Even in programs hosted by his partner, Masatoshi Hamada (60), viewers are increasingly feeling uncomfortable with the remarks that seem to poke fun at co-stars.

In such a climate, both Audrey and Hanada have maintained a relaxed atmosphere, avoiding behaviors or remarks that might offend viewers or cause public uproar, as well as avoiding any notable scandals involving women.

From the perspective of television and radio networks, both duos undoubtedly rank high among the comedians they want to feature. Naturally, their exposure on various platforms has increased, leading to a corresponding increase in their fan base. While their talents play a significant role, their good conduct and positive image have likely been key factors contributing to the resounding success of their dome events.” (Television network insider)

The fans who have gathered over time may be the reason for the tremendous support.

*”FRIDAY Digital” welcomes your information and tip-offs. Please send your information to the following information form or to the official X.

Information form: https://friday.kodansha.co.jp/tips

Official X: https://twitter.com/FRIDAY_twit

In ’09, at an emergency press conference held by Audrey the day before this magazine reported Kasuga’s first hot love scoop. Kasuga revealed that she had lost touch with him because of this magazine’s direct interview with him (March 13, ’09 issue).
Hakata Daikichi was having a drink with several program staff members at a common izakaya (Japanese-style pub). As he left, he greeted them politely with a smile (July 12, ’19 issue).
All of them came out of the restaurant after the dinner party following the stage greeting for “Mentai Piriri: Pansy Flowers,” a movie starring Hanamaru Hakata in Tokyo. Co-star Yasuko Tomita is also seen (July ’23).
  • PHOTO Kazuhiko Nakamura (1st and 2nd), Takao Kawakami (3rd), Ichiro Takatsuka (4th)

Photo Gallery4 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles