“How to Make a Comedy Act”, Revealed for the First Time by the Younger Japanese Entertainer | FRIDAY DIGITAL

“How to Make a Comedy Act”, Revealed for the First Time by the Younger Japanese Entertainer

2022 Road to M-1 and KOC: Kinkoku [Part 2

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Watanabe Onigiri, with his trademark smile and shaved head, and the cool Kensuke Momozawa, a graduate of the Manga Kenkyukai. They are the two members of the comedy duo Golden Country, which has been making a splash in the awards race in recent years. Last year, they won the “Tsugikuru Gejin Grand Prix 2021” and the “Mynavi Laughter Night” grand champion competition. This year, Watanabe tied for third place in the “R-1 Grand Prix.

Will the up-and-coming comedians be able to achieve results in the “King of Contest,” the competition to determine the best comedians in Japan? We look at the core of the two as they continue to move forward, including the advice of a senior comedian that triggered their leap forward, their realizations at their unit live performances, their just-started radio show, and their thoughts on the previous competition champion, Air Stairway.

Watanabe Onigiri (left), with his trademark smile and shaved head, and the cool Kensuke Momozawa (right), a graduate of the Manga Kenkyukai. Can these two up-and-coming comedians still make it to the “King of Contest,” the competition to determine the best comedians in Japan?

You’re a terrible storyteller

–In the first year of your career, you seemed to take the stance of asking for advice on your material from those around you. Was there ever a time when you were sharply focused on “valuing your own worldview”?

Momozawa: When I was in college, I was in a manga research group. The people who didn’t get good at drawing didn’t draw as much or as many pictures as they wanted to. Because I saw that, I thought that “doing a lot of drawings” and “taking in opinions” were absolutely necessary for any kind of work.

No matter how good your reputation is at the training school, you are definitely not as good as the legends. If that were the case, it would be easier to ask the people who are better than us. On the other hand, I didn’t understand people who didn’t listen to the opinions of others. I think you should definitely incorporate the opinions of people you find interesting.

–Who gave you the advice that you felt “clearly changed the popularity of the game” and what kind of advice was it?

Momozawa: I think it was when Satsumakawa RPG told me, “You’re not very good at making up stories. Then, when he told me more about it, he didn’t say, “There’s a better way,” but rather, “You’re not very good at it. I thought about it and changed the way I was going to tell the story, and the same story got a completely different response.

I was told this during the second and third parts of “Shimokita GRIP” (free live performances held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at “Shimokita Slash”), and when I tried it in the third part, the reaction changed. That’s the “forgoing” story, and it changed a lot from there. That’s why I said, “Satumakawa-san, you are amazing.

–Watanabe-san, is there anything you were conscious of in honing your acting ability?

Watanabe: From the very beginning, Momozawa wrote the scripts for me, and he did all the directing, including the direction of the acting. For example, he would say, “When you do this performance, try to imagine Bananaman Himura’s performance,” or “Be aware of Hanako Okabe’s expression and the way he opens his eyes.

I would take such advice and actually watch the performance, little by little. In my training school classes, I was always told that I was a bad actor. Whenever I did something, they would laugh at me.

Momozawa: I wasn’t the one saying it, it was mainly the people around me (laughs).

Watanabe: It was quite a shock, and I was always thinking how frustrating it was. Now, little by little, people tell me that my acting is good, so I am very happy.

When I changed the way I performed, even the same material, It was received very differently.

I don’t like comedy that is just for the sake of comedy.

–I have the impression that comedy with a heartwarming ending has become mainstream in the past few years. Did you two have any resistance to such a development from the beginning?

Momozawa: I just choose a direction to give an ending to a story, and I have never really made a story with the intention of making it a good one. When it comes to TV, it is easy to be adopted. There have only been a few cases where I have submitted a few stories and they have said, “Let’s use that.

I didn’t want the impression of gentle stories to become so strong that it would be difficult to get people to like the ones that are not so gentle. There are quite a lot of not-so-gentle stories.

–I think “Mannin Densha”, the second piece you performed at the “Tsugikuru Geinin Grand Prix”, which the two of you won, is what is called a “gentle” piece. Did you choose that material with TV in mind?

You can read the rest of the second part in the paid version on the FRIDAYGOLD website. Click here and enjoy!!! →https://friday.gold/article/111625>

  • Interview and text Asahi Suzuki

    Freelance editor/writer. Formerly a band member and a former broadcaster. Loves all kinds of entertainment. He especially respects comedians. Currently updating his personal website, "Immortal Writing Blues. http://s-akira.jp/

  • Photo by Sugizo

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