I had been a runner-up until then, so there was a time when I was about to give up,” he said. So when I won the championship, the first thing I said was, “You can’t do that! (laughs).
The comedy duo “Kabeposter” had finished runner-up twice before in the ABC Comedy Grand Prix, the gateway to success for young comedians. This year was their third time, and Daigo Nagami, 32, expressed his joy at winning the grand prix as follows.
Nagami formed the duo with Junpei Hamada (35), his classmate from NSC Osaka, in May 2002 after graduation.
The duo, who both graduated from national and public universities, is characterized by their style of comedy. The duo creates a unique worldview with their low-tension banter and Hamada’s sharp, word-sensitive comedic timing. The up-and-coming duo, who are rapidly gaining attention, talked about the story behind their rapid success.
Hamada: “ I was so happy when I won the “ABC” championship. It was an award race that I had been watching since I was a child. I always got to the top but couldn’t win, and my salary didn’t go up. It was a great relief for me because I had been so frustrated.
Nagami: “ At first I just entered the race without thinking about it, but after my first runner-up finish in ’19, my desire to win grew stronger and stronger. When I won the championship, I felt an explosion of four years of passion.
This spring, the duo also won the “ytv Manzai Newcomer Award. Their career seems to be smooth sailing, but behind the smooth sailing is a senior duo whom they respect as well as rivals.
Hamada: “ I am indebted to the two members of Oswaldo. It all started when they asked me to do a two-man show in August of ’20. Since then, we have performed twice a year. We have discussed a lot of things, such as our material and our approach to manzai.
Nagami: “ I think we are similar in the direction of our material, so I am aware that we are being compared.
Hamada: “ The only rival I am aware of is Oswald, and even in last year’s “ABC,” the second time we were runners-up, it was the two of us who lost. Someday, I would like to compete in the same awards race and win.
Nagami: “ We often go out for drinks, so we often discuss our private lives. Hamada said that if he wins “ABC,” he will go on line to the Chinese student who dumped him six years ago. Didn’t you promise Mr. Ito (Shunsuke, 32) that you would do it?”
Hamada : “ Forget it (laughs)! It was so long ago that I couldn’t find the account.
Since the beginning of their formation, the group was aware that they could not compete with others in the field of high-spirited, bloviating manzai, and they naturally came to their current style, but they were often troubled by the lack of results. However, he was often troubled by the lack of results.
Nagami: “It was thanks to SHIMOFURI MYOJO’s Goshina-san (29) that we were able to believe that we were not mistaken. Even before we entered the awards race, he pushed us, saying, ‘This is fun! He gave us a push even before we entered the awards race. It gives us confidence to know that someone who has achieved so many results is supporting what we are doing.
Hamada: “ Then there are the two guys from Long Coat Daddy. While making it to the final of last year’s “M-1,” they are sticking to what they want to do without getting attached to the title. Watching them up close, I was able to change my mind in a good way, saying, ‘It doesn’t matter if we don’t win, let’s just do what we can do. Then, I became less nervous during the show because I could let go of my nervousness. Thanks to the two of them, I was able to stand on stage in my natural state at the “ABC” finals this time.
In the “M-1 Grand Prix,” which they say is their biggest goal, they have reached the semifinals for two years in a row since the year before last. When I asked him about his thoughts on “M-1,” he gave a very “typical” answer.
Hamada: “ I want this title someday since I became a comedian. It would be great if I could win, be invited to participate in various programs, and advance to Tokyo.
Nagami: “ It’s the same for me. But I have nothing right now, because I’ve already come up with all my material (laughs). (Laughs.) I’m starting to get impatient and think I need to come up with new material quickly.
The two have only just begun their journey to the top of the chatbukuri world.
From the August 19 and 26, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kei Kato