Japanese Jesters: 4 of Japan’s Strangest Comedians
You might not be sure why you’re laughing, but you will be.
Dandy Sakano – A former noodle shop owner turned comedy icon, Dandy Sakano proves that the Japanese taste for all things funny is truly a national pastime. This household name is not only a Japanese comedy superstar, he’s also inspired a game called “Gets” played by millions across Japan. An odd variation of rock-paper-scissors, the game itself doesn’t seem to be eminently hilarious, but the entire nation of Japan can’t be wrong.
Hiroshi – The stage name of comedian Kenichi Saito is about as well known in Japan as any other comedian, which is odd because the character of Hiroshi is quite unlike any other comedian’s. First bursting onto the scene in 2004, Hiroshi’s routine goes as follows: he gets on stage in front of an anticipating comedy audience… and tells sad stories. Not quite guffaw-type stuff, but it was popular enough to make us wonder if tragedy really is comedy.
Bob Sapp – Just your average ex-NFL player, ex-steroid user and current Japanese celebrity. Upon first sight Bob Sapp might not seem destined for stardom, but over a varied and, frankly, strange career Sapp has achieved broad appeal in the Land of the Rising Sun. Starting his Japanese television career as a professional wrestler, Sapp has gone on to appear on many Japanese TV shows, feature films, commercials and whatever this is. Last but not least…it’s Sapp Time!
Tanoshingo – Strange, slightly offensive and uniquely Japanese, Tanoshingo has made a career out of one character with two very distinct personalities. The act is pretty one note: Tanoshingo takes the stage and alternates in a sort of Jekyll and Hyde fashion between an extremely macho character and an extremely effeminate one. Needless to say, these two personalities rarely get along and hilarity typically ensues. It’s not like we don’t have our own strange comedians (Carrot Top, anyone?) but Tanoshingo’s comedic voice might really be lost in translation. And that might be a good thing.