Japanese people love standup comedy. Comedians are major stars here, and comedy shows are watched by a range from retirees to elementary school kids. (Indeed, one of the biggest comedians right now is incredibly popular with young kids despite some quite adult themes – even the two-year-old daughter of one GenkiJACS staffer knows his comedy routine!)
Yoshimoto is the biggest comedy talent agent in Japan, and they have an office in Fukuoka. Genki Japanese school staff recently went to watch one of their shows. It was mostly local talent, budding comedians who get paid next to nothing for appearances, and compete for tips from the audience. But the big draw was Non-Style, winners of the biggest comedy competition, the M-1 Grand Prix in 2008. By the end of their show, our faces hurt from laughing so much!
Shows with big names tend to be about 3,000 yen, but they also have regular local comedian only shows for just 500 yen! We try to take students to these, but of course it requires quite a high level of Japanese ability. 皆さん、頑張りましょう！