Muramoto Daisuke: A Comedic Force of Nature
This past Friday I had the honor of spending the evening with Daisuke Muramoto of the comedy duo Woman Rush Hour as a guest of a small dinner function in which he was speaking. Having only emailed back and forth for a little while I wasn’t sure what to expect when meeting him in person. Muramoto had built an image up at the beginning of his career as someone who was difficult, rumored to have gone through over 10 comedic partners before settling with Nakagawa Paradise and while I won’t go into great detail as to what he spoke about (as it was a private function) I will tell you this, this man is much more than just another comedian.
After listening to him passionately about a wide range of topics for seemingly hours I have come to the conclusion that he is more a force of nature than a comedian. With a level of energy that could seemingly replace nuclear power in Japan, Muramoto engaged with guest speakers and a small group of diverse friends with such intensity that I almost worried about his long-term health. While he laced his talk with just enough of the kind of humor one would expect from one of the top comedians in Japan, you could tell that he was certainly serious about the topics that he touched on.
And just what does he feel passionate about? Muramoto mostly touched on equality and freedom of speech, linking the two as key for him as a comedian and other people to speak openly about various issues and minority groups that go unaddressed in Japanese society because they may make some uncomfortable. In addition, while talking to him one on one he expressed his love for American Stand-up comedians, especially firebrand comedic icons such as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin. He also spoke about how much he loved his recent two month trip to Los Angeles to study English and stand-up comedy, noting how great it was to be in a place where so many different ethnicities coexist.
It’s hard to tell where Muramoto is heading professionally. He has probably scared away TV producers after his controversial political comedy routine on the Manzai last December. He has expressed the goal of going solo and becoming a stand-up comedian in the US in the near future. It’s hard to tell just how serious he is about that goal but after what I saw firsthand, I’m certain he has drive and capability for greatness, whatever his path. I look forward to following the story of Muramoto Daisuke, wherever it may lead.