All in Comedy Tournaments
Hamada Yuutaro, the almost completely blind comedian, has been catapulted to sudden fame by coming out of nowhere and winning the 2018 R-1 Grand Prix, a nationwide competition for solo comedians.
Tonight I was able to attend the Manzai Shinjin Taisho, a Manzai contest held every year by the Manzai Kyokai. The Manzai Kyokai is an organization of Manzai comedians that operates in Tokyo and mainly performs in the Toyokan in Asakusa. The contest pits 6 pairs of performers from the Manzai Kyokai against 6 other pairs of comedians who come from outside agencies. I have an affinity with the Manzai Kyokai since much of my research in my Masters thesis centered on some of their comedians. They were very open to my research and as helpful as possible. Unfortunately due to the birth of my first child, a personal sickness, school and work I hadn't been able to drop by the Toyokan and say hi to the comedians that I had befriended. So, naturally I was looking forward to seeing them perform and have a few words with some of the more veteran performers working the show. Also, as purely a comedy fan I was looking forward to an interesting mix of known and unknown comics. The show I attended two years earlier featured many funny comedians as well as a few famous guest performers. (Photo courtesy of Owarai Natalie, http://natalie.mu/owarai/news/151830)