Atsugiri Jason – New Foreigner Comedian Bringing the Laughs
It’s always impressive when a foreigner makes it onto the Japanese entertainment scene, especially the comedy circuit. 厚切りジェイソン, or “Thickly-Sliced” Jason, has been making waves on Japanese TV over the past few months.
Jason, an American, learned Japanese just like all of you did, and came to Japan in 2011 to work in the IT industry. He fell in love with Japanese comedy many years before while watching episodes of エンタの神様 – Gods of Entertainment. In Japan, while working full time, he decided to pursue his own comedy career. He enrolled in the Watanabe Comedy School towards the end of 2013. A year later, shortly after graduating, he appeared on famous comedian Ariyoshi’s TV show 有吉のお笑い大統領選挙 (Ariyoshi’s Comedian Presidential Election), and blew everyone away.
His skits revolve around learning Japanese kanji, and the massive frustration he has. Something any of you can relate to.
He takes on the angry role of why kanji are written the way they are, screaming “Why Japanese People?!!!!!” at every turn, and usually has the audience in a massive laughter.
A lot of his current act will hit close to home for you guys, as I even made a comic last year in October that covered the same thing. In other words, I really like him.
In just a few months after his debut he has been gaining major attention. He has appeared on numerous popular variety shows, and other entertainers are even copying his famous lines.
In February 2015, he made it as a finalist (as the first foreigner ever) on the R-1 Grand Prix (a major National comedy competition). Just last week he even appeared on an episode of エンタの神様, the show that originally got him interested in Japanese comedy.
It shows that there are no limits to what you can do when it comes to Japanese. Fluent Japanese foreigners are forging their own new paths in Japanese culture, TV, and entertainment.
Check out his sketches below:
Great work Jason.
In addition to your growing Japanese audience, you also have a lot of foreigner fans as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what direction you take your budding career.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Hah, that was awesome. It’s like he’s taking his actual RTK stories and turning them into comedy XD
I think the reason it’s so funny, especially to foreigners, is because one of the determinates in to what makes something funny is what is required to understand the joke, and because we had to put a heck of a lot of effort in to be able to understand that it makes it even funnier.
Makes you wonder if he studies with RTK.
I didnt understand all of it but from having done RTK I can guess what his comments were, and that’s amazing haha. Great idea to bring that in japanese comedy. Hopefully he will make some more different sketch to stay relevant!
Yeah, there is a danger with this type of comedy where you develop a hit catch phrase that blows up your career in a short time that it will turn into a 一発屋 (one hit wonder). But he seems like a smart guy so I’m sure he’ll expand.
And that pretty much sums up how I feel about the matter.
Doesn’t it though?!
That was hilarious!!! Probably one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen in a long time. I haven’t watched hardly any comedy skits before, but I’m planning to now.
Japanese comedy is vast. You have a lot to catch up on!
This guy is hilarious! I need to look for a subtitled version to show my friends my struggles :P
The whole world needs to know the struggle!
Even with the explanation of his routine, watching it was still hilarious. It’s amazing how hard he’s raging — I never would have expected it from just seeing pictures of him.
Plus, y’know… I feel his pain.
Yup he has some major intensity towards studying kanji!
I think I saw him on a ymobile commercial once, didn’t know he was a comedian then and I’m still pretty sure that he isn’t. Why people laugh at him must mainly be because of his poor acting skills.