This week, I went to a comedy show in Osaka! Had to review it for you, of course. Let it not be said my adventures never involve anything relevant.
Raugh Out Roud (ROR) is the show with the mildly racist name, which has both English and Japanese comedy nights. The Eigo version is the one I ended up at. I figured trying to explain the Japanese one would suck all the fun out of it for both of us.
A disclaimer: there were no women in the line-up. That’s something our rather abrasive host was delighted to point out when he discovered I review shows. Also that my opinions are worth less because I don’t write for Chortle. Yes, mate, hold out for the big guns while you’re still using a room that barely seats 15.
He twigged that was a bad move, though, because in the next breath every last one of them became card-carrying feminists. How funny! I sure laughed.
(Never mind that ROR recently had Yuriko Kotani on, either…)
To show my appreciation for the two stars (two?!?!?) I got from the ‘comedy reviewer reviewer’ compering, I duly forgot to write down anyone’s name. ‘Oops’.
Our first act had recently had a baby. He kept saying that. He had a baby eight weeks ago. If he doesn’t understand that he didn’t personally have that baby, I struggle to understand how the conception went.
We were then treated to a comedy song by bloke number two. And I say that with no sarcasm – I bloody love a good comedy song. And this one was about Japan’s many odd rules and regulations. To the tune of ‘I Will Survive’. How amazing is that?
The third and final act of the first half was a Japanese guy. So now we know they can get someone on to counter the awkward naming, but still not a woman. Cool. Our token homeboy wasn’t even from Osaka, he hailed from Kyoto just down the road! I’ll say this, mind – one of the funniest of the bunch. A John Cage joke? An anagram joke? The man’s done his homework.
Just in case the overwhelming levels of testosterone hadn’t stunk the place out enough, the first interval song was ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ by Deniece Williams. Which is admittedly a great 80s song, but so ironic.
Our entire second half was an extended set by one person. The way the ‘socially awkward’ style dragged did indeed make it feel three times as long. We’ve had mumblers and the hesitant on many a Funny Women stage, and they draw that awkwardness out to the point of pain. This was very similar, except I think it was genuine.
Strangely, it took this far into the evening to get onto the subject of kanji. I’d been expecting a lot more general jokes about learning Japanese and teaching English, trying to use chopsticks, or dealing with vending machines. Sure, there were ventures into predictable territory, but I was satisfied with the originality levels.
And while I did get picked on, I didn’t fare as badly as the poor couple in the front row. When the whole front row is four seats and you choose to sit there, you’re in for some bullying alright. It’s also unwise to mention that you work in the banking profession to any British comedian. I really hope those two are still together at this point…
For under £7, not a bad night. Needs more ladies – I’d write some new material, but let’s see if anyone from Chortle wants first dibs! If you ever happen to be in Osaka, check the Facebook link at the top of this piece for ROR events.
(Header image courtesy of the ROR Facebook page)