So, to my pleasant surprise one of the best/my favorite comedy duos in Japan, 爆笑問題/Bakushou Mondai/The Laughter Question/BSMD, do a radio show called 爆笑問題カーボーイ/Bakushou Mondai Cowboy. Unfortunately, radio seems hard to get in Japan, at least in my experience — the signal strength for all stations is set to “super weak sauce”, so…you basically don’t get reception anywhere. Anyway, enough griping — fear not! There is hope! They have a podcast and a website right here.
The format is simple, OOTA Hikaru/太田光 does the dryly delivered silliness or “boke (呆け)”, 田中裕二/TANAKA Yuuji does the straight-man-slash-wisecracks-on-the-side or “tsukkomi (突っ込み). The quality of subject material, the timeliness of Tanaka’s tsukkomi, and how blase Oota can be while making ridiculous statements, make both BSMD as a group and this show, worth your attention.
Oota manages to weave politics into a lot of his discussions without ever sacrificing humor. Tanaka’s rebuttal timing is perfect, down to the millisecond. And the fact that Oota can go from saying something very profound to something completely stoopid in the same tone of voice is always fun; that’s quality boke.
Another thing I really enjoy about BDSM, I mean BSMD, is that Oota sometimes literally falls in love with certain words or phrases. And he’ll get excited and keep saying them over and over again even when it doesn’t make sense “それからドーした？！！？”. I laugh just thinking about it.
Funnily enough, I do the same thing a lot: a few weeks ago, my friend H-star had to listen to me say “豪華にね、ゴーカに” every few minutes for like 6 hours. I thought it was just something I did because Japanese was new to me — ‘guess not.
Oh yeah, Oota is also a voracious reader, going through over 100 books a year. So you input fiends take note — if you want to talk like the man, consider reading like the man, too.
And just when you thought he couldn’t get any cooler, according to the ‘Pedia, Oota was effectively banned for a time from Nippon Broadcasting System (NBS) in the early 1990s; the deal is that he was sitting in one night for Beat Takeshi, who had a severe cold and was off for the night, and as a joke he very gravely announced that Beat Takeshi had, in fact, died due to complications from the cold. If you know Oota, you can picture him doing something like that; reading about it, I thought it was hilarious. NBS, however, appear to have had a cow…
Anyway, even if you don’t understand all the talk on Bakushou Mondai Cowboy, I encourage you, exhort you, call upon you, to listen to it. The dialogue is really natural, and it’s a good chance to hear someone explain themselves on the fly, as Oota does. You’ll definitely pick up a thing or two, and you’ll start laughing soon enough.
BSMD also do tons of work on TV, so…yeah…keep an eye out.