Ibaraki Dave wrote:
As for rakugo, I always think of The Two Ronnies - the short one, I can't recall his last name. He used to sit in a red fauteuil, and tell elaborate funny stories.
Ronnie Corbett. Personally, I don't really enjoy his stuff though, I guess because his style seems very dry / droll... There was a Two Ronnies special on recently and I found Ronnie Barker's random backstage ad-libs funnier than Corbett's entire solo talk. That's just me though, humor is so subjective.
Although my memories of him are fuzzy, Dave Allen was also a funny raconteur.
Someone told me about him and we watched a special here on UK TV, it was my first time seeing him and he was really funny. He's got a charm about him that's inviting.
For a guy sitting in a chair telling stories, I love Rik Mayall's Kevin Turvey character, though it's more surreal comedy, because he never actually talks about what he says he will talk about. Most the time he never even manages to get out of the front door in his stories, it's genius though.
I've heard a lot about Morcambe and Wise, (my mate's favourite comedy team), but I've only seen the Breakfast sketch which is of course without dialogue.
I'm not that into them, maybe it's because they mostly stuck to their straight man-fall man roles and so felt a bit predictable (something that can't be said of Downtown of course!). But admittedly I haven't watched tons of their stuff and they're undoubtedly iconic in the British comedy world.
I sometimes wish I understood more Japanese so I could attend a rakugo gig. I reckon there's quite a bit of nostalgia in the dialogue which helps get people laughing.
Well the intro stuff at the start is more modern and akin to stand-up comedy. Some of it is stuff that would fit in a Suberanai Hanashi episode for example. If I remember right, this anecdote I subbed
also appeared in one of his rakugo gigs. He'll even talk about stuff like the Chono slap, at one gig he said "The countdown to the slap has begun" and that got a laugh for obvious reasons.
Those initial anecdotes then lead into the actual traditional rakugo story, which is basically like a funny folk tale. People may have heard them before many times but they are classics and also the way that each comedian tells the story is what gets people coming back. They play each character in the story and to represent each one they pull faces, make gestures, change their voice etc. That fake exaggerated laugh Housei did in the Prison batsu to test if the "no punishment" card was working, I saw him do that kind of laugh when he was playing a rakugo story character, it got a laugh I think because it's over the top (and also like in the batsu, it's a pride before the fall thing I think).
I'd liken it to Rik Mayall's Grim Tales, where he reads classic fairytales, but the way he tells them, with silly faces, voices and such really makes it funny. Like when he does the frog the princess has to kiss
, he does it so grossly, you can kinda see why the princess didn't wanna kiss him