Stand up comedy?

Anyone know of any Japanese stand ups? I watched a good documentary last year on a stand-up who came to the US, and I had a good time going through Netflix’s series on comedians of the world and seeing how much humor did (or more often didn’t) translate great but I haven’t had much luck finding any Japanese stand-ups (ideally with English subtitles).

Edited to add: The documentary I saw was called I Am a Comedianby Fumiari Hyuga if anyone’s interested. It’s definitely traditional stand-up, but since he wasn’t particularly successful in Japan and the film shows a lot of his time in other countries I’m not sure how common that is in Japan.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Japanese comedian in Japan doing what we would think of as stand-up comedy.

There are solo comedians, you can try searching for ピン芸人, but I don’t think the style is going to be exactly what you’re looking for. More often it’s going to be collections of short gags or longer sketch scenes performed alone.

Maybe there are some out there I don’t know about though. My only experience is with TV comedy performances, not live comedy, so take it with a grain of salt.

I’m sure you’re aware that groups and manzai duos are more popular in Japan.


One of my friends (Japanese) is a stand-up comedian and performs at venues around Tokyo. From what I understand, mostly it is in English, so for an “international audience” has he puts it. I know he does Japanese stand-up sometimes. Next time I meet him I will ask him for some information. I have seen a bit of Japanese stand-up comedy, I found that the issue in “getting it” was not really about the language, but the culture. I.e. I understood what was said, I just did not get it/did not find it funny. The longer I live here the more that changes. A lot of stuff on TV that I did not get or did not find funny years ago I now find quite entertaining and even have some some shows I watch quite regularly.,


I don’t know much about Japanese standup comedians, but I also enjoy watching 漫才 occasionally. Searching YouTube for 漫才 コント or something similar should give you some good results. (I like a duo called 和牛). But I don’t think you’ll find anything with English subtitles.

For solo comedian content, I just remembered I enjoy たつろう on YouTube. And バカリズム too.


You can also try sit down comedy - 落語 (rakugo). I have seen some on youtube.


Stand-up comedy is not just entertainment; it’s a form of art that has the power to uplift spirits and bring joy to our lives. There’s something magical about the way comedians can turn everyday experiences into hilarious anecdotes, making us laugh at the absurdities of life. It’s a perfect way to unwind and let go of stress after a long day.

Stand up comedy isn’t popular in Japan. It’s weird to think of comedy formats as being an area where cultural differences pop up, but it is. Looking for stand up comedy in Japan is kind of like looking for Manzai in the U.S. It probably exists somewhere, but isn’t mainstream and is geared more towards an international audience.

If you’re just looking to watch comedy in Japanese, I’d recommend looking into Manzai. There are a couple of Manzai duos that preform in English, but I think you’re unlikely to have much luck with finding subtitles of Japanese acts. Translating comedy is really hard. So much of humor is dependent on cultural context and word play. It’s not impossible, but it’s understandable why it doesn’t usually get subtitled. For example, I think Taskmaster is the only show I’ve ever seen on UK Netflix with no foreign language subtitles available


Here is one stand-up comedy club in Tokyo (Shibuya) that I am familiar with. You will note (aligning with what several have commented already) that the ratio of English to Japanese acts is about 90/10.

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