Japanese comedy is a special thing. While some of it is a more familiar kind of stand-up or a type of “dumb and dumber” slapstick duet, much of it is far more off the wall than anything other countries could come up with. Take, for example, the comedian who uses traditional Japanese instruments to play weird, familiar jingles; a subtle kind of humor, but poignant in its unexpectedness. Plus, who could forget the ridiculous, early 2000s sensation, Hard Gay?
For some, these comedians raise perplexing questions, mostly involving the word “why.” But for many, the ridiculous parts of Japanese comedy are what make it so funny. That’s why when Japanese comedian Yuriyan Retriever traveled to America to try out for "America’s Got Talent," she absolutely blew the judges away…in a very perplexing kind of way.
While talking to the judges before her performance, Yuriyan seems like she might do something ordinary, like sing a song or even do a regular standup comedy routine. That is until she strips off her black hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants and reveals that she’s wearing a U.S.-flag patterned mankini. Then she strikes a gymnast’s pose, and the epic and iconic melody of “The Final Countdown” begins to play, and Yuriyan starts to perform a bizarre, jerky, and weirdly hilarious dance that involves wrist rotating, sashaying, head shaking, and many pointed glances at the audience.
While Howie is loving it and Gabrielle seems amused, Simon is quick to hit the red rejection buzzer, and Julianne, clearly unable to process the level of raw talent she’s witnessing, pushes her red buzzer with a shrug shortly after. Yuriyan is not affected; after an “I’m watching you gesture” to Simon, she blissfully continues on with her bizarre dance, completely winning over Howie. When it comes time for judging, though, her fate remains uncertain with the other three judges, even though she tries to bribe Simon by inviting him to her hotel room.
▼ Their faces say it all…
Japanese Twitter users were so happy to see that Yuriyan was (relatively) well-received by American audiences, and almost all of the comments on AGT’s video on Twitter are in Japanese. Somebody even subtitled the segment in Japanese, and everyone loved it!
“Yuriyan invited Simon to her hotel room hahaha”
“Yuriyan! Awesome! America’s also awesome for accepting her lol”
“When did you get promoted to worldwide fame, Yuriyan?!”
“Such energy and courage deserves praise! Yuriyan’s amazing!”
“Am I the only who almost started crying? I think she’s so cool.”
“This was the first time I laughed so hard in a long time! Her facial expressions are on point!!”
You’ll have to watch the whole video to see if she makes it on to the next round or not, but let’s just say, there’s a certain charm to her dance that won over many. There’s also extra backstage footage in which Julianne teaches Yuriyan how to dance, and Yuriyan gives Simon an extra long hug, so it’s absolutely a video worth watching to the end.
Yuriyan isn’t the first Japanese comedian to try their hand at the various “Got Talent” shows; tablecloth trickmaster Mr. Uekusa is known to be a Got Talent regular, having tried out for several different countries’ shows to varying degrees of success. Plus, many other talented Japanese citizens, including a magician, a dancer, and a technodelic performance group, have all had some success on the show, so let’s hope Yuriyan will keep trying to make it to the top!
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