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Gamarjobat: The funniest mimes to trot the globe

By Preston Phro

Humor, generally, is very subjective. Even when everyone’s speaking the same language, local cultural differences can have a massive impact on how jokes are received. Attempting to bridge these divides can be both difficult and frustrating. Not to mention dangerous if you happen to offend the wrong crowd.

All of which makes it even more impressive when someone does manage to leap over the gap with aplomb.

Like Gamarjobat, a Japanese comedy duo who have successfully taken their show on the road around the world. While Japan has no shortage of delightful comedians, most of them work in manzai (two person standup), rakugo (traditional one-person storytelling), or as tarento (“talent,” basically talkative guests) on variety shows. It’s quite rare to see Japanese comedians appearing in Western media.

So how has Gamarjobat managed to get over the significant linguistic divide to reach and entertain international audiences?

Simple! They sidestep the whole problem by sticking to pantomiming.

Now, you probably thinking of white-faced street mimes trapped in invisible boxes silently annoying pedestrians. But that’s entirely the wrong image for this stylish pair.

Dressed in shiny black suits with colorful mohawks, these guys would be “cool” by anyone’s standards. But don’t let that ultra-classy exterior fool you—these guys know how to have a good time. Almost like a real-life cartoon, the group uses “magic,” gestures, and impressive physical comedy to get their audiences laughing.

After a chance meeting, Kecchi (red mohawk) and HIRO-PON (yellow mohawk) formed the group in 1999, taking their name from the Georgian word for “hello!” They have traveled to over 30 different countries and performed at over 200 different festivals. The whole time letting out little more than well-timed grunts.

In 2010, they even started the Gamarjobat Project, a silent theater group, seeking performers from both within Japan and from overseas.

Check out some of their performances in the video below.

The performers will be embarking on a Japan-wide tour starting this September, so if you like what you just saw, you’ll have a chance to catch them live this year. Click here to buy tickets.

And for those of you living overseas, you might be in luck. Gamarjobat will be performing this summer in Brazil, at the Komedia in Brighton, England, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Sources: Karapaia, Gamarjobat Official Blog

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Comedian’s Impersonation of AKB 48′s Yuko Oshima is “spot on” -- New AKB48 Sketch Comedy Program Features Cute Girls Making Silly Faces -- In-Depth Look At Japan’s Premier Horror Idol Group, Alice Juban

© RocketNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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They are actually quite good.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The escalator trick must be a lot harder than it looks...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, i prefer this type of comedy rather than the usual slapstick manzai trash.

What Japan lacks in good standup comedy (ala Louis CK and Bill Bailey), they can make up for it with really good mime-esque standup comedy.

In fact, i notice that Japanese actions are funnier than Japanese words (in contrast to America where the words are funnier than the actions). And to me, Japan could excel for awesome sketch comedy if we have groups like Gamarjobat and Rahmens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They're hysterical! I love these guys!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mohamad, actually Japan has "rakugo" I assume its called, where a guy sits on a pillow telling jokes, its not as like the stand up comedy overseas but if you understand Japanese it can be quite entertaining.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"While Japan has no shortage of delightful comedians"


I agree with the "no shortage", but the "delightful" surely is sarcasm?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )


Rakugo is a hit or miss for me.

I like Rakugo when it's dark, cynical, relatable and contemporary (like Yakuza Rakugo from Tiger and Dragon). For example, rakugo stories about hecklers and debt collectors are pretty funny because you can relate to it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Laughing at these guys at work...

Oh dear, the audience is...foreigners! And they're... laughing! :-o

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good stuff I laughed most of the time definitely going to show my Japanese friends this video.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never thought I would see 'funny' and 'mime' used in the same sentence... but this pair ARE funny.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dressed in shiny black suits with colorful mohawks, these guys would be “cool” by anyone’s standards.

Depends upon one's definition of cool. I'll gladly introduce you to people who would think someone with a colorful mohawk was quite weird.

This is their sales point, and more power to them, just stop trying to speak for EVERYONE when you make assumptions, that is most definitely UNCOOL.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The stunt with the suitcase appeared to be the hardest one to pull off. For him to move around the virtually immobile suitcase while appearing to only lightly have his fingers on the handle was very impressive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has no shortage of delightful comedians

Really? I see many many horrible comedians. Bad tooth is not delightful comedy. Bad hairstyle is not delightful comedy. Shout all a time is not delightful comedy. Where is skillfull? Why people laugh?

I think "shortage of" should be delete from article's sentence.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I see many many horrible comedians

Why watch them? And why so quick to criticize your "own" country?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kickboard - why not?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Bad tooth is not delightful comedy. Bad hairstyle is not delightful comedy. Shout all a time is not delightful comedy.

And the Charlie Chan act is the worst comedy of all. そろそろ「我々」が、帰国検討すれば?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kickboard - why not?

Most people are quick to defend their country. Some will criticize certain aspects of their country but none will constantly bash everything in their own country. Take for example how pissed brits get when you say their food tastes bad. You never have anything positive to say about Japan, because you are not Japanese. Quit with the pretense. I've already noticed many grammar "mistakes" that are inconsistent and you sometimes forget to make your usual mistakes completely. Your writing varies from beginner to native level. You are an impostor.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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