Get to know the comedians behind the excellent acts each Friday and Saturday at ROR Comedy Club. We’re kicking off the first interview of our series with regular performer, Momo Takamori. Find out about this dark persona and see him perform at one of our Osaka evening comedy nights.
ROR: How did you get into stand up comedy?
Momo: It all started in 2015 when I did my first open mic at ROR following the group's workshop. Doing standup was on my bucket list for some time. Open mic didn't go horribly and Edd invited me to ROR's meeting where comedians exchange opinions about their new material. I kept going back to the shows and meetings and that's how I got in.
ROR: You did a tour of Australia earlier this year, and you've also performed in HK and Korea. What are some of the differences between performing abroad and in your native Japan?
Momo: One of the biggest differences is that people outside Japan understand English. In Osaka I've performed in front of people who had language barriers. One time I did a bilingual set so that the audience would understand my jokes.
Other than that I was surprised by the number of comedy rooms in Australia. There's at least one comedy show every single day. At the same time the number of people asking for stage time is way larger compared to Japan and getting a spot wasn't easy. I feel quite lucky to be able to perform weekly here in Japan.
ROR: How do you feel about Japanese comedy?
Momo: I love Manzai (Comedic duo) and Rakugo (Traditional comedic storytelling) . There are some talented comedians in those areas. Although there are some differences from western standup comedy, the basic idea of setup and punchline is pretty much the same.
ROR: What do you draw on as inspiration for your jokes? And what is your writing pocess?
Momo: What I learned about standup is that comedians must mine through their experience to come up with something truly original. You can't just tell funny things that happened to you. That's called found humor and it's actually not that funny on stage, so I have to rework it for an audience. After writing a prototype, I google to check if the joke can be regarded as original. And then I tell it to my fellow ROR comedians, usually Edd.
ROR: You have quite a "dark" persona when you perform. What's the relationship between your onstage and offstage characters?
Momo: The “dark me” is the same person I am when I'm alone in my apartment. That's not true but it's an enhanced version of a tiny voice in my head, that holds a strong belief that nothing in the world matters including my own existence. He's a minority in my psychological ecosystem that was unexpectedly given a role to make people laugh.
ROR: What do you like most about performing stand up?
Momo: So many things. I can't pick one. I like the creative process, how I get to say things that could be regarded as insane outside the context of comedy, instant feedback from the audience, people I get to meet, and the overall learning experience. I think about comedy everyday and really happy doing it.
ROR: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Momo.
Momo’s an all around nice guy, who brings a unique perspective to comedy. Check out his routines at ROR Comedy Club on your next visit to Osaka.