After Hours: Tokyo Comedy Store delivers laughs in English

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At a recent comedy night at the Double Tall Cafe in Shibuya, Evans Musoka tells jokes in English about growing up in Africa and gaining superpowers. (Trevor Andersen/Stars and Stripes)
From Stripes.com
At a recent comedy night at the Double Tall Cafe in Shibuya, Evans Musoka tells jokes in English about growing up in Africa and gaining superpowers. (Trevor Andersen/Stars and Stripes)

After Hours: Tokyo Comedy Store delivers laughs in English

by: Trevor Andersen | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: April 04, 2014

Stand-up comedy in English might seem like an odd fit in Japan, but the Tokyo Comedy Store has been entertaining English speakers with stand-up and improv comedy since the ’90s.
 
In the U.S., comedy like this is usually performed in comedy clubs.
 
But this isn’t the U.S., now is it?
 
Despite the name, the Comedy Store has no actual building with its name in flashing lights outside. Instead, organizers book several venues every month for their different shows.
 
During a recent show at the Double Tall Cafe in Shibuya, comedians with freshly written jokes were able to try them out during the New Material Night. Comedians each got three minutes to try their jokes on the audience. Predictably, some bits went over well; others, not so much.
 
The show was actually broken into two parts: the New Material portion, followed by a round of improvised comedy games from skilled Comedy Store comedians.
 
All in all, the show was high energy and fully engaging. It was well worth the price of admission ... a drink.
 
It was surprisingly funny, a review the Comedy Store organizers get so often, they added this line to the website — “Funnier than you think we’ll be.”
 
New Material Nights are held the first and third Tuesdays of every month at the Double Tall Cafe. But the Comedy Store has several other shows, including stand-up-only shows where top Tokyo comedians do their best material, and Improv-only shows where the best TCS improvisers show off their skills.
 
For information on other shows or if you’d like to try stand-up or improv yourself, check out their website at www.tokyocomedy.com
 
andersen.trevor@stripes.com
 
Tokyo Comedy Store at the Double Tall Cafe
 
Address: Shibuya East Side Building 2F, 3-12-24 Shibuya, Shibuya Ku, Tokyo 150-0002
Hours: The show runs from 8 to 10 p.m.
Dress code: Casual
Cost: There’s no cover charge, but patrons are required to buy food or a drink once inside.
Information: Website: www.tokyocomedy.com/new_ material_night
 

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