“Don’t worry, I’m wearing!”
This catchphrase is familiar to those who know the comedian ‘Tonikaku Akarui Yasumura（TONIKAKU）’.
When Japanese people hear this name, they might imagine a one-hit-wonder comedian.
However, that’s a thing of the past.
In April 2023, TONIKAKU brought huge laughter to the audience on BGT (Britain’s Got Talent) in the UK.
Like a flash of light, his underpants performance brought smiles to the faces of the audience and the uptight judges, and was met with thunderous applause.
What is the story behind his life, career, and stories that led him to challenge himself overseas?
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at TONIKAKU’s profile, career, and representative videos.
In addition, we will introduce some interviews about him and his reputation overseas to get closer to the truth about TONIKAKU.
June 2023 BGT Semi-Final & Final Advancement
The BGT semi-finals were held in June.
The word “TONIKAKU” is on the stage. In addition, props and background images were used to enhance Mr. Yasumura’s material.
What kind of material did Mr. Yasumura perform?
As you can see in the video, when Yasumura-san said “Don’t worry, I’m wearing…”, everyone in the audience shouted “Pants! and everyone in the audience shouted “PARNTS!!!! That alone made us laugh.
Although he was a wild card and miraculously made it to the crystals, he narrowly missed out on the win, but there are very few Japanese who have made it to the finals, and Yasumura-san is truly a wonderful person.
Introduction of “TONIKAKU”
His profile is once again in the spotlight at BGT.
TONIKAKU (real name: Yasumura Shogo) was born on March 15, 1982 in Hokkaido, Japan.
He is left-handed, stands 177 cm tall, weighs 90 kg, and has type B blood.
He is a comedian who belongs to Yoshimoto-Kogyo in Japan.
The standard material is to perform “I’m wearing” in just a pair of pink pants.
After declaring some kind of situation, they move in time with the background music, and when the background music stops, they stop moving and strike a pose that is common in that situation. The pose is made to look as if the performer is not wearing any pants because his legs and large body are just covering his pants.
He says, “Don’t worry, I’m wearing.”
(When a co-star is present, the audience may ask, “You’re not wearing pants, are you? (When his co-stars are present, he is sometimes quipped, “You’re not wearing pants, are you?)
The cover of Japanese idol Mayu Watanabe’s first photo book “Mayuyu” was the inspiration for his current style.
Evaluation at BGT
In April 2023, he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), a popular British audition program, and his performance was highly praised by the audience.
Yasumura introduced his name as “Tonikaku,” but the judges found it difficult to say Kaku, so he was familiarly known as “Tony”.
List of stories
His performance was highly acclaimed by the judges and audience and received a standing ovation.
The pants performance was an internationally recognized moment for his humor and one of the most memorable of his career.
It was the beginning of a dramatic increase in his visibility abroad.
In particular, the scene in which he says in English, “Don’t worry. I’m wearing.” was highly praised by viewers for its humor as well as its emphasis on his personality.
Incidentally, “I’m wearing” becomes “I’m wearing…”, which means “I’m wearing…” to English-speaking people. The judges shouted “PARNTS!!!! It is truly a miracle that the judges shouted “Parnts!
These videos gave a glimpse into the entertainment skills, improvisational abilities, and unique ways in which he brings fun and laughter to the audience, leaving the spectators laughing and amazed.
Click here for a list of stories
・Football player naked pose
・Horse racer naked pose
・James bond naked pose
・”Wannnabe” by the Spice Girls, naked pose
＼Click here to watch the video／
When TONIKAKU put her hand on the waistband to take off her gown, the judges thought she was going to be completely naked and said, “No!
When she took it off, her bikini pants appeared and she said, “What? No!
However, when Yasumura answered, “I can pose completely naked,” the audience responded, “Stop! and “No, thank you! and “No, thank you!
But Tonikaku paid no heed to these words and began his material with “Number 1.
The judges could see the hatena marks on his head when he struck the first soccer pose, but they laughed hysterically when he struck the pose of being completely naked.
During the third, James Bond material, the judges said, ‘Oh my God, that’s great! It’s genius,’ and ‘I want to see more.
After the last one was over, there were comments like, “I like your stuff the best in this series,” “You are by far the most unique and the best! and “Simply brilliant! and “You are the funniest contestant of the year, no lie! No kidding!” The audience went wild.
Many foreign reactions were favorable comments.
That’s so good! What a great idea!
I can’t believe how confident you are about posing naked on stage with so many people watching you!
It’s a comedy of genius.
I find myself watching (this video) again in a few minutes.
I could go on a world tour of naked posing.
I like it because it’s a laugh that doesn’t hurt people, not self-deprecating, not running into people and judging them.
It’s a gag I hadn’t thought of!
Visual (visual) comedy!
Visual comedy is popular in Japan!
The Japanese are known for their strictness, respect for rules, and politeness.
Japanese people have an image of being “strict,” “always respectful of rules,” and “polite,” and yet they are a country with a bizarre imagination!
Popular among children overseas. Here is a video of a cute little boy on Twitter imitating the story.
- Your performance in the UK was a big hit?
We were excited at the time that it was a great success, but it wasn’t long ago that we recorded it. So I was surprised to see such a great response, with the number of views on YouTube going up and up.
- Why did you decide to go overseas?
I could never forget how good it felt when my “Don’t worry, I’m wearing pants” routine went viral, and I thought that if I could make it a topic of conversation overseas again, it might get people’s attention in Japan as well.
I made a story in English once in about 2015, and at first I thought I would try it in the United States. But it didn’t happen because of the new Corona. So we decided to do it in England.
- I think it was because you were in England that the judges shouted “PANTS!
I didn’t know that in the U.S., “pants” has a different meaning, so that was a coincidence. I tried to put in some national references, such as soccer and James Bond from “007.
- I feel that “Wear” is a transitive verb, which is why there was such a call-and-response excitement, but I don’t think that was the intention.
I had no idea of the difference between the Japanese and English senses. But when the judges shouted, the atmosphere in the hall became much better.
- The interaction with the judges after the performance was also interesting. How did you study English?
Actually, I didn’t study English at all. I just tried to repeat words I knew, smiled and said “yay” back to them. …… I thought I could get into the groove of English. Japanese people worry too much about grammar and such, but I realized that groove is important.
- The judges called you Tony.
I competed under the name “Tonikaku,” which I used to name my game characters. Many times, “Tonikaku!” but the “kaku” part seemed to be difficult to say, so I gradually became “Tony. But I think it became easier to communicate with them by having them call me that.
- Is it your aim that the English was a direct translation of the story?
My goal was to get Japan to pay attention to me again, so I decided to use the same material, thinking that if I did something that Japanese people did not know, it would not become a topic of conversation. When translating it into English, I had the help of Canadian rakugo storyteller Sunshine Katsura and people from Yoshimoto Kogyo in charge of overseas operations. I asked them to use “very short phrases” because it would be difficult to understand if the explanation was too complicated.
- What do you keep in mind when doing a story in English?
I try to be very slow, use short sentences, and don’t worry about pronunciation. That makes it easy to understand, and even if it’s in katakoto, that’s interesting.
- Do you have any ambitions for the future?
Since it’s been such a hit, here we go again in Japan!” So I went on stage at the theater the other night, but it didn’t go over well at all. …… wonder. I hope it will continue to be a topic of conversation for everyone.
Real name: Shogo Yasumura
Date of birth: March 15, 1982
Place of birth: Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Height: 5 feet 9.69 inches
Weight: 198.42 lbs
Blood type: B type
Other: Left-handed, pants performance
TONIKAKU has a humorous and unique style.
Behind his performance flows a life story of overcoming difficulties and an energy that keeps viewers on their toes not even for a moment.
Through this article, you too will rediscover TONIKAKU’s charm and feel the depth of his rich humanity.
I look forward to your final performance.