A comedic love letter to Australia: ‘Japanese Aussie’ Takashi Wakasugi brings all-new comedy to Fringe World

Takashi Wakasugi is fresh from winning the Directors’ Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023 and ready to take Fringe World by storm. Wakasugi’s new show, Japanese Aussie, is set to debut at The Parlour at The Pleasure Garden from Tuesday, February 6 to Sunday, February 11, with an additional showing at The Kalamunda Hotel on Friday, February 16. BEC WELDON caught up with Takashi to find out about the things he still finds funny, and confusing, about Australia.

Congratulations on presenting your show at Fringe World in 2024! How does it feel to be back this summer?

This is my fourth time performing at Fringe World, and I always have a wonderful time, so I am very keen on coming back to Perth again! Arigato!

The show sounds like a comedic love letter to Australia. What inspired you to write a show about being a Japanese comedian in Australia?

I love Australia, and I am having an amazing life here. But I don’t understand everything about Australia. Australia still makes me confused sometimes, and I have questions about you. Those questions are something you never thought about before and could make you laugh. So for me, writing jokes about Australia is not only to make you laugh but also to understand Australia more.

You talk about the hilarious struggles of buying eggs in Australia. What’s the biggest surprise that you’ve faced since moving to Australia?

How dirty is the toilet here…

You’ve recently been recognised for your comedy, particularly with your recent win of the Directors’ Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023! What originally inspired you to pursue comedy?

I just love to make friends and spend happy time with them. Comedy is the best way to meet new people and have a wonderful time together. I was very glad that I won the award, but all I do is keep writing jokes to have a great time with friends. That’s it.

Have you noticed a difference in what is considered ‘funny’ between Australia and Japan? Do some jokes land better in one country than another?

I think doing comedy (funny) is like cooking food (delicious). Some people like the food, and some people don’t. Some people have allergies and can’t eat. And there are always cultural differences, too. I never get chicken sashimi for Aussie people, even though it’s my favourite food in Japan. I will get teriyaki chicken instead. On the other hand, I tried Vegemite too. There are always differences between people and cultures, but you can adapt and find alternative plans. That’s what my comedy does here.

What can audiences expect from your show at this year’s festival, and what are you most excited to share with them?

You will enjoy my observations about Aussie life and people from Japanese viewpoints.

What sets your show apart from other comedy shows at this year’s festival?

Very cool and cute Japanese and Aussie English accent.