AKB48 Launches Own Comedy Program

January 17, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. sketch (n.) 
[skech] –  a short presentation or performance
Example: The comedian’s set of sketches made the audience laugh.

2. portray (v.) [pawr-trey, pohr-] – to play a part or a character in a drama or show
Example:  The actor portrays a superhero in his latest film.

3. tackle (v.)  [tey-kuhl] –  to make someone fall down by force (using one’s body)
Example: People on the street tried to tackle the robber as he escaped from the police.
4. glimpse (v.)  [glimps] –  to see (something or someone) for a short moment
Example: We glimpsed her running into the old school building.

5. look forward to (idiom) [look fawr-werd too] – to think of a future event with excitement or readiness
Example: I look forward to the ending of the drama.

Read the text below.

At a live press conference held last September 29, popular pop group AKB48 from Japan celebrated the debut of “Bimyo~”, the all-girl group’s first sketch comedy and variety program.

The show, airing on Hikari TV every Thursday, features Yuko Oshima and the group’s other famous members playing different characters. Oshima, in particular, revealed that unlike her usual characters in Japanese dramas and movies she will be portraying a lot of male roles, which sometimes require her to physically tackle people and to wear bald caps.

Because comedy can be a challenge to do, Oshima emphasized that mental preparation is needed for their acts.  The girls then let everyone glimpse how well they had practiced their funny faces when a reporter asked for a sample.

Although some of AKB48’s members already have experience working on other comedy and variety shows, Bimyo~ would be completely their own program, and the girls said they look forward to writing their own sketches.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think singers and actresses can also be good comedians? Why or why not?
·         What qualities or skills must a comedian possess?

Discussion B

·         Should artists explore fields of entertainment outside what they normally do? Why or why not?
·         Can you name some artists in your country who do well in different fields of entertainment?


January 17, 2012