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Yasunori Shimura (志村 康徳)
20 February 1950
|Died||29 March 2020 70) (aged|
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
|Education||Tokyo Metropolitan Kurume High School|
Ken Shimura (志村 けん, Shimura Ken) (born Yasunori Shimura (志村 康徳, Shimura Yasunori), 20 February 1950 – 29 March 2020) was a Japanese comedian. He co-starred with Masashi Tashiro, Nobuyoshi Kuwano in the Japanese variety show Shimura Ken no Bakatono-sama .
Throughout his comedy career, Shimura was known for his "Bakatono-sama" character, which was unusual among Japanese comedians, in that he could satirize the deeds of powerful figures (a company president, a politician, a family head, a school principal, the head of a Japanese yakuza gang) under the garb of a foolish king who lived in the country a long time ago. Another popular shtick of Shimura in the same show was "Henna Oji-san" [weirdo] who entertained himself in the company of nubile girls. After being caught for his pranks, the character regularly ended the shtick with a song 'Sou desu. Watashi wa Henna Oji-san desu'. ("That is correct. I am Henna Oji-san.") He was also known for his nonsense catchphrase "Daffuna" which would often end a Henna Oji-san skit.
Shimura was most famous for starring in Hachiji Da Yo! Zen'in Shugo!with the comedy group The Drifters and Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan with Cha Kato, another former member of The Drifters.
Shimura's comedic work was inspired in part by that of Jerry Lewis.
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Shimura became known in 1974, replacing Chu Araiin the famous comedy group The Drifters. With the help of the other members of the group, he learned to act and make the audience laugh. Over time, he showed a knack for comedy. Some memorable pictures of that time are the mustache dance, in which he starred with Cha Katō and the song Higashimurayama, referring to his homeland.
With this group, he participated in the weekly program Hachiji Dayo! Zen'inshugo! from 1974 to 1985, reaching 40% to 50% of viewers at their best. From 1977, he also participated in the television program Dorifu Daibakusho ("Dorifu, big burst of laughter"), which were special sketches, totaling one and a half hours. It is currently possible to see members together only on television specials.
The rapport Shimura had with Cha Katō, also a member of Higashimurayama, kept them together on television. In 1986, they created the Kato-chan Ken-chan Gokigen Terebi, which aired until 1992. In The Detective Story, they are two detective friends who get into a lot of trouble. The high ratings allowed for high-cost scenes with exploding cars, helicopters and crowds. A famous painting of this time is Shimura as a monk, who asked people to repeat the words "Daijoubuda, ... ueh, ueh, ueh", whereas "daijoubuda" literally means "I'm all right."
This program ran about three times a year since 1986. In it, Shimura is a feudal lord ("tono") who does not want to rule and only thinks about having fun. The character was created at the time of Hachiji Dayo! Zen'inshugo! and is characterized by an all-white face, extremely thick eyebrows and hair tied at the top of the head. The program always featured celebrity stakes.
"Ken Shimura Daijoubuda" from 1987 to 1993 and was the beginning of Shimura's career as the sole leader. His new companions were also his "disciples" in the sense that they learned from Shimura. Among others, Masashi Tashiro, his first favorite "disciple", Yoko Ishino, favorite "disciple" and former bride Nobuyoshi Kuwano, who played the trumpet, and Noriko Matsumoto. At that time, Shimura created the famous character "henna ojisan", which means "strange uncle".
Following up his previous big hits, Shimura led several shows, mostly on the Fuji TV network with the renewal of his "disciples". The most famous of them was Masashi Tashiro. However, after Tashiro's involvement with voyeurism, drugs, and subsequent arrests, Shimura, disappointed, cut him from their act. From 1996, he began working with newbie Yuuka, who eventually became his favorite "disciple". Shimura's participation in the career of humorists (such as Katsuhiro Higo and Ryuuhei Ueshima, and Haruna Kondou and Haruka Minowa) and other celebrities is notorious.
In 2001, Shimura formed a duet with Naoko Ken as "Ken♀♂Ken" in "Ginza atari de Gin Gin Gin" (銀座あたりでギンギンギン).
In 2006, he formed and led his own comedy theater, Shimurakon (Shimura Spirit).
Tensai! Shimura Dōbutsuen continued airing after Shimura's death, with on air remembrances of his time with the animals. On July 4, 2020, it was reported that Nippon TV had decided to end the broadcast, citing that it would be painfully difficult and heartbreaking to continue filming in a set filled with memories, that was destined for Shimura's advice. The last broadcast was set for September.
Shimura was hospitalized for severe pneumonia on 20 March 2020; he lost consciousness after being anesthetized and hooked up to a ventilator on the following day. Then, on 23 March it was confirmed that he had COVID-19.He was the first Japanese tarento to have his COVID-19 diagnosis made public during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.
On 24 March, Shimura was transferred to a hospital where ECMO was available.He had been scheduled to star in the film It's a Flickering Life , but his participation was cancelled on 26 March. He was also slated to carry the Olympic torch through part of Tokyo prior to the 2020 Tokyo games.
Shimura died on 29 March 2020 at the National Center for Global Health and Medicinein Shinjuku, Tokyo. He was 70 years old.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Sales||Album||Certifications|
|" Aīn Taisō " (アイ〜ン体操) / " Aīn! Dance no Uta " (アイ〜ン!ダンスの唄)|
(as Bakatono-sama with Mini-Moni Hime)
|2002||3||Mini-Moni Song Daihyakka Ikkan|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
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