Yumbo Dump is a comedy duo from Japan, with Daisuke Fujiwara, “Yumbo” and Go Kashu, “Dump.” The Japanese duo showcases various sounds with their bodies, including whales, owls, and fish.
Yumbo Dump (Japanese Belly Guys) Interview
Watch Interview (in Japanese with English CC)
Feels awkward with shirts on
――In this program, I, Roy Nishizawa a.k.a. English Doctor, interview various people. We have very special guests today. They made the audience of “America’s Got Talent” roar with laughter. I’d like to welcome the Japanese belly guys – the comedy duo “Yumbo Dump”.
Yumbo&Dump: Hey, good morning!
Yumbo: Good morning, we are “Yumbo Dump”!
Dump: Good morning, everyone.
Yumbo: Usually, we are half naked when we perform, but since this is a radio program, we are wearing clothes now. We feel a bit awkward, so is it okay to take off our clothes?
――No problem at all.
Yumbo: Excuse me…
――Do you feel better now?
Yumbo: Yes, we can be ourselves like this.
Dump: Like you feel better when you put your clothes on, right?
――Aha! I see.
Yumbo: Well, I’m settled now.
Dump: Well, I’m “Cashew Nuts (Dump)” of “Yumbo Dump”, nice to meet you.
Yumbo: I’m “Fujiwara (Yumbo)”, good to see you.
I know it may be a bit weird for those who are watching us here.
Dump: Please don’t call the police.
――You’re naked only the upper half, don’t worry.
Yumbo: Thank you for waiting until we get settled down.
――So, would you introduce yourself?
Dump: Sure, I’m “Cashew Nuts (Dump)” of “Yumbo Dump”. I’m the fat one.
Yumbo: Well, I’m “Daisuke Fujiwara (Yumbo)”, the fat one “B”.
Dump: What’s “B”?
Yumbo: Well, “A” and “B”, and I’m the “B”.
Dump: It’s the first time I challenged him this way. But I’m not satisfied with his reaction.
Yumbo: Okay, I’m the other fat one.
――You are both “the fat one”, right. But, in English you are “Yumbo” and “Dump”.
Dump: Right, when we perform in English-speaking countries, Fujiwara is “Yumbo” and I’m “Dump”.
――Mmm, I see.
Dump: We are happy the listeners get to know our names.
――I’m glad to have you guys here.
Yumbo: We are happy to be here.
――So, your performances are like making “healing sounds”.
Yumbo: Right, we use our bodies to make a lot of sounds.
――I really love your performances.
Yumbo: Thank you very much.
Everything started in sauna
――How did you come up with the idea of the performance of making sounds?
Dump: Well, first we became famous with a performance of making the “Sound of a drop of water falling on the surface of water”. But actually, we used to do stand-up comedy before that. One day, we went to a sauna together, and somehow we tried to do a high five in there. But our fat bellies struck first.
Dump: Then the sound came out.
Yumbo: The plop sound.
Dump: We were like, “what sound was that?” and we looked around to find the source. When we found out it came from our belly, we thought we could do something funny with that.
――Aha, because you were moderately sweaty.
Dump: That’s right. In a sauna and naked, it was the best condition.
Yumbo: The amount of moisture was perfect. And, the sound made other people in the sauna laugh, so we were convinced of the idea.
Dump: Since then, we came up with many ways to make sounds using our bodies.
――But, how do you come up with such ideas?
Yumbo: Well, it’s not easy.
Dump: Usually when comedy duos want to incubate an idea, they gather at a cafe or somewhere and write out ideas in a notebook. However, we gather at a DIY store.
Dump: We look at various items and try what kind of sounds they make, one by one.
Yumbo: Make a sound, put it back, and try another one.
Dump: Make a sound and put it back when the store staff is not watching.
If an item makes a good sound, we buy it. Then we take a video of it and discuss and name the sound.
Dump: We just repeat that again and again.
Yumbo: It’s okay when we perform in front of the audience, but imagine when we practice… two guys keep bouncing bellies. It’s harsh.
I can’t stop asking “What am I doing? Wasn’t I gonna be a stand-up comedian?”
Dump: We practice it secretly in a Karaoke-Box, but we can see the clerk take a glance at us through the glass door and sneak off.
Two guys bouncing on bellies.
Dump: Moreover, the Karaoke store is in Shinjuku, so people naturally think we are gay.
Yumbo: We are often misunderstood.
Dump: So, this is how we come up with ideas.
――Please be careful not to be arrested, anyways.
Dump: If we are, this video is going to prove our crime.
Yumbo: If we become the news, it’s because of this video.
Dump: Probably this video will be quoted in the news.
Uploaded videos in 15 languages
――Recently, you do performances abroad. Did you intend to do so from the beginning?
Yumbo: We didn’t expect that at all.
Dump: When we did the “sound of a drop of water” performance in a TV-show, Mr. Shitara of “Banana Man” said “they could go for world-class performers”. We were carried away by the thought and started uploading videos on YouTube in various languages.
――There are more than 10 languages, right?
Dump: It’s about 15 by now. There is a Japanese comedian called “GONZO” who has already been quite active outside of Japan. He introduced and encouraged us to enter “Asia’s Got Talent” in 2017, and it all started from there. This year we were invited to “America’s Got Talent”.
Yumbo: Thank you, Mr. GONZO.
Dump: That’s right. He led us here.
――By the way, I want to know how much English you two can speak.
Dump: No, not good, at all.
Yumbo: It’s a pity, I’ve only got 4th Grade of “EIKEN” English Test.
――Me, too. I’m also 4th Grade.
Yumbo: What? Is it true, Roy?
Dump: Nah, he just didn’t take the next level.
――Well, perfect score on TOEIC and 4th Grade on EIKEN is my qualification for English.
Dump: It’s crazy, I mean it’s not balanced.
Yumbo: I’m a proper 4th Grade, because I tried 3rd Grade and failed.
――Wow, you’re courageous, I didn’t have the courage to try for 3rd Grade. Well, let’s stop talking about me now.
Dump: I don’t even have English skill to challenge EIKEN test. So, we both have poor English skill. Japanese people often say they can’t distinguish “R” and “L” sounds, but our level of English is too low to come up with such a question. We just dived into the world, despite the lack of English skills.
Yumbo: Basically, we communicate with gestures. We can manage using gestures.
Dump: Expressions on the face are important. If I’m happy, I say “Yay!” with a big smile.
Yumbo: I try to show my emotions four times as much as usual.
Dump: Yeah, I raise my energy level higher and higher.
Yumbo: We clearly show our emotions.
――That’s why when you got “X”s in AGT, you were like “Why!?”
Yumbo: Yeah, that came up quick, “Why!?”
Dump: However, we didn’t understand what the judges were saying, so we just kept saying “why.”
Yumbo: I just wish we could talk with them in English. It’s a pity.
Dump: It was scary. That moment was so scary.
――Well, many Japanese people think vocabulary and grammar are important when learning English, but I strongly believe what you need first is courage.
Yumbo: Ah, I agree with that.
Dump: In our case, we just threw ourselves abroad to perform. It’s quicker if you take action. Many Japanese people keep learning English and never go out of the country. Speaking English with teachers or reading textbooks are okay, but you can learn faster in an English speaking country. You learn from what you hear.
Yumbo: If you have the courage to speak up, somehow they will understand you. Yeah, courage is the most important part. People we meet abroad, they are full of courage.
With very positive thinking. That’s what I like about foreign countries.
――And, you don’t have to speak English in your performances, right?
Yumbo: That’s true, basically.
Dump: When we do our performances in Japanese, first we explain the sound that we are going to make. But when we perform abroad, we show a signboard which we prepare beforehand with the help of an interpreter.
Yumbo: At first, we thought about talking in English by ourselves, but we were not confident about our pronunciation to make people get what we are trying to do.
――I personally like the “shhh” part. It is brilliantly effective as you don’t speak other words.
Dump: I heard it is quite unusual in American comedy to make a moment of rising tensions and easing them. It is not common to force the audience into silence in comedy shows.
Yumbo: I feel happy when people say “shhh” together. I’m glad that AGT judges mimicked us.
――But, when you fail to make the audience laugh after doing the “shhh”…
Yumbo: Roy, you are hard on us.
――No, I mean, I’m talking about what happened in the quarterfinals of AGT…
Dump: It is a very American way to use direct words.
Yumbo: That’s right. We bombed.
About legendary performance at AGT quarterfinal
――No, I mean, I think it was legendary and want more people to know about it.
Yumbo: It was legendary in a bad way.
Dump: But, actually, it was the first time ever in the history of AGT for the judges to take back Xs in the quarterfinals, if you check that on YouTube.
Yumbo: Right, the first two sound performances didn’t appeal to them, but after that, the Dolphin Love Story did.
Dump: After doing two of the performances, we already got three Xs. Check out when our faces turn pale when we were almost at the end, it’s the funniest part.
Yumbo: That’s surrealistic.
Dump: I was so nervous, I looked like it was the end of the world.
Yumbo: Yeah, I also thought it was the end.
――However, the Dolphin Love Story was hilarious. Moreover, the scene was broadcasted on NBC news. That is unbelievable.
Dump: Yes, many people retweeted that on Twitter. Our performance was on air right after Mr. John McCain’s death was reported in the NBC news. Thereafter, every time Mr. John McCain was in the news, people commented about us on Twitter.
We are thankful to Mr. John McCain.
Yumbo: Although the news was about his death, we are.
Dump: We know it sounds kind of imprudent, though.
――I am impressed about the fact that everything resulted from accidents. You accidently came up with the plop sound, first of all.
Yumbo: That’s right.
Dump: Yes, that’s true, it’s all accidental.
But, what’s fortunate is the fact that people brought us up like you, Roy, and medias in America did. That’s why we are surviving.
Media offers come from around the world after AGT
――Last of all, I want to ask what your ambition is, because after you appeared in AGT, I heard you got offers from Spain and Germany.
Dump: Well, ambition. Now it’s 2018, so we want to be more famous by 2020 when the Tokyo Olympic Games take place, and we want to take part in the opening ceremony. We need your help to achieve it, Roy.
Yumbo: Yes, please. We will read your books and be better at speaking English.
Dump: Roy, help us to take part in the Tokyo Olympics, please.
――Sure, about the English part.
――I’m not sure about the Olympics part.
Dump: Alright, not the Olympics part. So, that is our ambition.
Yumbo: The Olympic Games are getting close, so we want to be more active in performing in the world, then I want to perform in front of an oil king of Arabia.
――That’s a good idea.
Dump: We perform on a stage once a year for a fortune, then play away the rest of the year.
By winning the favor of an oil king, that is what we wanna do.
Yumbo: And I want a camel as a part of the fee.
Dump: Commuting on a camel in Tokyo.
Yumbo: That’s a good idea.
――Well, time flies, it’s about time to say good-bye.
Yumbo: Oh, is it?
――So, lastly, may I ask you for a message to the listeners? Just a little message to those who are afraid to step forward and speak English?
Dump: Well, you may be anxious, but if you try, even with junior-high-school skill, it’s possible to communicate in English. And the joy of getting through it. You wouldn’t know it unless you try. It’s worth trying. Please be courageous and try!
Yumbo: Well, I really don’t understand English, but I traveled to see the “Showtime” by Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. I managed to enjoy it with my poor English skill. You can survive if you are courageous. Good luck.
――So, today we had for guests a comedy duo, “Yumbo Dump”. Thank you very much.
Yumbo&Dump: Thank you very much.
――You have been listening to “Stress Free English Learning” by English Doctor, Roy Nishizawa. See you on November 10th. Bye-bye.
Yumbo: Do I look sexy around the boobs?