Aiko Tanaka Is Taking Her Hilarious Stand-Up to the ‘AGT’ Live Shows
Stand-up comedian Aiko Tanaka made the judges laugh in her audition for America’s Got Talent Season 17. Now she’s headed to the live shows for a chance to earn America’s vote and maybe even the million-dollar prize.
Aiko Tanaka Is Originally From Japan
According to her AGT bio, Aiko was born in Tokyo and raised by a single mother. She moved to the United States to pursue comedy, and she shared in her audition that she recently became a citizen. In college, Aiko studied theater and dance, and she appeared as a dancer on Soul Train in 1999.
Aiko has also appeared in several movies and television shows over the years, including an episode of My Wife and Kids and the movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. She’s performed stand-up comedy in a variety of venues, including naval bases and prisons.
In her audition, Aiko shared that she’s struggled with insecurity about performing, as people have told her that she can’t do comedy since English isn’t her first language. She shared that her mom was “one person who really believed in me.” Sadly, Aiko’s mother passed away last year.
In addition to stand-up, Aiko also co-hosts a podcast called Japan Big Time! with fellow comedian and former AGT Season 8 runner-up Taylor Williamson. The pair talks about Japanese culture on the show, which premiered earlier this year.
The AGT Judges Loved Aiko’s Audition
Aiko had the AGT judges laughing before she even started her set, as she told them she works as a translator during the day, joking, “I love my job, because when I screw up, I’m the only person who knows about it.”
She went on to joke about her name meaning “illegitimate child in a rice field.” Aiko also talked about having more road rage since she became an American citizen, telling people who cut her off, “This is my land.”
Aiko earned a standing ovation from all four judges. Howie Mandel told her that her “career is about to skyrocket.” Aiko received four “yes” votes to move on in the competition, and she was chosen to perform in the Qualifiers. You can catch her next performance Tuesday night on NBC.