To make fun of, correct, or point out the accidental or intentional mistake or gag of others, mostly in a joking manner and rarely seriously. Tsukkomi are much like one-liners, sharp comebacks, and put downs.
In the simplest sense, an example of a tsukkomi is to use a fixed common name, word, or phrase. In the Kansai dialect, there are phrases and names used specifically for tsukkomi. Example set tsukkomi words and phrases are aho, nandeyanen and nani yuttennen. The nuances of oi and nani yuttendayo in the Kanto or Tokyo dialect can also be used as tsukkomi. Because modern manzai developed in and is Kansai culture, there are actually no "original" tsukkomi in the Tokyo dialect.
Tsukkomi and boke are integral parts of Japanese manzai comedy and somewhat a part of Japanese communication (at least for some people, mainly Kansai natives).
The types of tsukkomi are (with examples and set words/phrases):
- negation tsukkomi - tell the boke that he is plain wrong or stupid
- question tsukkomi - silence the boke with a counter question like:
- passive tsukkomi - go with the flow of the boke's conversation and like it was for real. (Best described as a dialogue example)
tsukkomi: Got a light?
boke : Sure. (hands tsukkomi a fork or some other prop)
tsukkomi: Thanks! (pretends to try to light up with the prop, says to the boke.) But your lighter is out of gas. nandeyanen!!! (follow up with a question tsukkomi for good measure)
check tsukkomi - show the boke that you don't want any part of his silly game
- purposely ignore the boke
- change the subject - "Today is wonderful weather isn't it!"
- leave the stage!
Lastly, some tsukkomi can be accompanied with a slap to the head, which leads to even more laughs and fun (but be careful who you do this to).