Tanaka Naoki (田中直樹)is a Japanese comedian, actor and television presenter who is the leader and the boke of the owarai kombi Cocorico with his partner Endō Shōzō. He has appeared in many television programmes and films. He is known for being a regular member of Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!, which he and Endo have worked on since 1997.
Tanaka is also known for his love of animals, especially sea creatures, and on 24 June 2018, he became the Marine Stewardship Council ambassador for Japan. 
Tanaka was born in Shonai, Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture in April, 26, 1971. His father worked on a car factory assembling seats and his mother worked as a insurance door-to-door seller. Tanaka has also 2 older sisters.
He studied in Toyonaka City Teshima Elementary School, where he met Endo, who became his friend and later his work companion. Both studied at the same schools until the High School and joined at it's respective baseball teams. Tanaka was the catcher. At the High School era, Tanaka studied at Osaka Prefectural Sakurazuka High School was part of the handball team.
Since his childhood, Tanaka always appreciated comedy but he never intended to work on TV due to his shy persona. He entered at Osaka Designers' College, and has graduated in interior design, but he never worked on it.
Rookie comedian days
He was invited by Endo to work with him as a comedy duo, and they named themselves as Cocorico Bombers, but they shortened it to their current name after an advice of Kato Koji (Gokuraku Tonbo), a friend of Endo and Tanaka.
Tanaka's early days as a comedian were very tough. The duo had only one presentation a month, so, Tanaka worked part-time on a restaurant, which served to their employees three meals a day. He lived in a small apartment which has no shower, and Tanaka should to take his baths in a Coin Shower.
When Cocorico started to work at TV, Tanaka left his work at the restaurant. His income was lower than he expected and wasn't enough to pay his expenses. Tanaka only could pay one bread crusts pack for his meal and he has eaten only three pieces on meal. Sometimes he couldn't eat anything for two days.
Due to his poor eating routine, Tanaka started to feel sick and asked a senior comedian called Maeda Noboru (Hurricanes) for help. Noboru paid a meal for Tanaka in a restaurant.
Actor debut and break
Tanaka's situation has started to change at the 2000's when he was invited to be part of the cast of the movie Minna no Ie, directed by Mitani Koki and released in 2001. His acting brought two award in 25th Japan Academy Awards, the most important Japanese Cinema awarding ceremony. Tanaka won the Newcomer of The Year and the Popularity Prize.
That was the forth time which someone won in two categories at the same year in all Japan Academy Awards history. Only four comedians, including Tanaka, made this achievment. And in 45 editions of this ceremony only 13 comedians were awarded.
Tanaka also won The Television Drama Academy Awards in 2001 at New Actor category for his acting in the drama Ashita ga Arusa. And as a comedian, in 2005, he won the first Warai No Saiten!! The Dream Match '05, for his performance with Masakazu Mimura.
His solo activities has begun to increase in mid 2000's. Tanaka started to work more in TV dramas and movies.
this list is incomplete
- Honjitsu wa Taian Nari (NHK, 2012)
- Kinoshita Bucho to Boku (NTV, 2010)
- Reset as Anri (NTV, 2009)
- Loss Time Life Hero Show (Fuji TV, 2008, Story 6)
- Kaikidaisakusen Second File (NHK, 2007)
- Ashita Ga Arusa (NTV, 2001)
- Gakkou no Sensei as Onodera Atsushi (TBS, 2001)
- Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! - main cast
this list is incomplete
- Zebraman 2 (2010)
- Team Batista no Eiko (2008)
- Zenzen Daijobu (2007)
- Argentine Hag as Mukai Mori (2007)
- Forbidden Siren as Yutaka (2006)
- Gyakkyou nine (2005)