I’ve talked a little about Itao Itsuji before. Even among Japanese comedians he’s considered a bit of an odd, but well loved and respected, duck. In 2009 Itao’s daughter passed away at a very young age. He had appeared in every one of the Gaki no Tsukai no laughing batsu games, but of course who would expect him to do so again when they filmed their annual batsu game about a couple months after such a tragic event? It was with a big surprise to everyone, both those on the show and watching at home, that he should ride in on horseback during their 2009 Hotel Man batsu game.
That look on their faces is genuine surprise and happiness to see their friend. Itao says nothing, he just walks into the road, turns around, and gallops away. It’s a classic Itao moment and a very special one as well.
What I think draws me most to Gaki no Tsukai is how their genuine friendship and closeness comes out (in the most horrible of ways) when they film their show. This particular moment was something even more special.
This week Itao became a father again and that is fucking awesome news. So to celebrate here’s a pure Itao video taking a very traditional Japanese presentation method and turning it on its head while also displaying the odd-duck nature of Itao’s comedy style.
I think the woolly mammoths are an especially inspired touch.
What kind of dicks would abandon their blog?
Let’s begin with some Gaki no Tsukai fun. The video below is part of a series where the Gaki members decide one of them or their staff is acting oddly and so they decide to follow them after a taping to see why their target has been acting so strange lately. In this installment they’re on to Tanaka Naoki.
However to fully enjoy this clip there’s a certain person you need to know about.
Continued on the inside…
In this episode of Gaki no Tsukai (ガキの使い) the guys get drunk and then perform a play based on the Japanese folklore hero Momotarō (桃太郎). The story is simple enough: a childless couple find a baby inside a giant peach. They raise him as their own. Years later he leaves to go fight demons and finds a few friends along the way. His name comes from momo (桃) meaning “peach” and taro (太郎) meaning “oldest son”.
After watching this I’m inspired to get a few friends and try this myself. But I don’t think any of the local schools would let us perform drunk; those philistines.
Translation by Shibatabread.
The Three Stooges are legends of comedy. They were and will forever be hi-fucking-larious. I loved them when I was three, I still love them in my thirties. The same can be said for my father, my grandfathers, and just about every person with a dick that I’ve ever met (note: ownership of a dick is assumed, rarely have I personally confirmed these assumptions) has had a fondness and an innate understanding of the funny the Stooges provide. In contrast just about every person with a vagina that I’ve ever met (usually assumed, sometimes confirmed) has an incredibly strong dislike for the Stooges. Attempts to understand why through calm, level-headed discourse has often led to dismemberment of one or more parties of said discourse. I don’t get it. Apparently the funny bone that comes standard on the female models lacks the optional Stooge functionality that is standard on all male models.
The Stooges are one of the most polarizing subjects between the sexes. I believe I have found the current-day equivalent. And so I will inaugurate myself to Team Dick by introducing to those of you with dicks (I do not need to confirm ownership of a dick, I will gladly take your word for it) a modern-day comedic conundrum that will polarize the sexes as much as it will make you laugh so hard your dick will hurt (but it’s a good hurt).
“Batsu” (罰) is a Japanese word that means punishment. A “Batsu game” (罰ゲーム) is a game in which the loser or losers of the game suffer some form of punishment. Batsu game television shows are quite popular in Japanese television and, thanks to the power of YouTube, the rest of the world can now enjoy them as well. Below is a clip from a particularly epic batsu game.
In the above video, gentlemen are asked to name off things from a specific category. If they fail to name a thing off when it is their turn they get viciously slapped in the balls by a “chinko” (ちんこ) machine. Chinko is, of course, Japanese for penis. And it (the video) is fucking funny. So is the word “chinko”. And so is “chinopokomon“, a Pokémon spoof in South Park that translates to “penis monster”. Look for our Japanese blog partners, Team Chinko, in the coming months.
However the aim of my inaugural blog on Team Dick is not to simply introduce you to batsu games, it is to introduce you to, the legends, the Stooges, of Japan.