Suberanai Hanashi is a show hosted by Hitoshi Matsumoto. In the show a group of comedians sit around a table taking turns telling funny stories. Who goes next is determined by a roll of a dice.
The title of the show basically means “Stories That Don’t Suck”.
Unlike a lot of Japanese television, this is one where a lack of understanding of the language means you’re not going to get anything out of it. Lucky for us GodzillaRadio has created subtitles for us. It’s an hour long and worth checking out and laughing your ass off.
Konto (コント) is a Japanese word derived French that means sketch comedy or a skit; like Saturday Night Live. Hamada and Matsumoto used to do quite a lot of konto, but that faded away over the years. Recently (within the last 3 years) the desire to do konto stuck itself back into Matsumoto and so he developed a series of sketches (six or seven) and packaged them under the title “MHK” or Matsumoto Hitoshi Konto. Below is one of those sketches.
The subtitles may come across as a little dense, but stick with it. The funny, at least for me, comes from Hamada and Matsumoto trying to stick together and not bust out laughing as the dialogue gets more ridiculous. When they get to the gorilla I had the hardest laugh I’ve had in a long time. The in-joke there being that Hamada has been referred to as a gorilla for years, probably going back to his middle school days with Matsumoto, because his face has a certain monkey quality to it.
Courtesy of ShibataBread is this clip from Gaki no Tsukai where Matsumoto Hitoshi and his comedy partner Hamada Masatoshi answer a fan question. These talks (it is my understanding) are completely improvised and are close to the style of comedy with which Downtown started their career. The clip below, I think, is an exceptionally good example of just how great Matsumoto’s improvisation skills are.
Shibatabread has translated an episode of Downtown’s Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende (ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで!!) in which the four other comedians try giving Matsumoto different items to see whether or not he likes them. The manner in which Matsumoto receives these gifts is… different.
I laughed much more than usual at this episode. There is a casualness to their filming with complete acknowledgement that the setups are silly, odd, and sometimes don’t make sense. Knowing everyone’s reactions are more real than scripted make the especially funny moments in this even more especially funny.
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.