Friday, April 21, 2006

Hard Gay Pirate

Japanese TV is full of half-baked celebrities. They're called "talents", which is ironic, since invariably they have none, and they're celebrities only in the very loosest sense of the word - in the same way that Tony Blair's cat is a "celebrity". These z-list celebrities tend to have a very short TV life span indeed, but they seem to make up for it by appearing on every single TV show in Japan several times a day, in order to milk their fifteen minutes of fame.
Comedians naturally tend to be the most annoying "celebrities" in the "talent" pool, since the ones that make it onto the chat circuit are invariably one-trick ponies: funny for five minutes, but intensely irritating once that five minutes is up. They all have some sort of gimmick, like "Macha Macha" who throws down the microphone, wrestler-style, after telling each joke (which must be an absolute nightmare for the sound technicians), or the "Guitar Samurai", who sings satirical songs which always end in him screaming the last line with his palm raised.
I was always intrigued by the Guitar Samurai - I could never understand what he was singing about, but it seemed pretty dramatic, whatever it was. Then one day I saw him appear on the English language learning programme "Eigo de Shabera Naito", where they helped him translate one of his songs into English. It was rubbish. I can't remember the exact words now, but it went something like: "President George Bush / He's the President of the United States / But he's a cowboy" (that last line shouted). Cutting satire indeed.
Anyway, the point is, he's not on TV now - he had his fifteen minutes of fame, and now he's been consigned to the talent-bin just outside the gates of NHK, along with all the other gimmicky comedians. Which is what I hope will soon happen to Razor Ramon "Hard Gay".
I could go on for hours about what irritates me about this chap, but I'd rather you read the excellent account on Maethelwine's Wide Island blog - he pretty much sums up what I feel about the "Hard Gay" character. Obviously, because he's so annoying, the kids love him, and children up and down Japan are gleefully shouting his catchphrase in the playgrounds: "Whoooo!!!!", followed by some rigorous pelvic-thrusting. Delightful.
So, of course, since he's so popular with children, why not make a version of "Pop-Up Pirate" ("Kuro Hige Kiki Ippatsu" in Japan) using "Hard Gay" instead of a pirate? It's the only logical conclusion.
Poking latex-clad gay men with swords has never been so much fun.


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