Hitoshi Matsumoto’s 遺書 (“Will”) – Chapter 10

“The man who sold his soul to comedy doesn’t even move in front of pubic lice”

The other day I heard that a certain women’s weekly magazine has published a sort of scandal-like article about me (it’s not like I want to keep the magazine’s title a secret, but I don’t even want to contribute in its sales, so in the end I’m censoring it).
It’s not like there was clearly written “Matsumoto from Downtown”, but there was a “Young super popular comedian from Kansai” along with details about the color of the car he was riding and other detailed informations even a not so big fan of me would have guessed it was clearly talking about me (after all, from the very “super popular comedian from Kansai” bit, to be honest, there’s no one else beside me and Hamada. Hahaha).
The banner headline was like “that idiot infected me with pubic lice!”, and seemed to be a story written by a woman who claimed to have slept with me. I want to make things clear about all of this. I really want that chick from Josei-7 (oops, I wrote it!) to read this carefully.
I’m pissed off! I’m not angry because everything inside that article was a complete lie, I’m angry because you didn’t clearly write down “Matsumoto from Downtown”! Why didn’t you write my name? Is it because you don’t actually have any proof for all of this?
Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure I wouldn’t be angry if you would have wrote my name down. After all, to me is like “yeah, whatever”. I got pubic lice twice before in the past, and I also got a urethritis once. But I don’t think such things are to be ashamed of or anything like that. I actually even said it on tv before stuff like “I got lice from some girl” or “I have some pus comin’ out of my dick”, I said this myself. That’s because I’m a super comedian who can turn these kind of accidents into something to laugh about. I’m not an idol. I’m just crazy mad at the fact that this lady of Josei-7 covered up my name and thought I’m some sort of intolerant comedian which gets angry or embarrassed over a lice story, that’s what pisses me off.
I don’t have any sort of taboo, basically. Things such as “if you do that, nothing good can happen” or “you shouldn’t say that, it’s not a laughing matter” don’t apply to me. How about you start writing bigger and bigger lies, but this time with my real name on it? Even if you feel so boastful over this petty lice matter you wrote about, I don’t feel like denying it at all, and I don’t have any sort of reaction for it I could possibly give you.
Even if this could turn out to be a huge scandal to run away from for your average tv star, it has no effect on me at all. I don’t care about my public image, nor my hairstyle or fashion, and not even my private life, even if someone would write something bad about it, I don’t see how it can be related to the concept of “Matsumoto as a comedian”.
To me, a man who only lives to make people laugh, pubic lice are nothing more than a gift from the heavens!
If I need to, I can even get naked when getting on stage, I can even poop all over it (now that I think about it, I actually pooped on the floor to make my friends laugh during an old school trip~). If an extreme story can turn out to be something to laugh about, I could even attempt some resurrecting techniques on an old man’s corpse who just died in front of me (well, I don’t think anyone would ever laugh at this).
Anyway, anyway, you got all of this, ladies from Josei-7? If you underestimate me, you’ll get in trouble. I’m Matsumoto from Downtown, the man who sold his soul to comedy!!

– Josei 7 is a magazine for young women published by Shogakukan. Official website.

Bananaman Himura’s Shichi-Henge

・Streaming / Download on MEGA: Bananaman Himura’s Shichi-Henge
・Streaming on VK: Bananaman Himura’s Shichi-Henge

Hey guys, it’s been a while since my last subbed video!
As you may remember, I’m currently in Japan (and man I wish I could stay longer), and as I stated several times but mostly on this post, I don’t have much time to typeset anymore. But as you can read on this page (which too, I mentioned countless times), I’m accepting typesetted episodes to work on, that way I can focus on translation and I can still manage to find some time for it, without feeling stressed or worried about the whole typesetting process which, to be honest, I don’t like at all.
So, before we get to this episode’s description, I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to GakiDave for typesetting the whole episode. I just added few lines / notes and translated it, but the biggest part of the episode’s structure was done by him, and I’m so grateful for his help.
Alright, moving on, today’s episode is another Shichi-Henge, a series I’ve worked on several times (just search “shichi-henge” on the search bar of this website’s right column or… here). And it’s an episode featuring one of the comedians I like the most, Himura Yuuki from Bananaman!
I really enjoyed this episode and it’s easily one of the best Shichi-Henge to me, his skits are so simple and yet so effective it’s unbelievable.
Without further ado, I’ll leave few notes down here, but if you scroll down some more you can read other infos about future uploads / news! Thank you for reading up until now.


– The only song Himura plays on various instruments is Get Wild by TM NETWORK, and the song starts with the sentence “アスファルトタイヤを切りつけながら” (“as we slash asphalt tires”). “asphalt” (asufaruto in japanese) is the first word of this song, and that’s also what Himura repeats each time he completes the melody.
– At one point they talk about the Yama-no-Ishimatsu episode (aka. Samurai Yamazaki cutting 100 people), which is #842. It’s a classic and it has also been subbed before (I couldn’t find it back online though).
– The song is Just One More Kiss by BUCK-TICK. Thanks to GakiDave for the info!

I wanted to thank again GakiDave for his typeset, and also every other person who reached me out. I’ll try my best to find some time to reply to each of you. Some other users are currently typesetting other episodes for me to translate them, and I already have another user-submitted typesetted episode I’m working on which hopefully will be online before the first half of October! Isn’t it amazing? I developed the good habit of waking up early, and in the morning I have a couple of hours I can spend on subbing Gaki / translating Isho, so it shouldn’t be a problem for me to publish more, as long as I have typesetted episode to work on.
Please like my Facebook page so you can always stay updated on my upcoming releases. We’ll catch up soon with new Isho and new subbed content.
Thanks for watching!


episode #994, aired 2010/02/28

Hitoshi Matsumoto’s 遺書 (“Will”) – Chapter 9

Chapter 9 – “I’ll gladly accept both criticisms and insults, so come at me fair and square”

Is it really going to be any sort of merit to me for having to write all these column on Shukan Asahi? When I first heard of this job I had several doubts, to be honest. I mean, it would have not been that surprising if we were talking about “Weekly Playboy” or “Hot Dog Press”, but we’re talking about “Shukan Asahi” here, whose readers are mainly old geezers, and uh… not to mention, it takes me up to 3-4 hours in order to write one of these and I’m also drawing these illustrations by myself, so to be frank it’s not like a fairy tale in which I’m making 50’000 yen with a fingersnap.
I get to write whatever I want and as much as I like in here to the point I think that if I’m going to get any complain about it, I think I’ll get into a fight and we can all just call this a day.
I thought “no way I’m goin’ to let it slide if you complain at what I wrote for 50’000 yen!”
By the way, I’ve recently read the fan letters & comments which arrived at Shunkan Asahi (ooh~, so that’s what it’s all about) and I changed my mind just a bit.
All those letters were somewhat different from all the fanletters I’ve received until now, the age range was also a little high and there was no content made by posers or such, they were just pure and simple opinions and that sort of moved me, you sonovaguns! (this newspaper’s column’s renumeration was not only 5000 yen, by the way). That’s right, that’s right. The fanletters I usually receive have such weak contents, they’re weak, weak poopy-head-letters, you know.
Like, letters where they state “I like you” in written form (I already know you like me by the time I received your goddamn letter!), or about a funny story they heard from a friend they met some days ago (do you really think the great me would laugh by reading that?!), or stories about the dreams they had last night (what am I, a fortune-teller?!), or “please send me your autograph” (is my autograph a pamphlet~?) or “aren’t you going to get married?” (not with you, at least!!) and so on… They just can’t go on like this!! Not to mention the most problematic ones, those who are like “I’ll give myself to you”, in other words those sleep-with-me-letters.
I don’t really know anything more frightening than making a phone call to a person I’ve never seen before. At least attach a picture to your letter (what the heck?!).
Well, anyway, I’d really like if you guys would write me more thoughts about my tv shows instead.
All the letters I’ve got delivered here in Shunkan Asahi were all letters filled with favorable opinions, but there was not much content to them. I’d like to receive more letters filled with objections or such. I’d be glad to accept letters of objections which makes sense, even if filled with insults; I’m not that stupid to be offended by those. But please, write down your phone number on them, ‘cause I’d love to reply to you fair and square with my own dose of abusive language. If I’d get mad over it, I promise I’d friggin’ call your ass, you punk! (with that being said, now you don’t have to force yourself to insult me just ‘cause you want me to call you.)
And so, with that our 9th chapter published in this column has come to a weird end, now I finally understood what the merit of having your fanbase spreading out means, and I even started to think it was good to publish all of this on Shunkan Asahi, and I even realized 5000 yen aren’t inexpensive at all (I’m not saying that I’m denying the possibility of having my manuscript fee raised in price, you know…).
From now on I’ll keep on soarin’ the skies of writing, and I’m gonna catch you all without crashin’ to the ground, baby want you (*in english on the book).

– Shukan Asahi is a the weekly newspaper in which Matsumoto wrote all the chapters which, in the end, became the book Isho itself.

Hitoshi Matsumoto’s 遺書 (“Will”) – Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – “My comedy is so advanced I could just rest for 3 years, don’t you think?”

Just imagine if you read a title on a sports magazine which says “Downtown’s Matsumoto will take a break for three years!” — I think it would raise quite the fuss, don’t you think so?
To be fair, it’s not an unreasonable thing to me. I won’t really call it my dream, maybe it’s more correct to call it a hope, or maybe it is more correct to just call it… despair.
That’s right, I’m desperate over this mess we all call “World”.
This World (and I mean the world of comedy) should always take the lead one step ahead of our regular World (you have to go one step further ahead from those who think you’re funny).
By the way, in case you’re wondering, by now I’m leading the way like 3 steps ahead. That’s why the thought “maybe I should just stay still for 3 years” ended up crossing my mind.
If I think about it, this issue has been inside me since the very day of my debut. The fact that the folks from that generation couldn’t elaborate my comedy as I wished was really irritating to me.
Still, I don’t think that even if I’d stay still for 3 years a newcomer will surpass me during this timespan; just think about it, there’s no such thing as a good balance of levels inside this world.
For example, let’s take Downtown’s Quiz Skit as a model. The first time we ever did this was about 5 or 6 years ago. But before that, it was already inside my mind since three years.
At that time, even my partner Hamada initially dismissed it by saying “it’s hard to get its meaning”, but three years later we finally performed it (hmm, that’s irritating).
I can say the exact same thing about the regular shows we’re currently working on. For example, on NTV’s show “Gaki No Tsukai Ya Arahende!!”, we always have this weekly free talk session, but sometimes me and Hamada are bursting in laughter while the audience is looking puzzled at us (‘cause they can’t catch up with us).
Even on Fuji TV’s “Gottsu Ee Kanji” we’re filming pretty high-leveled short skits (we also have very low ones though), but sometimes the response is not as satisfying as I wish it would be.
Now that I think about it, on a recent TBS tv special there was this man who ate as many bananas as possible in one minute, and I jokingly said “If I step on this man, I bet I’d slip and fall”, but the audience didn’t show any response whatsoever. The fact they didn’t laugh to this gag is not related to its delivery, may it be too fast or too slow, it’s more of a personality-related issue, and I think that’s pretty common to newcomers and amateurs.
It’s the same as when I went to this family restaurant and I could hear everyone raising their voice and laughing just behind my seat, but when I listened closely I heard “I like this Nikujaga way more than Mick Jagger!”.
I didn’t know it was a joke, so I just thought “oh man, this guy must really love Nikujaga”. Yeah, I have no doubt about it: there’s such a thick wall between me and the rest of this world.
But anyway, no matter how much I keep on writing stuff like this, those who don’t get it will always be like “what the hell is he talkin’ about?” and that’s it.
If you’d build a time machine and go back in time to 3 years ago and you’d say “in three years, soccer is going to be really popular”, who do you think would believe in you? I guess what I’m saying is similar to this.
I can really understand how Galileo felt when he said “and yet, the Earth is moving” and got treated like an oddball for his statement.
I understand you, you sunovagun!!

– Here’s Downtown’s Quiz Skit (unsubbed).
– “Mick Jagger” (Rolling Stone’s frontman) sounds like “Nikujaga” (a japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce) when pronounced in katakana (“mikku-jagaa”). That’s a classic dad joke (oyajigyagu) in japanese.

Hitoshi Matsumoto’s 遺書 (“Will”) – Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – “A comedian can choose his audience. That’s why I left “Waratte Iitomo!” in the end”

If you ask me whether I’m high tempered or short tempered, I can definitely state I’m not the latter. And because of that – or maybe because there are way too many idiots in this world – I always find myself raising my voice and getting into arguments with people in town (and if I’m not against tv stars, sometimes I make them raise their hands in defeat).
Recently I took a taxi and I got so angry over its driver’s bad attitude we actually got into a quarrel.
We both spat our opinions onto each other and by the time we were getting closer to the finale, that driver muttered few words out “I used to be a fan of yours, it’s such a shame”.
There are actually tons of guys who aim for a situation-turnaround by playing victims and messing around with a star’s feelings by saying stuff like “I’m your fan” or “I always see you on tv”.
A normal tv star would probably falter before this, but I’m not that naive. There’s no way those guys are my fans, and even if it were true and they actually are my fans, than let me just state this here and now: I refuse to acknowledge them. By the time I got out from the cab, I spat him one last sharp parting remark: “don’t you dare watch my shows ever again!!” – That’s what I told him.
Moving on, today’s topic is “even tv stars choose their clients (fans)”.
During my debut years, they told me to perform a manzai skit at Kagetsu (Yoshimoto’s live comedy stage) before a party of tourists composed only by granpas and granmas.
Of course I did my best for the first two or three minutes. But as soon as I realized how low was the level of my audience, I started speaking so softly not even the guys on the first row could hear me and I got out of the stage after only 3 minutes instead of the scheduled 15 minutes (by the way, my personal record is going away after 30 seconds).
Then the theater’s manager came to me and scolded me shouting “Don’t choose your audience. If you’re a pro, you have to do your best in front of everyone, no matter who they are”.
But I think that I can choose my own audience exactly because I’m a pro. Lowering the level of our gags so they’ll be more appropriate for an audience with unrefined comedy tastes would just hurt Downtown’s reputation.
Not only that, performing a manzai for 15 minutes in front of an audience which won’t laugh even if drugged hurts even more. If you came here not to laugh, then just go home, you stupid cuckoos (the comedians after us were still waiting for their turn and weren’t ready, so of course I apologized to them). The most frightening thing that could happen to a tv star is being harassed by a stupid audience member – aka a stupid fan.
Needless to say, it’s always better to have a lot of fans instead of just few of them. But it’s also true that one must never be manipulated by them. There’s no need to strive in order to make a dumb audience member laugh, by the time you start thinking “If I do this, the number of my fans will probably increase, if I do that, it will probably decrease”, you’re already done for (this expecially applies to comedians).
I couldn’t tell anyone before, but that’s the biggest reason for why I chose to drop out from Waratte Iitomo!, the audience members from that show are so loud and noisy they probably think they’re the actual performers here and even if I try to smack them out with my prodigious boke (funny man) skills, they always shout weird and wrongly timed words of encouragement which ruin everything.
I’m not the type of guy who can just smile at them and wave my hands in a lovable manner. No matter how many people will get inside my precious place of work with mud all over their feet, I won’t forgive any of them.
And that’s everything from today.

– “Kagetsu” refers to Umeda Kagetsu, a manzai-related theater in Osaka. I already made several notes about it on previous posts, such as Hitoshi Matsumoto’s 55th Birthday Special and Komoto Jun’ichi’s Shichi-Henge.
– Wikipedia entry for Waratte Iitomo!.