Hitoshi Matsumoto’s 遺書 (“Will”) – Chapter 13

<b>I’m a little bit hurt too when I make people laugh with this pubic lice story</b>

Oh shit! Holy shit! Recently, people around me have been telling me this thing, but now I’m slightly sensing the same thing myself… That’s right: my face is becoming “more gentle”! Come to think about it, this year I’ll turn 30. I’m clearly an old dude by now (I guess I’m outside the age where I can watch AV, am I~?).
All the other colleagues my age have already wives and kids. I guess that’s the obvious thing to do, being an human being. But even though it may be obvious for the rest of the world, to me it’s just a big problem. My ideal is to become an even more harsh, even more sharp venom-spitting comedian!
Last week I wrote how more people will come and try to meddle with you when you start to sell more and more, but I can’t deny how less poisonous you become with it too (I wonder if I set foot in that area myself?).
Once you start to sell, the first thing to wear off is your hunger. When I was a newcomer I didn’t have any money nor jobs, my agency (Yoshimoto) and my viewers treated me like a worm, and each time I got back home my parents and siblings looked at me the same way you look at pubic hairs, but I kept on doing it so one day I could tell everyone “look at what I am now”, and now that I’ve reached that goal in my life I find myself being grateful to all of this shit I’ve been through instead.
Even those who were cold to me before started to act differently once I started selling, and made a real fuss about it. All I could do myself was to become used to say “well, whatever” (maybe I’ve been too soft on them). And now that I think about it, the expression of my eyes has become gentler.
It’s becoming more difficult for me to speak ill of others on TV (expecially comedians). When I wasn’t that popular, I opened my mouth for everything, even for just being ignored.
Even if I’d speak ill of people I don’t know, the next time I have the chance to meet them again and talk to them, we end up exchanging few words in a peaceful and laughable way, and I can’t speak ill of them anymore. Even if I hated them before meeting them, it happens frequently that after getting to meet them I realize they’re not bad people at all, and the fact the opposite thing rarely happens anymore is making me worried.
The same applies to this weekly publishing. Everytime I meet several other comedians and they tell me “I’ve been reading your articles every week” my will to show em my bad attitude shrinks smaller and smaller.
There was this newcomer who once said on tv “Downtown are cowards because they try to make people laugh by speaking ill of others”, but that’s completely wrong. I want you all to understand the simple fact that speaking ill of someone to make people laugh requires technique & guts.
I’m not saying that’s all there is in comedy, but there are lots of gags which result in someone feeling hurt (including myself).
For example, if we make a joke about someone being bald during a skit, even if people would laugh at it, bald people would totally feel hurt by it. The same way, I felt a bit hurt too with all that pubic lice story.
For example, when you have to get back at someone with a tsukkomi line and you say like “who are you, Takagi Boo?!”, you don’t use honorifics. In cases like this, by adding “-san” or other honorifics you make the joke unfunny. But that may end up pissing off the person you’re talking about. In the end it doesn’t matter which path you choose to take, you’ll always be sorrounded by enemies. And if that’s the case, then so be it: let’s get sorrounded by enemies as much as we can!
I’ll spit my inner stingy venom to each one of you, you heard me! I’ll now let my pen down, hoping that starting from next year I’ll get the look in the eyes I had during my debut years back.

– Takagi Boo is a japanese comedian / musician (ukulele player). The context for this tsukkomi example Matsumoto gives could be either based off some quote or habit he often shows, or even his looks. At any rate, he’s older than Matsumoto, and adressing an older colleague without honorifics is considered really rude in Japan.


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