Decked out in black stretch pants, sneakers and not much else, Egashira 2:50 is one of Japan’s most loathed comedians. “Creepy” and “annoying” are the words that usually describe him, but last month, the word that summed up Egashira the best is “heroic”.
Egashira’s schtick doesn’t rely on witty puns or dry quips. Rather, the low-brow funny man gets his laughs by sticking his hand down his pants, standing on his head and chasing people around.
This is a guy whose antics are extreme – even by Japanese television’s standards. He’s not only blown flour as well as water out of his arse on television, but also has also stripped off his elastic pants on several programs, leading to Egashira getting a blanket ban from one network’s variety programs. He was also arrested for in Turkey for flashing 3,000 fans at a wrestling match.
His private life seems equally mad-cap. Egashira was even once rushed to the hospital after downing five viagra tablets with brandy at a hostess bar.
On TV, Egashira is either pissing people off or flashing his gentils or annoying the crap out of everyone. No wonder he is often voted the most disliked comedian in polls. Yet, he does have his fans. His extreme humor is championed by the likes of Takashi Okamura, one of Japan’s most popular and talented comedians. Egashira often appears on Okamura’s programs, either to scream at people, get injured or chase around young idols.
Amazingly enough, even in ad-conscious Japan, where product pitch people are supposed to be squeaky clean, Egashira 2:50 does sometimes pop up in commercials, hawking products. He’s even promoting Patapon 3. There’s a web version of the game called “Egapon”. Pressing the different buttons causes Egashira to do things like grab his nipples or stick out his butt. His in-your-face rude and crude act gives him pretty much carte blanche, which is why companies like Sony don’t shy away from roping him in for game promotion.
Conversely, when Egashira, who is reportedly a polite person off camera, does something that isn’t irritating and annoying as fuck, people are shocked. In March, Egashira 2:50 drove a two ton truck he borrowed from an acquaintance up to Fukushima after seeing what was happening at Iwata City with the Fukushima nuclear plants. He said he heard a voice, telling him that he needed to take food and water and supplies to the residents up in Fukushima. Egashira apparently did this on his own volition, even wearing sunglasses and a hat so not to be recognised. Egashira, however, was spotted and stories of his good deeds started appearing on Twitter and in the press.
“The problem was money,” Egashira recently revealed on a Nico Nico web broadcast. “If you have a two ton truck, you want to carry supplies, right?” Egashira dipped into the money he was borrowing from a loan shark to visit prostitutes to spend on water, baby diapers, paper towels and maxi-pads for those displaced in Iwate City. “Other celebrities have a lot of money saved up. I don’t have money,” Egashira 2:50 says, “but I can pay with physical labour.” Egashira was able to successfully deliver the supplies to Iwate City, but he was spotted by a registered nurse, even though he was in cognito and wasn’t, you know, flashing his ding-dong, trying to hump stuff. For once.
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