December 30, 2007 4:21 PM   Subscribe

What's the deal with this Japanese Talk show?

It seems to have the drawing power to get quite a few western stars. So what is this? Are they mocking the western stars? It has the feel of a prank, but the stars must have agents who would tell them if it was malicious. So what's going on?
posted by aburd to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The title in the upper right says:

Hollywood Star Collaboration Project: MATT DAMON and Genius Whistling Student

It'd be my suspicion that this is probably just a format to get western stars moving through Japan on promo tours some exposure in the Japanese media, put together as a package by Dentsu no doubt.

Having Damon on gets people more likely to watch this drek, he gets to push his image and whatever he's promoting this go around, and everyone wins.

1:43 indicates that this is #4 in the series.
posted by panamax at 5:23 PM on December 30, 2007

Best answer: Gakko e Ikko (Let's Go to School) is a Japanese TV variety show aimed at Japanese youth featuring actual Japanese students. They're not mocking the western stars but seem to be overwhelmed by genuine emotion to the fact that an actual hollywood star has come to see them perform a routine that they've been practicing hard for some time. Matt Damon meets two of the world's best whistlers (Teenage and Children 1st place winners of the 34th International Whistlers Convention held annually in North Carolina) that perform two routines and present him with some gifts. Daniel Radcliffe goes to an actual Japanese school to meet Harry Potter fans and gets to sample a cake from a cooking (or home economics) class, and watch them perform magic tricks. Johnny Depp enjoys four children perform a dance and electone routine that they've practiced for four weeks. This is Johnny Depp's second appearance on the show. Matt Damon has also seen the show featuring Daniel Radcliffe.
posted by plokent at 5:27 PM on December 30, 2007

Matt Damon is on the show to help promote his movie Bourne Ultimatum which was released in November in Japan. You can see the black & white Bourne Ultimatum movie poster behind his chair. It's the International Style movie poster.

Same deal for Daniel Radcliffe and Johnny Depp - promoting their recent movie releases in Japan by appearing on the show.

It's not a prank - it's just a different style of humor than you might be used to. Think of it as a variety show. In fact, I think it's very reminiscent of Johnny Carson-era stuff - bring out a guest, then bring out some monkeys or a tiger led by a zoo employee, and watch the monkeys crawl all over the guest or watch the guest get freaked out by a live tiger. The basic formula is to put the guest in an odd situation and wait for something to happen. If nothing else, the viewers are entertained by the monkeys (whistling champions, crazed Harry Potter fans, Pirates song & dance performed by kids).

I'm sure the stars' agents were informed that there would be some performance/entertainment involved without going into any detail.
posted by junesix at 7:09 PM on December 30, 2007

Where can those glasses be had from?
posted by tdischino at 9:11 PM on December 30, 2007

@tdischino: They're called Talegane (talent glasses) and are supposed to be very popular in Japan. Archie Mcphee sells them as Bizarro Glasses.
posted by plokent at 7:06 AM on December 31, 2007

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