Funassyi with Rakuten Golden Eagles rookie outfielder Louis Okoye (オコエ瑠偉). Okoye, who was a sensation in high school, was picked no. 2 overall in the 2015 draft by the Eagles, and is the first player to start in on the “first team” (the major league level of the Japan League) straight out of high school in the team’s history.
Photo via the Pear.
An umpire brushes the dirt gently off Funassyi’s face, at Saturday’s Rakuten Golden Eagles game. (Photo source.)
Veteran comedian Sanma Akashiya appears on the talk/variety show Gyouretsu no Dekiru Houritsusoudansho once every few months as a “special host”, and every time he makes a rather spectacular - or simply outrageous and weird, depending on your point of view - entrance. Last night he appeared as Akassyi, a parody of Funassyi. Akassyi came out with a sign sticking out of its mouth saying “Production cost: 700,000 yen” and “That means you all (the other show participants) are getting paid less today”, and then proceeded to roll and jump around, do some situps to make fun of a ab machine one of the guests does TV commercials for, and so on. Akassyi only lasted a couple of minutes before Akashiya revealed himself from inside, totally out of breath and exhausted.
Akassyi did have the “official approval” of Funassyi, as shown in the third photo (it says ふなっしー公認 - Funassyi Konin) and since Funassyi has a long and friendly relationship with the show, it was all in good fun, and recognition of sorts of how ubiquitous and popular Funassyi’s image is. (Also, Akashiya is one of the most respected figures in Japanese entertainment, and he’s never one to be cruel to another entertainer.) In any case, maybe Sanma-san has developed a new appreciation for how tough it is to be in a padded suit…
Here’s a video of the Akassyi sequence (hoping it doesn’t get taken down):
Here’s a video (from Nagano Teruo) of Funassyi’s talk show today at Kobo Stadium. Yesterday he was joined on stage by several chara, including long time gotouchi chara friend Nyajiro, but today it was just Funassyi and Aicchy, chatting about this and that. Among other things Funassyi said that at an izakaya (the Japanese version of a pub, sort of) he was the type to be sitting in a corner playing with his smartphone, a comment that drew some gasps of disbelief. He also relayed a rather scary and surreal story of being on a rollercoaster somewhere in China with his friends “Nashibayashi” and “Hasenashi”, and the safety bar getting loose as the coaster gradually climbed higher and higher. Wacky Pear. One thing I really wish was that it was possible to convey how entertaining Funassyi’s impromptu chatter is.
Funassyi was in fine form yesterday as he entertained the fans at Kobo Stadium in Sendai. Besides throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the home team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, he also held one of his talk shows with MC Aicchy, and also presented a bouquet of flowers to Eagles manager Nashida, who had just had his 650th win as a Japan League manager the day before.
Funassyi, sporting number 274 (fu-na-shi of course), looked great as he threw that first pitch as you can see from the photos above. The ball didn’t quite get to the catcher though - it went somewhere in between home plate and third. Funassyi threw so hard that he landed flat on his face, which got covered with dirt. He was fine though, and everyone got a good laugh, even the umpire and the opposing team’s manager. The Pear is a consummate entertainer at all times.
Here are some fan-uploaded videos of Funassyi’s day, starting with his talk show (uploaded by the always reliable Nagano Teruo).
And here’s the flower presentation of Manager Nashida (the following videos are uploaded by hafun):
…and two versions of the opening pitch. The first video is from the Rakuten Eagles’ broadcast. It’s great how the announcer and commentator’s remarks are totally straight-faced - they praise Funassyi for his spirit and his energy, even if the ball did go a bit awry. They especially liked the pause he made before he threw. (Later on, news reports called it the “pear knuckle (ball)” or the “sinking pear”. ^_^) The second video is from the Nippon Ham Fighters’ broadcast.
Funassyi will be holding another mini-talk show today.
I was hoping to write up a recap of today’s Funassyi first pitch for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, but I’m not going to be able to until tomorrow - so in the meantime, if you were looking forward to buying any of the very cute Funassyi x Eagles merchandise that was made for the occasion, it has just gone on sale on - where else - Rakuten. There’s quite a lot of of stuff available, so enjoy. (The image above is a screenshot from the game.)
Update: Most of the items sold out within minutes…but there are still a few left. Funanomics!
Rakuten Golden Eagles outfielder Masayoshi Fukuda gets ready for the game today with a special glove. (Photo source)
Funassyi and So Takei’s Sashimeshi talk show was really terrific (details here). They have a great, easy rapport, and they’re both good at ad-libbing, so it was truly fun to watch them together. The archived video can be watched in full from this link. Since they received a record 2.2 million plus “hearts” (likes) during the livecast, they have promised to come back for an extra edition of Sashimeshi at a later date.
I would love to see them doing more talk type shows like this together - and it would be really great if Funassyi can get his own live radio show or something along those lines. He mentioned during the show that he felt he was not that suited for TV chat/variety shows, since participants are expected to reply with canned (or as he phrased it, “good student”) answers that fit the script. He said that he much preferred the spontaneity of this type of format. I think he does fine on pre-scripted type TV talk shows too, but his true charm does shine through more when he’s given way ore freedom for sure.
Besides chatting, Takei and Funassyi also did a jumping contest, sumo wrestled each other, had a fast-talking contest and arm wrestled. During the latter contest, Takei felt 10 fingers on his hand…. but Funassyi and the audience agreed with each other that the Pear was the winner regardless.
Again, I believe it’s great fun to watch even if you don’t understand everything that’s going on language wise.
LINE LIVE Sashimeshi show (#83) archive link
The Pear sits on a giant tub of Ben & Jerry’s, contemplating a pear-ice cream collaboration…* From the sweet magazine fashion event on Saturday, April 2nd. (Photo source)
*unconfirmed (but hopeful) speculation only
Funassyi preens in front of a mirror. (Photo source)
Funassyi made a brief appearance onstage with AKB48′s Haruna Kojima, aka Kojiharu, and MC Shingo Fujimori of the comedy duo Oriental Radio, at the sweet magazine fashion event on Saturday, April 2nd. (It seems his mike wasn’t working properly or something, although you can hear him fine in this video.) It’s revealed that Funassyi and Kojiharu have known each other since 2013 and have worked together several times, and Funassyi also mentioned how he’s worked fashion events, including New York Fashion Week, many times. (He didn’t mention his big cover and spread in AneCan, since they are a rival publication of sweet, albeit with a different audience.) Then Funassyi has to rush off, with Fujimori making the usual tired remark about how Funassyi is raking it in. Funassyi’s yellow and blue suit and Kojiharu’s pink dress next to each other looked very spring-like.
Funassyi with Peko-chan, the longtime mascot of Fujiya, a confectionery and restaurant company. From the sweet magazine fashion event in Harajuku, Tokyo on Saturday. (Photo source)
The weather was sunny and warm for a change today in the greater Tokyo area, so I took Guressyi for an ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) excursion. The Pink One’s color matched well with the flowers. The cherry blossoms are at their height in this area now, although rain is predicted for tomorrow.