I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Snakeman Show -- Sakisaka to Momonai no Gokigen Ikaga 1-2-3 (咲坂と桃内のごきげんいかがワン・ツゥ・スリー)

The fellow in the video above is Katsuya Kobayashi(小林克也). Wearing a number of hats as a radio DJ, a tarento, an actor and a narrator, he's got a voice that is ready-made for that first job. Plus probably most people of a certain age (notably me) knew him as the host of the late-night music program "Best Hit USA" which started in the early 80s as a showcase for all of the top songs coming from Stateside at that time. And last but not least, with his prowess with the English language, Kobayashi was also helping out with language training. I actually got to see the man in person years ago at a Xmas party hosted by one of my wealthier students; he was making a good raid at the buffet table...not that I blamed him since there was always some of the best food I've ever tasted in Japan served in that house.

Of course, all you anime fans will know Desslar, the first Big Bad (later ally) of the intrepid crew of the Yamato from "Uchuu Senkan Yamato"(宇宙戦艦ヤマト). His basso profundo was supplied by actor and seiyuu Masato Ibu(伊武雅刀). I never got to see him in person although he had a minor role in that Steven Spielberg movie "Empire of the Sun" starring a very young Christian Bale.

Well in the mid-1970s, Kobayashi and Ibu got together with a fellow named Moichi Kuwahara(桑原茂一)who also wears a number of hats: music producer, sketch writer, and a general writer for TV and radio to form Snakeman Show(スネークマンショー), a unit that has hosted radio shows, wrote comedy sketches and created some of those zany Japanese commercials.

My introduction to Snakeman Show was through Yellow Magic Orchestra since I often read both names together in the same sentence. And in fact, the two units did collaborate on the 1980 YMO album "Multiplies"(増殖). From then on, Snakeman Show also started putting out comedy records and even some music releases including the topic of this article "Sakisaka to Momonai no Gokigen Ikaga 1-2-3" (Sakisama and Momonai's How Are You 1-2-3) from 1981.

The song would probably fit in the same weird category as Frank Chickens' "We Are Ninja". I first heard "Sakisaka to Momonai no Gokigen Ikaga 1-2-3" a few months ago on that CD of techno kayo that I had purchased for Xmas. Composed by Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣)from YMO and written by Snakeman Show, it's a tongue-in-cheek rap that some commenters on YouTube have opined as being the first Japanese rap attempted, although I think Hosono may have beat them to it with "Rap Phenomena". The other interesting point is that the composer also might have had a devotion to Blondie's "Rapture" when he was putting the notes together. However, instead of rapping about that man from Mars and eating Cadillacs and Subarus, Kuwahara and company wanted to do their tongue twisters from both sides of the Pacific and practice their English with Ibu even bringing in a bit of Desslar into the proceedings. As I said, all tongue-in-cheek.

I couldn't think of anything weirder than this picture
to put in for this article.

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