When you’re well and truly beat, you have to admit it. I admit it. After watching dozens of goofy clips in this vein over the years, here’s what I’ve realized: An American version simply wouldn’t work. Hold all other variables constant — theme, talent, audience enthusiasm — and it still wouldn’t work, for the simple reasons that Americans simply aren’t this odd naturally. We’d know it was a performance, and that would drain all the kooky joie de vivre from it. This works only because, as Cracked so memorably put it, Japan is the capital of WTF. The thrill here isn’t watching some guy try to wake up, get dressed, and cook and eat breakfast in under five minutes; it’s watching how a WTF culture works, how it relates to each other. Endlessly fascinating. The man who finally brings this crap, subtitled, to American cable will be a very rich man indeed.
Incidentally, total time elapsed for me to wake up, brew a cup of Senseo and down a Zone bar, and be at my work station: 90 seconds. Thanks, MM!