MATTHEW'S BEST HIT TV (known to the natives here in Japan as Masshuu's Besto Hitto Teebee) is an amusing, very colourful weekly programme hosted by effervescent Matthew Minami (Takashi Fujii). Each week Matthew entertains in his trademark brightly-coloured suit and blond wig, interviewing Japanese and international guests, hosting outdoor concerts, and going on location in Japan and around the world. It's executed with incredible zing, often with a very tongue-in-cheek approach to the topic at hand.
Having caught a recent special episode of MATTHEW, I can say without any hesitation that Matthew Minami has become a very popular character in Japan.
I mean, you know you've made it when ten thousand screaming fans greet you when you step out onto the concert stage in Yokohama. It's all very exciting to watch on TV, but also just a tad scary ... just a bit. I know for a fact that in my country, Australia, people wouldn't get so excited about some nighttime TV host, you know, for fear of being labeled a loser, a dork, a nerd etc by friends, family, classmates, and so on. In Japan, however, that kind of peer group pressure doesn't exist in great measure. It's perfectly acceptable for 20-something women to drive around with Winnie the Pooh dangling from their rear vision mirrors (and from their mobile phones), for middle-aged housewives to visit Tokyo Disney Resort three times a week simply to watch the parade, for men to walk around with shoulder bags, and for people of all ages to scream at the top of their lungs for some TV host in a blonde wig!
Maybe I'm cynical ... Maybe I'm trapped in some parallel universe ... Who knows, eh? What I do know is that Matthew Minami is one popular fella.
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