Saturday Night Live’s J-Pop Skit: Funny, or Too Much?

This week’s episode of Saturday Night Live featured a skit purporting to be a Japanese Pop Culture variety show done by Caucasian Michigan State University students.

Called J Pop America Fun Time Now, the 5-minute skit is an over-the-top sendup of stereotypical Japanese interests, such as anime, j-pop, music, and colorful costumes.

Take a look at the skit below, and let us know what you think. Is this skit “funny” or is it just an obvious attempt to poke fun at Japanese culture?

17 Responses to Saturday Night Live’s J-Pop Skit: Funny, or Too Much?

  1. Dahlia says:

    Who cares? If anyone really believes this is what J-culture is really like then they’re a lost cause. There were always be obnoxiously closed-minded fools no matter what culture or fandom you’re into.
    I mean really, we’re talking about SNL. Its only a little sad because, let’s face it, we all know people exactly like this.

    The teacher cracks me up though, hahaha.
    “You’re all on the border of homage and racism by the way…”

  2. Adrian G. says:

    Dahlia, you make some good points, and I agree with you. Obviously this isn’t an accurate reflection of J-culture on the whole, but like you said some people probably saw the sketch and thought it was HILARIOUS, even though it’s little more than cheap shots and cultural stereotypes.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t supposed to be an attack on Japanese culture, it’s meant to make fun of people in America who act like the people in the skit. You know the type, they dress in crazy clothes because they think the harajuku style is the actual Japanese style, they put Japanese words into English sentences and its mostly incorrect and they say “ne?” instead of “right?” I live in Japan and I showed a few of my English speaking friends here and the only problem they had was believing there were actually people like that in America.

    The only thing that was too much for me was thinking about all of the people I’ve met who act like that. I’ve never been to this site before, but judging by the name, I’m betting a lot of those people visit this site daily and my advice to anyone like that is – don’t ever go to Japan, it will ruin all of your fun when you realize it’s nothing like what you think it is.

  4. MT says:

    I thought it was hilarious and NOT racist. They just making fun of japanophile’s, it’s pretty obvious.

  5. Stephen Vega says:

    I don’t think the skit should be taken to be offensive towards Japanese culture. The way I understood it it’s meant more to criticize assimilationists who say they like Japanese culture without actually understanding any of it. (Weeaboos)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Agree with the last two posts. It’s absurd to suggest this is making fun of J culture, because it wasn’t the point of the sketch.

    And it was freakin HILARIOUS! One of the few funny moments on SNL off and on for years. They should do more ethnic twists.

  7. Blue Rose says:

    It wasn’t at all making fun of the japanese culture. It was making fun of japanophiles/weeaboos who butcher and misrepresent the japanese culture and it’s language.

  8. Susan Sixtynine says:

    Not funny at all, just the same crap that has been done on tons of other shows. Also totally inaccurate. Those actors were way too good-looking to be Japanese language students at msu. (Yes you will have a handful of attractive Japanese language students but they are NOT the norm, and they are not the ones who watch anime.) They completely missed the mark.

  9. Gerpity_McDerpitty says:

    I love how y’all are getting so worked up over this and getting mega-offended because it’s taking pot shots at aficionados of J-Pop / J-Rock / Anime etc, but if SNL had chosen instead to lampoon furries, jugallos, LARPers, DnD gamers, MtG card tards or MMORPG-addicts, I doubt you guys would be in as much of an uproar, in fact I’d wager alot of you would be laughing right along with the SNL writers and hey, so would I because it’s just a joke. And the reason it took them this long to finally get at this fandom is because 10 years ago it wasn’t really all that visible to the public.

    In the passage of time since then, there have been Japanese bands coming stateside for tours and festivals (and their ultra-dedicated fans shouting down and booing at the American opening acts), cheap and easily obtainable reprints of their CDs in American stores, magazines and blogs that cater to the english-speaking part of their fanbases, full page articles about bands like Dir en grey in magazines like Kerrang… c’mon, your cool little club wasn’t gunna stay “underground” forever.

    May as well go ahead and abandon ship for K-Pop, C-Pop or V-Pop or whatever else is the next azn flavor of the month until it too goes mainstream and starts having CDs available in Hot Topic where all the “unworthy outsiders” can snatch it up and “defile” it with their unwated liking of it (which they could never do as good as you anyhow because they don’t know the intimate details of each of the band members, haven’t been to 1000 lives in Japan and don’t own every CD they’ve ever put out as nothing less than the uber l33t $40 import version.)

    Also, thinking that using “otaku” in reference to yourself is better than saying “wapanese” is a bit like a gay person thinking that using “queer” in reference to themselves is better than saying “f*gg*t.” The term otaku actually doesn’t have the same positive connotations over there as folks back in the west seem to assume.

  10. Kiera says:

    lololol, I think this skit was HILARIOUS! I was dying throughout the whole thing. It wasn’t too much at all. It’s SNL, of course it’s going to dramatize weaboos… But it’s pure gold, and not only that but there were cracks at the POP culture. (We crack at our own pop culture, it’s not bad.) The squeaky voices of Jpop, and the over dramatic blonde haired jpop guy idols who sing like that. And if you caught the song lyrics they sing (the random english at the end) they’re the generic jpop lyrics we all know and love. I found it really funny, and I don’t think there was anything wrong with it!

  11. Joe says:

    Why do they keep saying “duhduh” at the end of sentences?

    And P.S., i’m so bummed MSU was in this sketch. I’m a proud spartan, this skit made me a little less proud. It was SO annoying! I couldn’t sit through the whole thing.

  12. Andrea says:

    Yeah, no offence but I love this sketch. I’m not into anime though and this is personally how most-not all- anime fans come off to me. Good job, SNL. (And they take out sports stars far more frequently!) For those that are offended, don’t watch. If it were D&D, Magic, or any other geeky game, or sports, you’d not think twice to laugh. Comedy is subjective. Plus, as someone who used to watch anime as a teen, I know that at least one programme for a convention actually had in it:
    “Please shower at least once a day, eat at least twice a day and drink water…” because the goers didn’t and it smelt badly, plus they actually passed out from the other two issues.

  13. mesia says:

    Come on people! There is nothing about this skit making fun of Japanese culture. It’s very clearly making fun of the idiots that THINK this is Japanese culture. Unfortunately, anyone who has frequented a college campus can find groups of people, who in their over zealousness about Japan, turn themselves into walking caricatures of buffoonery. This skit points that out. It’s called SATIRE. Say it with me folks! “SATIRE!” It’s funny because it’s true. How many people have seen the girl with the pink and bleach blonde hair dressed in rainbow socks with a Hello Kitty purse and some ridiculous tattoo in Japanese that they think says one thing but actually says something completely different? Riiiight. I thought so. MANY of us have. And they are why this skit is funny.

  14. Briana says:

    Aw, come on! Comedy is all about poking fun at other cultures, but here, it’s not the case. SNL is making fun of the Americans who try to act Japanese by overusing words such as Kawaii and Sugoi.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ha ha. Japs are funny, when they’re not bombing Pearl Harbor. Evil Japs!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I loved this skit! Spot on! High school girls trying to be manga characters are prevalent at our high school. Couldn’t stop laughing

  17. This is exactly how Americans who “love” Japanese stuff act. They are weaboos. The portrayed weaboos perfectly.

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