Remember Chris Farley’s “Being on a Japanese Gameshow” Skit?

Remember the time that Chris Farley was on a Japanese game show skit on SNL? NBC it would seem is being a bit stingy with their material, otherwise the fuzzy blackness above would show you the skit in full and you’d be laughing your butt off by the time it was all over. The skit is a big spoof on Japanese culture and has Alec Baldwin, Janine Garofalo, and Mike Meyers as the host. It plays heavily on stereotypes and would no doubt be kind of offensive to some folks in this day and age but for the time it was made it was pretty funny.

The skit stars Farley as an American tourist that somehow got roped into playing this strange and somehow brutal game show where the contestants have to chop off the tip of a finger if they get the answer wrong. If you’ve seen the finger-chopping bit in movies it has a lot to do with paying the price for disappointing someone. It’s been entirely exclusive to the Yakuza for a long time and if it’s been done anywhere else then it hasn’t been spread as public knowledge. It’s just something that was taken and adapted to the skit since it seemed so out of place and would no doubt freak out the average tourist, especially one that’s already on edge.

After Baldwin and Garofalo chop off a section of their little finger it’s up to Farley to answer the question being posed, which is entirely in Japanese, a language that his character doesn’t understand at all. He guesses and apparently guesses right since a bell chimes and the host goes nuts and acts as happy as he can be. With that the other contestants are guided off stage and Farley is taken to a bonus round, where he is handcuffed and his arms are raised high above him while below he suddenly notices the show’s hostess clamping something to his nether regions that appears to be battery cables. These in turn are hooked up to a nearby battery with a switch readily available.

Be honest now, you’d be pretty nervous if this was about to happen to you. He’s asked another question and for all the pleading he does and the screaming the host still asks him the question again in order to get an answer. As Farley answers he’s all but pleading for his life. Unfortunately he gets one little part wrong and the switch is thrown and he starts to go into convulsions as an unseen electric current goes arcing through his body. That might seem brutal but it was the kind of comedy that Farley seemed to love and what he excelled at.

Honestly, watch any of his movies or past skits and you’ll see it, he was a physical comic that liked to smash through things, he would get in people’s faces, and he would be as loud as he could get in order to make it even funnier. he was no John Belushi, but he was his own kind of comic and he was a legend that went too soon.

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