8 Jokes you Need to Know to Appreciate 月曜から夜ふかし
月曜から夜ふかし (The Late Night Monday Show) is one of the best and most popular shows currently on Japanese TV. If you haven’t watched it yet, you need to, now. It’s one of those shows that makes you glad you started studying Japanese.
One of the problems Japanese learners have with the show (besides the difficult language), is its continual series of long-running jokes. There are new episodes where reoccurring amateur “characters” or jokes that were introduced months or even years ago still are used today. It makes the show special, but requires you to have kept up with the show to truly appreciate who these people and topics are.
The show has been around since April of 2012, and has over 250 episodes. Since it’s nearly impossible to get older episodes of 夜ふかし, I thought I would introduce you to some of the most important things you need to know about the show to follow along today. For the fans of you out there, in the comments section leave any other important characters/jokes that I missed!
8. “ム” なんとか “ク” (Mu… something… ku)
On a street interview testing people to see if they knew the name of the artist who painted “The Scream,” the staff came across a peculiar old man. “Who painted this?” they asked him.
He tried to answer Edvard Munch (エドヴァルド・ムンク). Over and over again he kept saying ム…. something … ク. Every time it looked like he finally recalled the answer, the same phrase came out.
Then the staff noticed he was wearing makeup, that he drew on with a permanent marker all over his face. Apparently he had been doing so since he turned 60. What kind of life does he lead?
7. フェフお姉さん＋多田さん (Fefftival Girl & Tada-san)
During a late-night street interview in Tokyo, the staff came across two girls who had just come back from a food festival (フェス). But the one girl (now known as フェフお姉さん) kept saying the word フェフ instead of フェス. The more she talked, the more her bad pronunciation and strong lisp came out.
Her personality shined, and they decided to “recruit” her to be an “announcer” for different mini-segments and comedic news reports the show likes to do. Her friend Tada-san is there to be her funny partner.
6. Unable to say ざじずぜぞ
In various regions in Japan, people develop strong accents, especially when they live in isolation from larger cities. When an older lady from Wakayama tries to say anything from the group of hiragana ざじずぜぞ, it comes out with a “d” sound attached to it instead of “z”. She thinks she is saying it correctly, and can’t hear the difference. Over many episodes they put her through a number of challenges, and she achieves a little bit of local fame.
5. おっちゃっぱーおじいさん (Old Man Tea)
On a quest to find new amateur inventors, the staff comes across an old man in his late 70s. He has discovered a new innovative way to drink tea, that will change the world. No tea pot is required!
Every appearance takes him through a number of failures that eventually gets him to… well another failure, where he burns himself with hot tea. But he never relents as he tries to revolutionize the tea world.
4. ジャガーです (I’m Jaguar!)
An old man often performs music on a local late night network in Chiba (the type where anyone can pay to get air time). His name is Jaguar, he comes from a planet near Mars, and he has traveled by spaceship to make Chiba his home…
I’m not a big fan of the Jaguar series. I get it: he dresses and talks strangely, his music is insane, and he proclaims to be from another planet. But after over a dozen appearances, I’ve seen enough. Sorry Jaguar! Time to go back to your home planet.
The next 3 are all gags about one of the co-hosts of the show, 村上信五 (Murakami Shingo).
3. 村上たかつきキング (Murakami Takatsuki King Rap)
Murakami is a member of the popular Johnnys idol group 関ジャニ (or Kansai Johnnys). Occasionally he does rap solo projects… and wow, the results are spectacular.
2. Murakami is greedy and rich…?
Murakami is continually berated by Matsuko for being ultra wealthy (despite Matsuko most likely making way more money than him). His thirst for success/power and his greed are out of control!!!
1. Murakami is actually an idol?!
The final attack on Murakami is how anyone can believe he is truly a member of one of the most popular idol groups in Japan. In various interviews the staff goes around asking what people think of Murakami. The culminating moment of this was when a lady was talking about him, and was absolutely shocked to find out he was a member of Johnnys.
Apparently even monkeys get angry at him!
What are some of your favorites?
The world must be properly educated about 月曜から夜ふかし. What else deserves to be on this list?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
How could you forget dissing on 埼玉! I still tease girls from there about the whole 貧乳問題 thing. (Let me know if you missed that because its hilarious and went on for a few episodes but its probably quite old now.)
Also isn’t Matsuko incredibly biased about things outside of Tokyo in general? I feel like there is even some running gag about how the east isn’t “real Tokyo” but I’m kind of forgetting the details.
Oh, and there are lots of 大阪 gags too! I forgot what she originally got famous for but don’t they have a specific 大阪お婆さん that pops up occasionally?
(Wow, I just realized I know entirely too much about this show too.)
I couldn’t cover everything in one article haha!
Yes, I remember the old 埼玉 attacks. I’m not sure if they stopped because they got old after a while, or they got too many complaints and need to be fairly “mean” to everyone.
I think Matsuko is most biased against people who are overly proud of their city, regardless of where that is. She is from Chiba originally though, so she brings some good prospective. Murakami is great for adding in the Osaka side. There have definitely been episodes taking place in Osaka, I just can’t recall any お婆さん off hand.
Knowing too much about the show is a good thing.
Hi Im Japanese living overseas. Just for your info, 多田さん is not tada-san but Oota-san!! Also, 桐谷さん Kiritani-san, is one of the popular character too. I love this kind of article n plz continue to write articles abt japanese entertaiment!!
Thanks for stopping by and pointing that out.
Her name is actually a little bit confusing. Her original name was 太田 (Oota). Then her parents divorced, and her name reverted to 多田 (Tada). Depending on what episode, and who is talking to her, her name seems to change.
This episode explains it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMGCK2eJauI. I obviously remember wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much about this show :P
Kiritani-san is great. Though I was slightly disappointed to find out that he lives in total squalor at home…
What a great list. I really like the series with the ugly/cute/cool/funny dialects of Japan. The bald guy segments are often funny because they make him suffer in some way. 言われてみれば見た事ないものシリーズ is always worth watching. I don’t enjoy jaguar much anymore, but some of the old stuff (like when they put him in a snow storm hahaha) is hilarious.
I also like murakami’s ‘beige suit’ recurring jokes.
For the 言われてみれば見た事ないものシリーズ, I always picture the assistant directors sitting together in a room brainstorming ridiculous ideas with the result being “Yeah, I’ve never seen that. Let’s do that.” You are right though, it doesn’t disappoint.
And those beige suits… everyone needs a few in their wardrobe!
Wow, I don’t expect to find a site talking about Monday Late Night Show in English. I usually watch this on one Indonesian pay TV Channel (although they air older episodes). 2 weeks ago I just watched the “mu…ku” guy was given a before-after face make up and I was confused why everyone seems know him really well.
And last week, they showed the episode where フェフお姉さん (which I thought is a stage name) doing some sport activities at the beach and also learned English.
Despite this article being written in 2017, they still continue to make many great appearances on the show :)
フェフお姉さん has really turned into a great character over the years.