Off-Kilter Japanese Cult TV show "Oh! Mikey"

Richard Metzger is the current Boing Boing guest blogger. Once a part of the wonderfully named "Vermilion Pleasure Night," a sort of Japanese version of "Adult Swim," "Oh! Mikey" is a bizarre comedy show cast entirely with widely grinning, frozen-faced mannequins. Each approximately two-minute episode of "Oh! Mikey" is about an American family living in Japan. It often doesn't make a lot of sense (in that good Japanese way of not making any sense) and most episodes end with the characters laughing hysterically whether something funny is happening or not. Lately "Oh! Mikey" has been airing on the G4 network as part of their "G4 Late Night Peep Show" line-up. Oh! Mikey USA site Original Japanese clip "Oh! Mikey Fever" Thanks Lenora Claire!


  1. Very interesting. I could see the mannequins as an art installation in a museum or something with the soundtrack playing in the background. I like this alot. Why- I have no idea.

  2. Breaking into laughter for no reason is a common stereotype that Japanese have about Americans.

    This show is twisted, and hilarious.

  3. This is wonderfully wacky – though it would become unbearable if it were any longer. The more I think about it the more I think it may be a brilliant commentary on a variety of American cultural aspects, some obvious and some not – like the unnerving veneer of normalcy and cooperation.

  4. On a tangential note this sparked autistic connections in my brain with the fictional show “Oh, Crikey!” which featured in the 80s British comedy “The Young Ones”. I seem to remember it had a something to do with molesting a dog…

  5. @3 I wonder if it comes from decades of imported television shows from America laden with laugh tracks?

  6. Am I the only one who finds the Japanese perpensity to add Oh! to anything, as if it had meaning? They do this with lots of stuff. I’ve seen peanuts named “Oh! Snack Time Peanuts” Why do they add this “Oh!” so strangely to everything? Do they think it’s funny?

  7. Ah yes, the Fuccon family.
    “..she certainly has an insolent turn of phrase!”
    Funny stuff.

  8. I can’t help seeing it as a commentary on Japanese customs of politeness, by way of ostensibly being about Japanese perceptions of Western politeness.

  9. My sister-in-law got this for me on DVD for my birthday a few years back. It’s hilarious, but ianm hit the nail on the head–it DOES get old very quickly. I made it as far as episode 3.

    It works better as an Old Navy commercial, incidentally.

  10. Here’s the original Japanese version, with more episodes tagged onto the end. I can’t watch the English version, the accents are terrible.

    At the end is a nice one with Bob-sensei, Mikey’s English teacher, who can’t speak without his mother (Bob-Mama). Bob-Mama translates everything he says into extremely polite Japanese.

  11. @#14 — it might have something to do with the honorific prefix “O”, which is applied to tea, rice, baths and all manner of things traditionally deemed worthy of respect.

    I’ve been wondering if the latest Old Navy campaign is ripping (or riffing?) off Oh! Mikey.

    Anyway, please chain Metzger to a desk so that he never leaves Boing Boing. He’s awesome.

  12. This show works very well if you watch it in small bits: think 10 minutes at a time.

    It’s hilarious that way. Very, very hilarious.

    Also, I just watched the clip. I didn’t even know there was an English version. Shit. That dubbing is AWFUL.

    The Japanese version is spectalarly funny.

  13. The only positive is not being distracted by lip-syncing issues. The negative being unable to stage a murder-suicide for the family scene.

  14. We had “Oh! Mikey” on Italian MTV few years ago.
    I love the original Vermillion version mixed with different comedy episodes (my favourite is teh zombie family!). 15 or 20 minutes of Oh Mikey only marathon are not as much fun…

  15. That kitchen reminds me of the kitchen in the movie “Heathers” where they mix drano into Heather’s drink.

  16. @ cinemajay:

    I respectfully disagree. This is the funniest show ever. If you only made it to episode three, I urge you to watch it again from the beginning. Quitters never win.

    The dubbed version is worthless, though.

  17. Kind of like the old “Amos n Andy” radio show.

    Nothing is more hilarious to the Japanese than the antics of simple-minded foreigners.

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