Look carefully and you’ll see Japan’s Benny Hill sandwiched in between these women. 

Shimura Ken no Bakatonosama (Ken Shimura’s Idiot Feudal Lord) is a comedy skit show that’s been airing on the Fuji TV network since 1988, and the starring comedian who appears on the program is 68-year-old Ken Shimura.

In the show, Shimura plays a number of recurring characters, including a “Hen na Ojisan” (Weird Old Man) who literally chases women and then makes everyone fall down laughing by dancing and singing “Hen na ojisan dakara hen na ojisan” (“I’m a weird old man so I’m a weird old man“).

He also plays a character called “Bakatono” (Idiot Feudal Lord), who’s usually just referred to as Tono (Feudal Lord), and is immediately recognisable by his full face of white makeup and comically long top knot, which stands upright directly on top of his head.

Despite its Feudal-era setting and costumes, the show’s schlapstick is reminiscent of the banter and shenanigans seen on the Benny Hill UK comedy show that ran from 1969–1989. And though the world has changed a lot since the ’80s, Shimura’s style of comedy hasn’t, and in a recent episode aired on 9 January, this was brought to everyone’s attention after he appeared sandwiched in a “Niku Buton” or “Meat Futon“.

▼ Bakatono inside the meat futon.

In Japan, a Niku Buton is used to refer to a female bedmate, as the woman’s body is likened to a fleshy cushion, but in this clip, after complaining about the cold, Bakatono requests a Niku Buton and eight women are brought to his quarters to warm him up with a multi-body Meat Futon.

The controversial Niku Buton skit can be seen in the video below.

In the skit, four women in blue bikinis lay down to form the “shiki buton” or futon mattress. Bakatono then lays out on top of them, while his retainer enthusiastically exclaims “Oh, that’s great!”. Then, four women in pink bikinis lay down on top of him, to form the “kake buton”, or blanket, as Bakatono says “That’s it, that’s the way.”

His retainer then asks him if he’s warm, and Bakatono replies with “Ah, yes, it’s warm” before another high-ranking official bursts in and admonishes Tono, telling the girls to return to their rooms, and reminding the two men that they should use real blankets in future if they’re cold.

▼ It’s not the first time the Idiot Feudal Lord has used a Niku Buton, as the skit has been seen in previous episodes.

After the Meat Futon skit appeared on TV on 9 January, viewers were quick to slam the bit, saying:

“Disgusting. This type of lowbrow humour isn’t funny at all.”
“This totally disregards women’s rights and does nothing for gender equality.”
“It’s unbelievable that they still get away with this sort of thing in this day and age.”
“How outdated and sexist is this?! It makes me feel sick.”
“I can’t believe this is aired on Fuji TV, a mainstream commercial network. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
“He’s been doing this for ages, and no matter how much he gets criticised for it, nothing ever happens to him.”
“I’d love to see him come out and apologise for this.”

Despite the harsh criticism, which has made headlines in Japan, it appears that neither Shimura nor the network that aired the episode, will be making any apologies for the skit.

Hopefully the negative reaction from viewers, however, will prompt Shimura and his comedy team to shelve the skit for good, filing it away in the far reaches of their cupboards, along with the Benny Hill tapes, where it belongs.

Source: Nifty News via My Game News Flash
Featured image: Twitter/@parmanten