Don't Go For It, Electric Boy!

An article from the newspaper on March 29, 1999:

"One of Japan's most popular and perverse television game 
show challenges came to an end Sunday, and for the naked 
star of the program- the real-life version of "The Truman 
Show"- it probably wasn't a moment too soon.

Every Sunday for more than a year, 15 million viewers have
tuned in to watch the exploits of Nasubi, a 23-year old 
comedian who has been confined to a tiny apartment since 
January 1998.

His challenge was to eke out an existence until he won 
$8,000 worth of prizes in magazine competitions. He had to
live only on the prizes he won. His reward was fame, 
although he was not told exactly how it would arrive.

Unbeknown to him, Japan's top variety program- "Susunu 
Denpa Shonen" ("Don't Go For It, Electric Boy!")- has 
broadcast his progress with the aid of two hidden cameras.

Over the past 15 months, viewers have seen his hair and 
beard grow longer.

Despite taking part in more than 1,000 magazine 
competitions a week, the only clothing Nasubi won was a 
pair of women's trousers. They didn't fit, so he lounged 
around naked, apparently unaware that the country was 

To ensure a modicum of decency, NTV covered his genitals 
with an eggplant icon.

The program made for compulsive viewing. The prizes Nasubi
has won ranged from a tent to essentials such as rice and 
dog food. One highlight showed a delighted Nasubi heading 
off to the toilet after winning his first rolls of toilet 
paper in 10 months.

Nasubi seemed to bear it all with good humor, a spirit 
that has won him millions of fans. Articles in women's 
magazines have noted his good health despite his canine 

Nasubi apparently had no idea that he had become a 
national celebrity until the shooting of Sunday's show, 
when he was finally let in on the joke- but not before one
final torment.

Without telling Nasubi that he had reached his goal, the 
producers led him into a 'waiting room' where he was 
sitting naked when the walls collapsed around him to 
reveal a studio full of guests. After months of silence, 
he was greeted with a huge roar that seemed to confuse him.

"Why is everybody laughing?" he asked.

"Congratulations, you are a star," the show's host 

"Do you mean that everyone has been watching my naked body
all this time?" he asked. "That's out of order. Is it 

But "Don't Go For It, Electric Boy!" is too carefully 
scripted to allow its jokes to fall flat and the show's 
host encouraged Nasubi to eat some hot miso soup, rice and
pickled plums."