John Oliver's Last Week Tonight Talks Chiitan
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
John Oliver's late-night talk show Last Week Tonight revisited Japan's world of mascots last night to discuss the controversial Chiitan. The segment opens with the bloody death of a Jigglypuff before getting to the mascot's introduction. Chiitan's nearly one million social media followers are already familiar with its antics but for the uninitiated: Chiitan is an unofficial "0-year-old fairy baby" otter that wears a turtle on its head and sometimes climbs dancer poles for fun.
Oliver explains that Chiitan is in hot water because it bears resemblance to the official mascot of the Japanese city Susaki, named Shinjō-kun. The city also had a real otter as a mascot, also named Chiitan, to promote the area's tourism. The similarities and the unofficial Chiitan's antics (which include flipping a car) lead to complaints to Susaki officials.This lead to Susaki to not renew the real Chiitan otter's status as tourism ambassador.
Oliver joked that Chiitan was a commendable mascot for Susaki because thanks to all of its crazy exploits the city is being featured on U.S. television, namely his own show.
Chiitan responded to Oliver's segment by taking the highroad: challenging him to a no holds barred opportunity to "explode through a table." The tweet dubs Oliver "Mr. British Birb."
Oliver was more than happy to receive the challenge.
I'm in a public beef with an unsanctioned Japanese otter. I needed this. https://t.co/z7Yd7izRxY— John Oliver (@iamjohnoliver) April 22, 2019
Susaki officials' concern about Chiitan damaging Shinjō-kun's image led to a city filing an temporary injunction on February 16. During this period, Chiitan's owners will not be able to use the mascot's image or wear its costume in public. The character was scheduled to star in its own anime series in April but the series is officially delayed.
Thanks to Eric Stimson for the news tip
Source: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2019-04-21)