Usain Bolt to appear on SMAP TV program on Monday night

TOKYO —

Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt will be the guest of honor on “SMAP x SMAP” next Monday night, joining a long list of foreign celebrities who have appeared on the Fuji TV program.

Bolt, 26, is currently in Japan to do promotional events for Puma and Nissan. The Jamaican sprinter was last in Japan in September 2008, at which time he appeared on “Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Deshita.”

Bolt will appear in the Bistro SMAP segment during which the boys will cook whatever dish he orders. He will be the first non-Japanese Olympic medalist to make an appearance on the show.

On Thursday night, Bolt took part in an event with fans at Nissan Gallery in Yokohama.

Bolt has been in the global brand campaign, “WHAT IF_”, which launched June 1. In the ad campaign, Bolt readies himself in the set position for a sprint, while on the right, a red hot Nissan GT-R reveals its own best time of zero-to-100 kilometers per hour in 2.8 seconds.

Through the “WHAT IF_” campaign, Nissan aims to highlight iconic products and technologies that invigorate consumers – and the global brand. Bolt has owned a black GT-R supercar since 2009. “Drive a car like the GT-R and it gives you the chills,” Bolt says in the ad.

Nissan has placed the Bolt-GT-R series in concourses at Narita International Airport and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport.

The multi-year “WHAT IF_” campaign, soon to reach international airports in all major cities, is intended to boost Nissan’s brand power, a key pillar of the company’s mid-term plan through 2016. 

In recognition of Bolt’s contribution to sports and his automotive enthusiasm, Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer unveiled a unique gold-painted GT-R, which will be auctioned to benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation.

Proceeds from the online auction, details which will be announced later in October, will help the foundation’s work creating educational and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the Olympic Champion’s home country of Jamaica.

The one-off GT-R, to be auctioned on the eBay online auction platform, will be embossed with Bolt’s signature and bespoke interior fittings finished in real gold.

Japan Today/AP

  • -1

    DudeDeuce

    The show is interesting except at the end when they sing along with the music guest of the show. They sound horrible.

  • 7

    Baibaikin

    Is it wrong that I feel embarrassed on behalf of the Japanese public before the show has even aired? I hope and pray that Shingo doesn't get the black shoe polish out and do something that wouldn't be legal in most countries.

  • 0

    Gurukun

    "WHAT IF"..what?

  • -1

    TokyoGas

    Wait a minute... Wasn't there a "What if..." promotion/campaign from Xerox or something back in the 80's or 90's?

  • 0

    combinibento

    Man, I really like the guy but I am really starting to get tired of that pose...

  • -3

    Hiniku

    Bolt is a Dolt. Mark my words..... he's totally full of himself..... within 10 years he'll be bankrupt and wishing he did things outside of the track differently.

  • 2

    kurumazaka

    Baibaikin, I was thinking exactly the same thing. Met Kusanagi at a supermarket check out line. Seemed like a real good guy, cheerfully signing autographs while trying to buy bento. (No, I did not ask for one!)

  • 1

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    The blackface is a cert. I'll lay you a pond to a penny. In the meantime, I'll bet Mr Bolt has a pretty good weekend...

  • -3

    tmarie

    I love it - some guests just look at them like they're aliens for some of the crap they say and do. Madonna telling them off when asking her about Japanese food was classic. They assume foreigners know nothing about Japan, Japanese food.... and well, some do. They often act like idiots and foreign guests do the cringe and smile thing. Always make me laugh as SMAP nevers get how bad they come off. I am sure Bolt will be just as interesting.

  • -3

    AKBfan

    Pose is tired. Yes, he is likely to have a lot of fun over the weekend. will tune in to see the black and White Minstrel shtick on the show.

  • 0

    Alex Tokyo

    Madonna telling them off when asking her about Japanese food was classic.

    What on earth are you talking about? This never happened.

  • 1

    genjuro

    I remember when Madonna was on the show, she called herself "Madonna-san." Classic.

  • -1

    tmarie

    Alex, guess you didn't see it.

  • 2

    mangosqueezesbanana

    If i was faster than Bolt, i'd be very full of myself.

  • 0

    Matthew Simon

    R34 GT-R was better

  • 9

    sandiegoluv

    I saw this Japanese reporter ask him a question in English about some Japanese soccer player. Bolt looked at her very politely, but looked like he wanted to ask her, "Why would you ask me that question." Which is actually very common because every time some famous person comes here they have to try to get the person to give them compliments about Japan in one way or the other. Why is it every time a foreign super star comes over here the Japanese press have to ask them questions about how they feel about certain Japanese people or foods?

    I am sure that the Japanese don't need fake compliments or feigned interest in their country, people, food or culture. So, get off it. They are here to celebrate something that they are doing or have done not give compliments to make you feel better about your country. I just don't get it. Everything does not have to be turned into something that is about Japan. It seems all to narcissistic and ridiculously petty. It is actually quite irritating.

  • 1

    sandiegoluv

    And yes, the pose is getting a bit old. But I hope he saves his money and makes good decisions with it.

  • 0

    billyshears

    Why does the very ugly one, Nakai (who is also tone deaf, it appears) always wear a wig on this show? And why do the show's producers never give credits to the guys who really cook the food?

  • -2

    BurakuminDes

    The blackface is a cert. I'll lay you a pond to a penny

    Ha ha! Wouldn't be surprised either if the old SMAP boys don the boot-polish on the faces and do the old blackface act as a sign of "respect " for negro Mr Bolt...it's the Japanese way on variety shows!

  • -1

    aintgottimetobl

    SMAP plays the politically incorrect card and its shock,horror,'embarrassed'...Sacha Baron Cohen does it and we Laugh our crackers off..what's up ?

  • -3

    sandiegoluv

    I dont laugh at Sacha Baron Cohen. He is a childishly boring.

  • 2

    Hiniku

    @sandiegoluv.... very much agree. All to often if not everytime a foreign celebrity comes to Japan they pepper the person with the same old questions. What do you think of Natto.... and do you know or what do you think of this Japanese person? If they're going to do that I'd like to see them ask.... what do you think of Fukushima?

  • 0

    aintgottimetobl

    @sandiegoglove..good for you..but his wealth and world fame says a more than significant number DO laugh

  • 3

    CarbonLayup

    @sandiegoluv; I will tell you why the Japanese always ask the same questions... because they have absolutely no other frame of reference for anything more interesting.

  • -2

    annemarie08

    I think a lot of countries seek validation from visiting guests. Its not just Japan. I agree SMAP (I almost wrote SPAM - same thing though) are annoying. I remember watching it a few times while in Japan. No talent between them, though one was in a really good film at one stage called Love and Honour so I had to lay off him for a bit (but the others...). It seems celebrities have to put up with a lot of the same questions ordinary foreigners in Japan do - about natto and other food. I cant say I feel sorry for them (the celebrities I mean).

    What Bolt, or any other non-Japanese celebrity, thinks of Fukushima isnt going to have much effect on the governments handling of it. As serious as Fukushima is, its not Syria or Africa so it doesnt interest people in the same way. No offence. They probably cant ask anything too personal either as most celebrities probably have a long list of topics they wont talk about, which they have to present to the producers of the show beforehand.

  • 1

    Carcharodon

    How about mentioning that Bolt was picked up at the airport by F1 Driver Mark Webber and chauffeured to the city in a GT-R.

  • 1

    Carcharodon

    video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHP3dbGYDns

  • -3

    tmarie

    SMAP plays the politically incorrect card and its shock,horror,'embarrassed'...Sacha Baron Cohen does it and we Laugh our crackers off..what's up ?

    Sacha has a clue that he's being offensive. SMAP - and many other locals - don't get that some of the things they are doing is shockingly disrespectful and racist. I've been with black folks when people here have done black face and it doesn't go down well. Yet, Japan gets upset if anyone makes slanty eyes and buck teeth impersonations - and rightly so - but what's good for the goose...

  • -2

    JA_Cruise

    **tmarie When does Japan get upset if someone makes slanty eyes and buck teeth? First of all, I think you are confusing the wrong race to begin with. SMAP does not just personate foreigners in the funny costumes, they impersonate local soccer players, japanese singers, etc. The black shoe polish thing might be a little over the top, but seems people are over reacting...

  • 1

    sidesmile

    "people are over reacting"...thats a joke, right?

  • -1

    aisai

    Sacha has a clue that he's being offensive. SMAP - and many other locals - don't get that some of the things they are doing is shockingly disrespectful and racist. I've been with black folks when people here have done black face and it doesn't go down well. Yet, Japan gets upset if anyone makes slanty eyes and buck teeth impersonations - and rightly so - but what's good for the goose...

    Your reasoning is faulty. I am not a SMAP fan at all. I do think Sacha Baron Cohen is quite funny and have liked lots of the stuff he has done. However, just because he has a clue that he's being offensive, doesn't make what he is doing any less offensive to some people. If I know that you will be offended if I call you a stupid #$%&#$#&% and still call you one anyways, would you feel "less offended"?

  • 1

    Alex Tokyo

    Alex, guess you didn't see it.

    Of course I didn't. And nor did anyone else, I suspect, since it never actually happened. But as always, I'm totally open and welcome to being proved wrong. Is there any actual detail that you can give us? An original broadcast date, Youtube link, names of SMAP members involved with this alleged "telling off", anything at all?

    Madonna is an A-list celebrity with world-class management and world-class media coaching. She does not continue to rake in tens of millions of dollars per year from overseas fans by traveling to their countries and then humiliating national icons on popular TV shows, telling people off and stomping around like an enraged dinosaur on red bull & roids.

    Perhaps your version of a "telling off" was simply a bit of an underhanded, sly, amusing, and well-timed tease or joke to the rest of us?

  • 0

    aisai

    Alex TokyoOct. 24, 2012 - 02:10AM JST Of course I didn't. And nor did anyone else, I suspect, since it never actually happened. But as always, I'm totally open and welcome to being proved wrong. Is there any actual detail that you can give us? An original broadcast date, Youtube link, names of SMAP members involved with this alleged "telling off", anything at all?

    Alex, The haters are always going to hate, especially when it comes to anything about Japan. Whether Madonna did any of that or not only matters to people like tmarie because in their eyes in reinforces everything negative they feel about Japan.

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