Party Men

by Julian Ryall
Dave Letendre Making a living out of making people laugh

There’s a fine art to being funny. And there is arguably an even bigger art in amusing a crowd—and it doesn’t matter if that party is children celebrating a 10-year-old’s birthday or high-net worth executives whooping it up with Christmas bonuses.

Dave Letendre is better known as The Famous Mr. D. and has been entertaining people with magic tricks, balloon sculptures and his own brand of stage amusement for 35 years.

“My specialty is kids’ shows and while that might sound easy to some people, as an entertainer you really have to keep it fresh and tailor the entertainment to the age group because they mature very quickly,” said Connecticut-born Letendre, who first arrived here with the US Air Force in 1969 and settled in Japan permanently in 1974.

Letendre has studied magic since he was aged 8 and has appeared in dozens of TV shows and commercials in Japan. He regularly performs tableside magic at venues around Tokyo and Yokohama, but is equally adept at conjuring up the fun at private homes.

And he has even entertained some of the world’s most famous entertainers, putting on his show for Keith Richards and his daughter along with The Rolling Stones’ backing musicians at the New Otani Hotel when the band was on tour.

Guy Totaro—Supergaijin

Guy Totaro—Supergaijin

The personal motto of Guy Totaro—better known as Supergaijin—is “Changing the world, one smile at a time,” which spells out just why he does what he does.

“I try to spread seeds of joy and hope that they take root, grow and then blossom,” said the 45-year-old native of Los Angeles. “There is nothing like the look on a parent’s face as their child is laughing hysterically and I hope that the energy lives on long after my show.”

Totaro founded Gaetano Co. just over a year ago but has been performing his unique brand of bilingual entertainment here for close to six years. He first discovered Italian physical comedy styles as a student at San Francisco State University and subsequently graduated from Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College.

This year, Totaro provided entertainment for the Barclays Big Summer Family Fun Day and he has performed at the British Embassy Tokyo. With the festive season coming up, he also offers a personalized Santa Claus visit for homes, schools or offices.

A man of many talents, he also guarantees the entertainment is flexible and his company can lay on everything from hula-hoopers to hip-hop dancers and face painting.

“I don’t take myself seriously because I’m not what is important at the party,” he said. “It’s the kids that are important and I prefer to empower them with the power of magic rather than fooling them. The most important thing is that the children have as much fun as they can.”

Guy Totaro

Dave Letendre
Tel: 03-3489-5330