Dave Spector

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Not to be confused with Dave Specter.
Dave Spector
Born (1954-05-05) May 5, 1954 (age 60)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Residence Tokyo, Japan
Nationality American
Occupation TV personality and producer
Organization Spector Communications
Spouse(s) Kyoko (1981–present)

Dave Spector (born May 5, 1954)[1] is an American gaijin tarento (foreign TV personality) and TV producer who lives and works in Japan. Originally from Chicago, USA, he moved to Japan in 1983 after visiting as a producer with the American television program Ripley's Believe It or Not!.[2][3] He appears regularly as a commentator on several different Japanese television programs, including a Wednesday spot on Fuji TV's daily morning news program Tokudane!,[2] and TBS's weekly Sunday Japon.[4]


As a child, Dave Spector appeared in American TV commercials, including one for cereal manufacturer Kellogg Company.[5] He says that he first became interested in things Japanese in the fifth grade at elementary school when he made friends with an immigrant classmate from Japan, Michael Sugano.[6] He started learning Japanese by reading serialized Japanese manga such as Obake no Q-tarō and Ashita no Joe.[5]

In 1972, Spector studied at Sophia University in Tokyo,[4] before returning to America a year later.[6] After returning to Chicago, he enrolled at the Institute of Broadcast Arts.[6] In 1977, he moved to Los Angeles with the aim of becoming a TV show writer, but ended up working as a Japanese tour guide.[6] It was at this time that he met his future Japanese wife, Kyoko, working at the New Otani Hotel.[6] They married in 1981.[1]

He moved to Japan in 1983 to research exotic film clips from Japanese television to be used on the American TV show Ripley's Believe It or Not!.[6] While this work continued until Ripley's Believe It or Not! ended in 1986,[6] Spector became well known in Japan after becoming a regular guest on Fuji TV's lunchtime TV variety show Waratte Iitomo! in 1984,[5] alongside other foreign personalities such as Canadian Kent Derricott, American Kent Gilbert, and Guinean Ousmane Sankhon (ja).[7]

He established the Tokyo-based company Spector Communications in 1988.[4]

Private life[edit]

Spector is married to Kyoko Spector (京子スペクター?), a native of Chiba Prefecture, whom he met in the USA.[2][8]


Regular TV appearances[edit]


Spector has written a number of books published in Japan, including the following.

  • Kore wa Jōku no Gohon desu (これはジョークのご本です?, "This is a Joke Book") (Shueisha, June 1986, ISBN 978-4086108546)
  • Nihonjin wa Eigo ga Tokui - Hanasenai to Omoikondeiru Anata e (日本人は英語が得意―話せないと思い込んでいるあなたへ?) (Goma Shobo, September 1986, ISBN 978-4341013967)
  • Dēbu Supekutā no Amerika Daigimon (デーブ・スペクターのアメリカ大ギモン?) (Heibonsha, November 1986, ISBN 978-4582610116)
  • Bunmeitaika no Oto ga suru (文明退化の音がする?) (Shinchosha, April 1987, ISBN 978-4103656012)
  • Eigo de Gaijin o Warawaseru Hō (英語で外人を笑わせる法?, "How to Make Foreigners Laugh in English") (Shinchosha, December 1988, ISBN 978-4108015012)
  • Amerikan Sunakku Geitaikai (全米スナック芸大会―道具・練習いらずで、大ウケ・大モテ?) (Goma Shobo, December 1988, ISBN 978-4341030728)
  • Dēbu Supekutā no Tōkyō Saiban (デーブ・スペクターの東京裁判?, "Dave Spector's Tokyo Trials") (Nesco, October 1989, ISBN 978-4890367771)
  • Eigo wa "Nagashima-ryū" de Ike (英語は“ナガシマ流”でいけ?, "Nagashima-style English is Fine") (Goma Shobo, November 1997, ISBN 978-4341018054)
  • Boku wa kō shite Nihongo o oboeta (僕はこうして日本語を覚えた?, "This is how I learned Japanese") (Dobunshoin, September 1998, ISBN 978-4810375404)
  • Itsumo Kokoro ni Kūru Gyaggu o (いつも心にクールギャグを?) (Gentosha, June 2011, ISBN 978-4344020047)

His wife, Kyoko, wrote the following book about him.

  • How To Make Dave Spector (デーブ・スペクターの作り方 Dēbu Supekutā no Tsukurikata?) (Tokyo Shoseki, July 2013, ISBN 978-4487807222)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "オリコン芸能人事典" [Oricon Talent Directory]. Oricon Style (in Japanese). Japan: Oricon Inc. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Spontaneous Japanese TV keeps Dave Spector on his toes". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Brown, Alan (31 December 1989). "The Mr. Know-It-All of Japan : Transplanted Chicagoan Dave Spector may have become a media megastar, but can he ever go home again?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "放送プロデューサー、デーブ・スペクターさん " [Broadcasting producer Dave Spector]. MSN Sankei News (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Dave Spector". Web Goethe. Japan: Nikkei Inc. May 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Goozner, Merrill (12 April 1993). "Toyko's All-american Media Darling". Chicago Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Betros, Chris (12 September 2011). "Ousmane Sankhon: Africa's most famous face on Japanese TV". Japan Today. Japan: GPlusMedia Co., Ltd. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "シカゴで夫が教えてくれた旅の流儀…京子スペクターさん" [Kyoko Spector - Travel style she learned from her husband in Chicago]. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c "デーブ・スペクター" [Dave Spector]. Kinenote (in Japanese). Japan: Kinema-Junposha.Co.Ltd. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Team J-MELO

External links[edit]