Dave Spector

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Not to be confused with Dave Specter.
Dave Spector
27th Tokyo International Film Festival Dave Spector.jpg
Dave Spector at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival in October 2014
Born Chicago, Illinois, USA
Residence Tokyo, Japan
Nationality American
Occupation TV personality and producer
Organization Spector Communications
Spouse(s) Kyoko Spector (1981–present)
Website www.spector.co.jp

Dave Spector [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]

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] 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 Kyōko Supekutā?), a native of Chiba Prefecture, whom he met in the US.[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. ^ "1954". McGill University. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  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 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. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  11. ^ Team J-MELO

External links[edit]