Episode- 44 Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro
All these years later, I still remember how this episode came about. When I was first developing the concept of Death Battle, I needed to come up with 26 potential match-ups to pitch. I included some obvious ones, like Goku VS Superman and Mario VS Sonic, but one name kept coming up in my search results for “who would win.” That name was, naturally, Chuck Norris.
Would could beat Chuck Norris?
At first, entertaining this question seemed silly to me. The meme of the all knowing, all powerful Chuck Norris was half a decade old, and no longer totally relevant. Surely people would roll their eyes if we tried capitalizing on the joke all these years later. Right?
It didn’t take much digging to find out the Chuck Norris meme has ascended all other memes to become truly, hilariously timeless.
So here I am, sitting at my desk in late 2010, thinking to myself “What on earth would we do with a Chuck Norris episode? The whole concept is that he’s an unstoppable being literally larger than life, so the only character who would battle that would have to be someone or something just as ridiculous…”
You know the phase “a light bulb goes off” in your head? I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that so truthfully as I did that day. It was light my whole head popped off in sudden realization. It wasn’t so much a memory of a character, or a series, or even a face. What I remembered was a song.
Back then, ScrewAttack produced a show called Clip of the Week, where we would create a parody skit inspired by some nostalgic video game commercial. There was a good chunk of time when we tried coming up with an episode idea for the Segata Sanshiro commercials, but it ultimately didn’t pan out. Still, his theme song was so catch that I always remembered it.
Even though it was planned from the very beginning, it still didn’t appear in the lineup until 44 episodes in! To be honest, I’m not sure I truly considered it seriously back then. I wasn’t sure it would do very well, and held off until I thought the time was right.
To this day, this remains one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done. You can see references to it in later episodes, even some of which aired this year!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Would you want to see the battle between Chuck Norris and Segata Sanshiro continue?