The Laughing Salesman is a manga and anime franchise that was created by the same creators of Doraemon and Perman. It received two anime adaptions, one from 1989-1992 and one recent one in 2017.
This franchise is more darker and adult than the other mangas and animes Fujiko F. Fujio made. It is focused on the genres of horror, black comedy, and drama.
Despite the adult tone, there has been an English dub made by Fox Kids Europe for its airing. The dub was made from 1997-2001. An alternative dub aired on YoYo TV late at night, uncut and uncensored.
Michael E. Rodgers as The Laughing Salesman/ Additional Voices
Samuel Vincent as Additional Voices
David Walliams as Additional Voices
Matt Wilkinston as Additional Voices
Cathy Weseluck as Additional Voices
Jillian Michaels as Additional Voices
The dialogue was supposed to be toned down to make it suitable for the target audience of Fox Kids/Jetix. Unfortunately, due to the dark tone of the anime, and due to the scared reactions of the voice actors, some bad words were accidentally blurted out during voice recording. Although, this mistake doesn't occur in every episode. The accidental bad words were bleeped out during airing and on the DVD boxset since they didn't have time for a retake. Although, when the English dub aired in the Netherlands, the audio was uncensored, causing some controversy. There was also black comedy and innuendo throughout, causing even more controversy.
Visions of blood were either discolored or removed.
Cigarettes and cigars has been changed to either sweetie sticks or lollipops.
Alcoholic beverages has been changed to juice and/or root beer.
Japanese text has been changed to English.
Scary and distressing images that are too scary were changed to make it look less nightmarish. Unfortunately, some scary images (including the look of the titular character) were kept, causing controversy.
Scenes involving sex and/or nudity were either toned down or removed.
The script has been changed to make it less scary and more comedic and nonsensical. Although, the bad words accidentally said by the voice actors were not in the script.
Reception and Controversy
This English dub has received positive reviews due to the voice acting, black comedy, and direction. Although, there were complaints from parents of young children due to the horror, constant innuendo use, constant black comedy, and uses of mild language (due to the voice acting mistake).
This English dub was one of the most controversial and darkest dubs ever aired on Fox Kids/Jetix Europe. They tried to make it horrifying and tame at the same time, but the terrified, frightened, and scared reactions of the voice actors during voice recording caused some mild to moderate bad language to be blurted out by most of the voice actors by accident without a second take. This also caused dialogue uses of black comedy (EX: "Oh no! I'm going to die!", "If that salesman gets closer to me, I will kill myself!", "Oh my goodness, is that blood!?! I love blood!" "I will haunt your souls if you don't help me!", etc.) and innuendo.
The English theme song exclusive to this dub was also controversial due to its dark tone of the song and the terrified reaction of its performer. A tamer, cleaner, and rerecorded version was used when this dub reran on Jetix Europe.
There was a dark and controversial theme song exclusive to this dub. The song was called "Oh No! The Laughing Salesman!" and it was performed by Michael E. Rodgers, who also voiced the titular character. This theme song was controversial due to the terrified reaction and tone of the performer and the dark lyrics that were written. A tamer version of the theme song was used when it reaired on Jetix Europe.
The English dub aired with uncensored audio in the Netherlands, South Africa, India, Pakistan, and Russia. Although, it aired in other countries with the audio censored.
This dub was banned in Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Russia, and South Korea after their first airings due to its dark and profane content. It had a temporary ban in South Africa, India, Pakistan, and the Middle East due to the same reason. It later aired in those countries with more edits and censorship.
The same dub also aired on the Latin American feed of Cartoon Network's Toonami block from 2002-2005, late at night, with uncensored audio.