Downtown’s most powerful content, “Do not laugh”, is about to disappear completely.
What? No “Laugh Out Loud” this year?
On November 16, Hitoshi Matsumoto of the comedy duo “Downtown” tweeted the following.
Two days earlier, NTV had announced that on New Year’s Eve this year, they would be airing a seven-hour comedy special, “Laugh It Away! Showa Geinin vs. Heisei Reiwa Geinin” (Showa Geinin vs. Heisei Reiwa Gein).
The show will be hosted by Koji Higashino and Ninety-Nine, both of whom belong to Yoshimoto Kogyo, the same Yoshimoto Kogyo company as Downtown. The concept of the program is a large-scale variety show featuring a generational showdown between Showa and Heisei/Reiwa comedians, who will compete in a variety of material including manzai, skits, and location work.
Until 2008, it was called “Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Aahende! series was aired every year as a regular feature. However, it has been decided that the “Never Laugh” series will not be aired again this year.
Naturally, Matsumoto-san must have heard from the bigwigs at Nippon TV that the series would not be aired. I guess Mr. Matsumoto dared to tweet about it and turn it into a laugh.
The tweet was followed by a series of screams from fans in the comments section.
I’ve worked so hard all year to watch Gaki Tashi.
I can’t make it through the year.
I wish they would at least give him a slap.
I can’t finish the year,” “I wish they would just do (Chono’s) slap,” and many other comments.
There may be several reasons for the program’s demise. The first major reason was the COVID-19 crisis that began in 2008, which made it difficult to approach or contact the program.
In addition, in May of this year, the BPO announced its opinion that “painful laughter may have an undesirable effect on the development of empathy and human perspective in young people. This is the third time the BPO has expressed its opinion on “painful laughter.
In the “Don’t Laugh” series, Downtown, Cocorico, and Katao Tsukitei were subjected to a variety of laughter devices, and if they laughed, they were punished by being spanked by a man in tights. In addition, it has become a tradition to have pro-wrestler Masahiro Chono slap Mr. Masashi and Naoki Tanaka of Cocolico get tie-kicked…” (Wide-show insider)
According to the BPO’s opinion in 2000, the game “Mecha x 2 Iketeru! (Fuji TV), in which people who made mistakes in a game were beaten to a pulp. This corner was eventually discontinued.
The “Laugh Out Loud” series, with its theme of “painful punishment,” is in direct violation of the BPO’s view that broadcasting a world in which violence is considered a good form of punishment can lead to youths being bullied and, if they imitate the BPO’s view, can lead to bullying. If the BPO believes that broadcasting a world where violence is considered acceptable as a punishment for something on TV, young people will imitate it and bully others.
There was also a famous corner in which a group led by Ryubei Ueshima of the Ostrich Club, who passed away this year, put their bodies on the line in a crazy way, but they can no longer continue to do so. Against this background, it is safe to say that the show is truly on the verge of extinction.
For Downtown, which has been at the forefront of comedy for many years, it is no longer for the purpose of making money. While they are trying to “deliver the best laughs” to their viewers, the BPO has tightened up on them, preventing them from playing “penalty games,” etc., and there is no doubt that the program’s complete disappearance is becoming a reality. (TV station insider)
There is no doubt that fans all over Japan are eagerly awaiting the return of the “Gaki-no-Tsuka” series. After the COVID-19 crisis is over, what will Nippon TV and Downtown decide to do?
PHOTO： Ippei Hara