Sanpei Hayashiya graduates from “Laugh Point”, but his successor is hard to find | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Sanpei Hayashiya graduates from “Laugh Point”, but his successor is hard to find

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Sanpei Hayashiya (front row center) greeting new members in May 2004.

Nippon Television Network Corporation’s top management has its head in the sand. ……

They are having a hard time coordinating the casting of Sanpei Hayashiya, 51, who has decided to graduate from “Laugh Point”. Originally, the plan was to unveil the new members on December 26, the last episode for Sanpei, and have them join the show in January of the new year. ……

However, the plan was to introduce the new comedy members on December 26, the day of the next episode, and ask them to join the show in January. What is frustrating is that we can’t get all the regular members of “Laugh Point” together and get the approval of their potential replacements at once. I have to be on the lookout for the new coronavirus, and as I meet with the masters and explain to them individually, it’s hard to get them to agree. Depending on the situation, we may need to make adjustments until next March.

The reason why there is such a big fight over the positions of the Dai-Kiri members is simple and obvious. The reason why there is such a big fight over the positions of the members is simple: their influence is too great.

If a member of a family or group to which you belong becomes a member of a comedy troupe, money will flow to them. If they hold a performance, the tickets are sold out. Rakugo performers from the same group can be sold as a set. In some local areas, their names are better known than those of the singers participating in NHK Kohaku. They are also blessed with opportunities to appear on other stations, in commercials, and even in TV dramas.

Leading candidates for the post-Sampei era

Aside from the host, there are only six seats available for rakugo. The members belong to different factions, including the Rakugo Arts Association (Rakgei), the Rakugo Kyokai (Rakugo Association), and the Ichimonkai (Ichimon).

From Rakgei, the hosts are Shunputei Shota and Sanyutei Koyuzo. From Rakugo, there are Hayashiya Kiku Sen, Hayashiya Taihei, and Sanpei. From the Ikmonkai, the group consisted of Sanyutei Enraku and Sanyutei Koraku.

The choice of candidates for the “post-Sampei” position is said to be vaguely transparent if the circumstances of the groups to which the regulars belong are taken into consideration. At this stage, the three most promising candidates are probably Miyaji Katsura (45), Shoraku Yanagitei (32) and Shoraku Harufutei (37).

This year, Miyaji Katsura became the first person in 29 years since Shota Katsura, the chairman of the company, to be selected as the top five mauchi. Shoraku is a thoroughbred whose father was Yanagitei Doraku V. Shoraku is Shota’s favorite disciple. This time, Shota may try to get another slot by invoking his power as a program host for rakugo, of which he is the chairman.

The rakugo community, which will be reduced by one slot with the graduation of Sanpei, is also talking about some big names.

There are also some big names being discussed from the Rakugo, which will lose one slot with Sanpei’s graduation: “Shunputei Ichinosuke (43) and Yanagiya Kyotaro (56). The line for selection was that they had to be younger than the host Shota (age 62). As a result, Yanagiya is just barely safe.

In any case, the Nippon TV side is hoping for a rejuvenation of the comedy members.

Both Kiku Sen and Maraku are not in good health. Both Kikuusen and Enraku are not feeling well, and in their dressing rooms, they always boast about their illnesses. The average age of the masters, excluding Sanpei, is 73.2 years old. The new members are expected to bring down the average age at once.

Who will take the position of “post-Sampei”? Who will take the position of “post-Sampei”? We can’t take our eyes off “Laugh Point” for a while.

  • Photo Kyodo News Agency

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