The new host image created by Savannah Takahashi in “Friday! Friday,” Savannah Takahashi has created a new image of a host. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The new host image created by Savannah Takahashi in “Friday! Friday,” Savannah Takahashi has created a new image of a host.

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE

The “Humbled Emcee”

It is not surprising that last New Year’s Eve, the program that drew the highest viewer ratings behind the Kohaku Uta Gassen was TV Asahi’s “Zawatsuku! The show, which started in 2018 in the late-night slot, gradually became popular for the unique atmosphere that its main members give off, and moved to the Friday golden slot. Today, the show sits proudly at the top of the viewer rating rankings.

The three members, violinist Chisako Takashima (53), Kazushige Nagashima (56), and weather forecaster and TV personality Yoshizumi Ishihara (60), appear side by side and answer various events and problems that occur in the world from their unique perspectives. The secret of the popularity of the show is the exquisite casting of the cast.

In fact, Takahashi is respected by his younger colleagues as a reliable older brother. I guess that’s what makes him so appealing.

Many viewers may agree with Chisako Takashima, who spouts dry and snappy comments, and many baseball fans of yesteryear may feel that Kazushige Nagashima’s “cosmic thinking” comments are “in Mr. Takahashi’s blood. There are also those who feel comfortable with Ryojun, who is the son of Shintaro Ishihara, and whose comments are quite sensible.

However, the man who makes this program possible is Shigeo Takahashi (46) of the comedy duo “Savannah. It is no exaggeration to say that he has created a completely new image of a host for this program.

The main role of a conventional host is to organize the program and keep it on track. As represented by Tamori in “Laugh It Away! the host would successfully move the performers along and keep the conversation moving forward. Or, when the show was in full swing, he would take a step back and make himself invisible. This was also the traditional behavior of a host.

However, Takahashi’s hosting of this program goes beyond this conventional image.

In a nutshell, Takahashi makes the three members feel comfortable by humbling himself to them even as a moderator, and he is willing to take on the role of being teased by them.

When they objected to Takahashi’s opinion on a question, Kazushige would say, “Takahashi! That’s not right! (If you think about it, Kazushige’s father and Takahashi share the same name.) (If you think about it, Kazushige’s father and Takahashi share the same name.) Taking this as a cue, Takashima and Yoshizumi also started to give their own quips to Takahashi one after another. If you watch the show calmly, you can see that Takahashi is the most sensible person in the show. However, he dares to throw in a common-sense point of view, which heats them up and makes their idiosyncrasies stand out – this is the flavor of the program.

If the moderator is too calm, the program will not work, and if he is the type to summarize the opinions of the three, the program will end up being too cozy. By having a moderator who can be a sandbag, the three can move lively, and this is what has been popular with the audience.

Takahashi, frightened as if he had been thrown into a cage by a “ferocious beast,” endures the attacks and sometimes vehemently opposes them. Takahashi was younger than the performers and had always been the type of person who was easily bullied in the world of comedians, so this position was probably suitable for him.

However, even though he is a “sandbag,” it is not unpleasant to watch. The three performers love Takahashi and tease him, and you can feel it from the screen. This ability to be loved by these “beasts of prey” is the real appeal of Takahashi.

Neither a dentist nor a loser

Takahashi calls himself “the Suneo of the comedian world. His talent for surviving in this world while acting coolly and without defiance of superiors, and the smartness that comes across in every word he says, were probably cultivated in him since childhood.

Shigeo Takahashi was born and raised in the center of Kyoto City. His family was a long-established and well-known local dental clinic, and his grandfather and father were also dentists, with many of his relatives being dentists. A member of the family recalled how things were back then.

He had an older brother, and his parents wanted them both to become dentists. They were very enthusiastic about his education, and he even had a professor from Kyoto University as his tutor.

However, Mr. Takahashi himself must have felt a lot of pressure. He had loved manga, anime, and watching martial arts since he was a child, and wanted to spend his days having fun rather than concentrating on his studies.

His elder brother was a brilliant student and went on to become a dentist, but his younger brother, as it turned out, did not live up to his parents’ expectations. Around that time, he must have felt that ‘I can’t study as well as my brother, so I should stand up to him anyway.

However, since he had always loved comedy and gag cartoons, he must have sublimated this feeling by turning his own position into laughter without perversely complicating it. The humility and humor that he cultivated in this way were fully demonstrated in his career as a comedian.

I am sure his family is happy to see him succeeding now that his quick thinking has been put to use not in the medical world but in the world of entertainment.

Takashima is a “young lady” who attended Aoyama Gakuin from elementary school, Kazushige is the eldest son of Mr. Ishihara and is a “super-bonbon,” and Yoshizumi grew up in Keio Kindergarten and is also a member of the Ishihara family. Yoshizumi is also a “big boy” of the Ishihara family, having grown up in Keio Kindergarten. Takahashi knows what it is like to be a “bonbon,” which is why he was able to make them feel comfortable and loved by them.

This program has been well received by the Teresa staff. “Of course it is essential to have three people with strong characters, but if it were just the three of them, it would have ended up being just a ‘different kind of program,'” says Mr. Takahashi. But with Mr. Takahashi as the host, the program became cohesive. There are no similar programs, and I am proud to say that this is a program that TV people should study more,” praises a TV Asahi insider.

The name of the program, “Zawatsuku,” does not specify who is being zawatsuku, but it may be an indication of how the people in the industry feel about Takahashi’s unimaginable success.

  • Photo Sankei Visual

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles