By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
The cast of Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! (ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで!!) will be producing yet another No Laughing Batsu (punishment) game. Now confirmed after a sighting of this year’s bus (every year a bus is used to transport the cast to their ultimate destination). With owarai (Japanese comedy) duo Downtown (Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada), comedian Hōsei Tsukitei (formerly known as Hōsei Yamasaki), and second owarai duo Cocorico (Endō Shōzō and Tanaka Naoki) going on to other projects outside the Gaki no Tsukai series, rumors of the specials coming to an end have circulated for the past 3 years. Also the age of the oldest cast members (both were 52 at the last batsu) would make continuing on with specials that reward the contestants who break out laughing with physical punishment, harder with every new special. It was believed last year’s No Laughing Detective Agency was the final batsu after an end credits roll gave a nostalgic look at previous batsus.
But the idea of retiring the show has beeen postponed for yet another year much to the pleasure of viewers. With thanks to Twitter user (ひ･ω･で), two shots of the bus to be used in the upcoming batsu reveals what can only be interpreted as No Laughing Science Laboratory ((科学研究所). The caricature on the side of the bus appears to be that of Matsumoto sporting a Albert Einstein moustache. Dressed in a lab coat he is holding a beaker in his right hand while revealing his tongue to all to see.
Until an official announcement is made, the new no laughing special is expected to be broadcast December 31, 2016 on Nippon TV.
The first No Laughing batsu, No Laughing Hot Spring Inn, was shot in Yamanashi and was broadcasted in 2003.
Other batsus specials are:
2004 – No Laughing in Yugawara
2005 – No Laughing High School
2006 – No Laughing Police Station
2007 – No Laughing Hospital
2008 – No Laughing Newspaper Agency
2009 – No Laughing Hotel Employee
2010 – No Laughing Spy School/Secret Agent
2011 – No Laughing Airport
2012 – No Laughing Enthusiastic Teachers
2013 – No Laughing Earth Defense Force
2014 – No Laughing Prison
2015 – No Laughing Detective Agency
Photo Source(s): Twitter user (ひ･ω･で).