Tag Archives: Hitoshi Matsumoto
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Matsumoto’s ‘Documental’ Offers Gaki Fans More No Laughing Situations

24 Nov

matsumotohitoshi2By James “I am Lame” Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)

Matsumoto Hitoshi brings a little bit of what you fancy to Amazon Prime Japan this fall. Starting November 30th, Matsumoto, (one half of internationally known comedy duo Downtown), will host Documental, a 4 part series akin to the duo’s No laughing Batsu New Year specials. In Documental, ten hand-picked Japanese entertainers will be given the chance at winning a grand prize of ¥10,000,000. Under Matsumoto’s watchful eye each entertainer must endure 6 hours of no laughing as they are subjected to a comedy barrage by other contestants or else be forced out from the competition.

The Trailer identifies entertainers Daisuke Miyagawa (Oh! Father) and Jimmy Ōnishi (No Laughing High-School batsu) as two of the 10 entertainers involved in this production. The show resembles that of an American reality program (like Big Brother) but it still retains that Japanese game show feels as indicated by Matsumoto’s grip on the control box that holds both a red button (stop) and a blue button (start). It appears the use of a yellow card comes into play during this program. The yellow card is used in sports when indicating a penalty and could be used for the same reason here. If so a red card would mean elimination for any one of the ten entertainers.


Matsumoto Hitoshi is a producer, writer, and director. He is known the films Big Man Japan (2007), Symbol (2009), Saya-zamurai (2010) and R100 (2013). He is currently co-star of the variety series Gaki no tsukai ya arahende!! and former co-host of the enduring music show Hey! Hey! Hey Music Champ.

Documental will stream every Wednesday starting November 30, 2016 on Amazon Prime Japan.

New Gaki no Tsukai Batsu Special Photos Reveal Homage to ‘Back to the Future!’

16 Nov

nolaughscience3By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

In the latest group of photos published by Oricon Style from the filming of Gaki no Tsukai’s No Laughing Science Laboratory batsu, one of those photos will be of interest to fans of the 1985 feature film Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson. With each batsu Hiroshi Fujiwara (藤原 寛), former manager of comedy team Downtown (Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada), appears in costume (sometimes dressed as a woman) and acts as guide for the five comics, Matsumoto, Hamada, Endō Shōzō, Tanaka Naoki and Hōsei Tsukitei.

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Gaki no Tsukai New Year’s No Laughing Batsu Special Returns to Japanese TV!

15 Nov

nolaughingsciencelab1By 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.

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Reddit User Creates Web Comic Based on Popular Japanese Variety Series ‘Gaki no Tsukai’

28 Oct

downtownnolaughBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

It’s been proven that you can never have enough 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!!). That’s why when Reddit user and Gaki fan, PowederGHG, decided to make a web comic website called Zenin-Outo! based on the variety show, he was applauded for his efforts. Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! stars 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). The show that’s been broadcasting on Nippon TV since 1989 has segments of physical challenges, cooking, and batsu (punishment) games. Once a year the stars host a New Year’s batsu special.

Zenin-Outo! has garnered praise from even the hardcore Gaki fans in Reddit’s Gaki no Tsukai forum. “I’m already a big fan. Just have fun with it and don’t get burned out on the commitment of it. Thanks for creating such an awesome little comic” posted Majaura.

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