Shōten 笑点 is a Japanese TV comedy program that has been continuously broadcast on Sunday evenings on Nippon TV since 15 May 1966, making it the second-longest running variety TV show in Japan
- 1 Format
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- 4 External links
The show is based on the Ogiri style of rakugo, a form of traditional Japanese storytelling The ogiri system sees a host put questions to a panel of fellow rakugo storytellers who must produce a funny or witty response Shoten's format thus sees the host—currently Shunpūtei Shōta—pose questions to six storytellers known as "ogiri members" seated left to right as the audience sees them as follows: San'yūtei Koyūza sky-blue kimono, San'yūtei Kōraku pink kimono, Hayashiya Kikuo yellow kimono, San'yūtei Enraku VI purple kimono, Hayashiya Sanpei beige kimono, Hayashiya Taihei orange kimono
The rules are simple In every 15-minute ogiri contest, the host will pose the ogiri members three questions Each question can be answered an unlimited number of times by any member, and the custom is that everyone must answer each question at least once Should a member wish to answer a question, he should simply raise his hand and wait to be called by the host Should the resultant answer be funny or witty, the member will receive one or more floor cushions zabuton - the number increasing with the level of audience response and the host's own amusement or admiration The floor cushion is brought to the stage by hapless sidekick Takao Yamada, formerly a successful popstar with the 70s idol group Zūtorubi, but now confined to an object of ridicule in his red kimono Should, on the other hand, a member's answer fall flat with the audience, or be construed as insulting to the host or fellow members, the member will lose one or more floor cushions On some extreme occasions, the host may choose to confiscate everyone's zabuton if he deems that all the members have conspired to humiliate him San'yūtei Enraku is particularly renowned for persistently losing all of his floor cushions due to his belittling of the previous host Katsura Utamaru with merciless wit and accuracy
The zabuton used are supposedly extra-heavy ones weighing 4 kg 9 pounds, so even a stack of ten or more will not topple Should an ogiri member acquire 10 zabuton, he is entitled to that day's special prize, which is usually related to a famous quote, such as 'Boys, Be Ambitious' Since Utamaru was notoriously keen on removing zabuton, especially from the intelligent yet arrogant Enraku, it is very rare for anyone to actually achieve the magical 10
The show is also famous for its catchy theme music written by Hachidai Nakamura This music has been continuously broadcast since 1969 The titles are written in edomoji, but were originally written to show an animated smiling face
- San'yūtei Enraku V - former host 1983 - 2006
- ^ "Comedian Sanyutei Enraku dead at 76" United Press International 2009-11-01 Retrieved 2009-11-28
- Shōtenin Japanese
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