The interesting culture behind seemingly absurd Japanese comedy shows
Without a doubt, some of the most unique and funniest television shows come straight out of Japan, with comedians doing literally anything they can to get a laugh out of the viewing audience. And in case you've never actually witnessed the craziness of Japanese TV comedy, or if you happen to be a fan of it, I have an example for you that proves Japanese humor is truly out of this world. But before you watch the video below, there are a few things I would like to say about the culture behind "crazy" Japanese game shows.
What you're about to see is part of a punishment, and the Japanese get a kick out of seeing someone suffer, as long as it's done humorously. Because Japan is a culture that expects their people to gaman, which means "to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity," people find it funny to watch someone do what society expects from everyone, but of course, only when done with absurdity. Because after all, society's expectations, especially ones demanded from such a traditional and often serious culture like Japan, are actually absurd. The Japanese public knows that, and comedians express it. And in Japan, the more ridiculous society's expectations are (at times), the more ridiculous the comedy.
What makes this clip really absurd is that it is part of one of Japan's most popular and long-running television shows, starring the iconic comedy duo Downtown. The show in question is called Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!, otherwise known as Gaki Tsuka for short. It airs on network television, at one of the most sought-after time slots for any TV production.
That being said — imagine the clip below being shown on a major network in your home country, on primetime television. Crazy stuff! As they say . . . only in Japan.