The Late Movies: Japanese Game Shows


In the US, there are game shows and there are variety shows. In Japan, the two are often blurred, as the goal is entertaining the audience more than winning a competition. Even the coolest celebrities are not afraid to look silly. Visuals are very important, which is great for those of us who don't understand the language. You don't need to know what people are saying to enjoy these classic TV clips.

The Bug Race

Just in case the tasks aren't funny enough, these guys have to dress in funny insect costumes. The penalty for failure? Smell my breath!

Don't Laugh in the Classroom!

Remember the game show Make Me Laugh? This is better.

Tongue Twister

Better say it right, or else!


The instructions don't metter; you'll see pretty quickly what they are trying to accomplish. The operant word is "trying".


It's an obstacle course/scavenger hunt/steeplechase, with an added level of difficulty: you're on a treadmill!

Binocular Soccer

How to make soccer silly: Dress the players in striped catsuits. How to make soccer impossible: make the players wear binoculars.


How to make baseball more difficult: let us count the ways.

Silent Library

How can you possibly stay silent in a library like this?

Let's Get Dizzy

See different segments of the same show here and here.

Dizzy Bowling

Sure, we've all done this, but we rarely do it in a French maid costume on TV.

Human Tetris

This game gives the contestant the opportunity to BE a Tetris tile. The game designers get sadistic at times.

You can find a lot more on YouTube. Be aware that many very funny "TV game show" clips I rejected for this post contain a surprising lack of clothing.