Many Japanese Don’t See the Problem With Blackface on New Year’s Eve TV · Global Voices

Mas Urano //Many Japanese Don’t See the Problem With Blackface on New Year’s Eve TV · Global Voices – The show, whose title roughly translates as “Definitely No Laughing: American Police 24 Hours” (絶対に笑ってはいけないアメリカンポリス24時), is a spin-off of a long-running comedy variety series in Japan called “Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!”, commonly abbreviated as GakiTsuka.


“Definitely No Laughing” is the second-most watched New Year’s Eve program in Japan, with the percentage of households tuning in for this year’s show at 17.3 percent. It has consistently aired in this time slot since 2006, making it a New Year’s Eve classic alongside public broadcaster NHK’s singing competition called “Kohaku Utagassen“.

The show’s premise consists of five comedians who try to survive 24 hours without laughing, or else face various penalties and “punishments“. Multiple guests, including famous actors and TV personalities, attempt to make the five comedians laugh by engaging in short, often sophomoric gags (not unlike those that feature on the American MTV show “Jackass”, but with a cast that includes former news anchors and fashion models).

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