by Chris MaGee
For better or worse "Saturday Night Live" has become a comedic institution in North America. We say for better or worse because over its 36-year history on NBC the show has seen the brilliance of such comedians as John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Eddie Murphy and Will Ferrell, but it also moldered through seasons starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Belushi and Joan Cusack. Maybe if they'd squeezed in a few Japanese comedians it might have helped. Well, chances of that were slim... but not anymore!
No, we won't be seeing a Japanese star on the next season of NBC's "Saturday Night Live", but we will now be seeing an entire cast of Japanese talent in Fuji TV's "Saturday Night Live JPN". That's right... As of June 4th Japan got it's own monthly version of the sketch comedy show with a cast that includes 55-year-old former Takeshi Kitano compatriot Snama Akashiya and 45-year old Koji Imada. The first guest host for "SNL JPN" was Takashi Okamura with musical guest Ken Hirai.
What did the show look like, and how will it differentiate itself from other comedy variety shows on Japanese TV? Well, check out this sketch featuring Ken Hirai below from the series' first show and you be the judge. Thanks to Japan Today for this news.