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List of a Thousand Autumns

Konnichiwa.

Japan has developed something of a reputation for having the world’s craziest game shows. This is not entirely unearned; many of their televised contests require outrageous challenges, or feature brutal physical punishments if questions are answered wrong. Chris Farley and Mike Myers memorably parodied these imported game shows on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch I vividly remember, which must mean it was filmed approximately 20,000 years ago:

See, it’s not an offensive stereotype if… um… OK, it’s an offensive stereotype. Schwing!

But weird, wild Japanese entertainment actually runs the gamut of verticals and genres, and certainly isn’t limited to just one type of program. Take some of the programs on our epic rundown of Weird Japanese TV Shows, for example.

Sure, there are game shows present on the list, where contestants are challenged not to laugh at something funny, lest they be shot in the rear end (what our Jewish friends would refer to as a “tuchas”) with a dart gun.

But even more intriguing are some of the other shows that don’t feature any sort of direct challenges. Like the reality show in which a comedian was locked inside a hotel room for several months and forced to subsist only on what he could win by entering magazine contests. Or the show in which guests fart on cue, only to then have to dissipate their own gaseous discharge in several amusing (?) ways. (Think “Whose Fart Is It Anyway?” It’s basically like that.) Or even “Panic Face King,” where a variety of cruel pranks are devised in order to make people generally go insane, freak out and make faces like this:

How come The Situation doesn’t have to do anything to get on TV and I need to be terrified almost to the point of coma-induction? That’s it, I’m moving to Jersey…

Hey, don’t ask me to EXPLAIN any of these bizarre shows. I just blog here… Anyway, now you know about them. Uh, YOU’RE WELCOME.

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Live from New York, It's the List of the Day

What’s your favorite Saturday Night Live era? A lot of people will go for the original cast, while some others prefer the Chris Farley, David Spade, Mike Meyers crew who ushered in the Will Ferrells of the world. No matter who you liked, there’s a list for you on the Ranker profile called The Best of SNL, including videos from some of the best eras in Saturday Night Live history. From great monologues to some of the most memorable bits of all time. 

So if you were into “we come from France” or a guy who “lives in a van down by the river”, today’s list of the day has the right round-up for you. 

The Best of Saturday Night Live, by Era