'Saturday Night Live JPN' Set For Debut -- hasn't Japan suffered enough?

TV Arts


Saturday Night Live JPN, the third local adaptation of NBC's venerable 
late-night sketch comedy show (Italy and Spain have the others), is set to 
premiere tomorrow on Fuji, Japan's top network. Broadway Video Enterprises and 
Japanese indie producer Yoshimoto Kogyo collaborated on the series, on which 
Fuju producer Isao Kagari serves in the Lorne Michaels role, pulling cast 
members from his late-night show Pikaru No Teiri to join a weekly host and 
musical guest -- the same as the American verison. "Saturday Night Live is 
known for cultivating premier comedic talent in the U.S., and we plan to carry 
on the tradition by bringing the newest, best comedians to Saturday Night Live 
JPN to accompany top name celebrities and musical acts," says Yoshimoto 
Entertainment USA CEO Aki Yorihiro. It would be interesting to see how topical 
sketch comedy manifests itself in other cultures. The U.S. version saw a 
ratings surge thanks to the 2008 presidential campaign, with the cast and 
writers not afraid to send up Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and 
especially Sarah Palin (thanks to Tina Fey). I wonder whether politics plays 
as funny in Japan?
Their first recurring sketch? Samurai Samurai!