When I was a teenager, I always used to stay up late on a Saturday night to watch Saturday Night Clive with Clive James. Uh, when my busy social calendar of being invited to rockin’ underage high school parties permitted it, of course.
By far, my favourite part of Saturday Night Clive was when he would show weird TV from around the world, and my favourite part of that was when he would show Japanese game shows. There’s probably no Japanese game show that saved Mr. James more script-writing time than Endurance, the show where the person who could tolerate being dragged pants-less across gravel, trapped in a glass coffin with snakes or simulated-ly drowned the longest wins.
Ah, thems were the days. Unfortunately, Japanese TV today is a far more sedate affair, much more reliant on goofy comedy and celebrities rather than the simple pleasures of laughing at an unfortunate dancing around with a weasel down his pants. In spite of that, every now and then you find a charming, simple idea on one of the many, many game shows available on Japanese TV.
The idea of this quiz show is that contestants are given a question to which they must provide a number of answers (such as “Name 4 movies by director X”). To make things slightly more interesting though, they must speak their answers into a microphone which is only raised when their partner runs over a threshold speed on a treadmill:
This makes it a bit more entertaining, except that the time limit for each question is only 15 seconds and the threshold speed required is only around 15 kph, so the runner hardly breaks a sweat. Then again, the participants are generally celebrities from the pool of talento, so the idea is really more to lob them softball questions while making small talk about their new DVD / movie in between.
Ah, for the old days… bring back Endurance, I say!