お笑い：「ＴＨＥ ＭＡＮＺＡＩ」復活 面白芸人こんなに
The legendary television programme "The Manzai", which created a boom in the laughter industry of the 1980s, is about to be restored. Last year however due to lower viewership many television comedy programmes were ended. After the major earthquake in eastern Japan there is also a strong feeling that we should stifle the laughter, BUT could this legendary television programme bring smiles and laughter back to Japan?
The revival version of "The Manzai" will be a contest to choose "The funniest comedian in Japan". Only professional comedians will be allowed to enter, and by fall only 50 groups will have remained from the national preliminary rounds; In December the dozen or so finalist will have a championship round in Tokyo! The championship will be broadcast live on Fuji Television. Preliminaries have already begun in May, and famous comedy troupes including Naitu and Haraiti have already made their appearance.
The original "The Manzai" was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1980-1982. Many young comedians including Sinsuke Ryuusuke, Two Beat, and R&B showcased their fast comedy skills. The sets were designed like a disco, and this movement changed the image of comedy from simply sitting around telling funny stories to a major television talent, and captured the hearts of young people across Japan, it was a major factor in birthing the television comedian talents of today's comedy world.
Behind the revival of this television programme is last year's announcement that the "M-1 Grand Prix" would be ending that year in the hopes of reorienting that programme to focus more on short timely gags. The " M-1 Grand Prix" is responsible for the birth of many comedic stars including Sandwichman, Black Mayonnaise, and Waraimesi. The annual new year's television event on Asahi Television garnered huge viewership, at its highest 23% of the television viewing audience, but was ended after 10 years.
In fact, programmes like "Enta no Kamisama"(Television Japan), "The Iromonea"(TBS), and "Bakusyou Red Carpet"(Fuji Television) which centered around 1-2 minute short gags have also seen lower viewership recently and along with viewer's cries that "this isn't the time for comedy" have come to an end.
Entertainment critic and Oosaka University of the Performing Arts Professor Akio Aiba has pointed out "There's no merit in this competition for these professional comedians who are already very well known, in the end it will only garner youth viewership".
However many voices in anticipation have said "In these dreary times it is especially important to let loose and laugh." Even if you aren't a fan of comedy, it might be nice to get excited watching the championship finals in front of the television set for this year end event ... Only time will tell.
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A comedy act, usually performed by a duo